Baseball Falls to Louisville, 5-4, In Extra Innings in Series Finale
April 4, 2004
LOUISVILLE, Ky.-- - Louisville designated hitter Ron Braun knocked home the game-winning run with a two out single in the bottom of the ninth to power the Cardinals past the Tigers, 5-4, in the series finale on Sunday afternoon at Cardinal Stadium.
Braun's game-winner capped a four-run ninth inning rally in which the Tigers recorded two outs before Louisville scored a run. With runners on first and third with two outs, Nick Haley drove in the first run with a single to leftfield. Shortstop Chris Cates followed with an RBI single to cut the deficit to 4-3. Mark Jurich then walked and Haley came across tying the game on the ball-four wild pitch by Tiger reliever Zach Cook. Braun then provided the knockout punch with his game-winning RBI single.
Mark Jurich's RBI on an infield groundout scored leadoff hitter Nick Haley, who reached base on an error to lead off the frame to give Louisville a 1-0 lead in the home half of the first inning.
Brent Dlugach added to his stellar weekend performance with a game-tying solo blast to centerfield in the sixth.
The seventh inning saw both teams threaten to take the lead.
Each of the first three Tiger hitters reached base. Chad House led off with a walk, Patrick Hope reached on an error by U of L catcher Luis Pardo and Lewis drew a walk to load the bases. However, Cardinal reliever Brain Halford then struck out Jordan Hart, Adam Amar and Dlugach to retire the side and preserve the tie.
Louisville also threatened in the home half after Pardo was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a wild pitch by Memphis reliever Michael Novarese. After recording an out, Hart lost Isaiah Hawes' flyball in the sun, but recovered to get the ball in to Dlugach who threw Pardo out at the plate the halt the Cardinal scoring attempt.
Memphis took what appeared to be the game-winning lead with three runs in the top of the ninth. Josh Payne led the inning off with a single and Kyle Scott drew a walk before Chad House drilled a double down the leftfield line to bring Payne home. Memphis expanded the lead to 4-1 when Scott and House came around to score on consecutive sacrifice flies by Patrick Hope and Michael Lewis.
Cook took the loss for Memphis, while Cardinal closer Halford won his fifth straight decision, striking out eight in five innings of relief.
The Tigers will remain on the road for their next contest they travel to Oxford, Miss. to wrap up the season series with Ole Miss. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live on WUMR 91.7.