Louisville Holds Off @MemphisBaseball Rally, 5-4
April 4, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A four-run first inning was enough for No. 8 Louisville to hold off a furious rally by Memphis on Friday at Patterson Stadium. The Cardinals edged the Tigers in the first meeting since 2004 by a score of 5-4.
Back-to-back walks got the Cardinals (22-7, 3-1 American) started in the first and the freebies cost the Tigers. A bunt single loaded the bases and a double off the wall in right field gave Louisville a 2-0 lead. A sacrifice fly and groundout tacked on two more runs to give Louisville a 4-0 advantage after one inning.
The Tigers (17-13, 2-5 American) answered in the second with a big swing by Kane Barrow. Carter White worked a leadoff walk and a one-out home run by Barrow sailed over the right field wall to bring the Tigers within two at 4-2. The Cardinals responded with a tally in the bottom half to grab the 5-2 lead. The Cardinals used a leadoff single, stolen base and two groundouts to bring in the run.
Each team went scoreless over the next four innings, but the Tigers had a quality chance to cut the lead in the sixth. The Tigers worked three-straight two-out walks to load the bases, but the Cardinals escaped the jam via a flyout.
Memphis trimmed the deficit to 5-4 in the seventh, but stranded the potential tying run at third. Zach Willis started the frame with a single and Ethan Gross doubled to right-centerfield to put runners on second and third with no outs. Jake Little drove in one with a single and put runners on the corners. A wild pitch advanced Little to scoring position and a groundout by White trimmed the lead to 5-4. Louisville stranded the tying run at third with a strikeout to end the frame.
The Tigers moved a runner to scoring position with two outs in the eighth, but a strikeout ended the threat. Memphis threatened again in the ninth with a leadoff single by Little and a one-out single by White. A double steal with one out moved the runners up, but a strikeout put two outs on the board. Barrow drove a ball to shortstop, but the defender made a diving grab and threw to first for the out on the bang-bang play.
Memphis starter Caleb Wallingford (4-2) allowed five runs, all earned, on three hits in his seven innings of work. After the leadoff single in the second, Wallingford settled in and did not allow another hit. Wallingford scattered five walks and struck out two in his outing.
Gross, Little and Willis led the Tigers offense with two hits on the night. Barrow had two RBI while White and Little also picked up one RBI each.
Game two of the series at Louisville is scheduled for 12 p.m. (CT) on Saturday.