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Louisville, East Carolina, Bama, South Florida, and Hofstra pick up wins


Louisville 2 Morehead State 0

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Tyler Mickits hit a two-run home run and Matt Lea, Neil Holland and Zack Pitts combined on a three-hit shutout, as the University of Louisville Cardinals blanked Morehead State 2-0 Tuesday at Jim Patterson Stadium.

After catcher Jeff Arnold reached on an infield single to lead off the fifth inning and moved to third on a throwing error, Mickits belted his first home run of the season deep to right center to put the Cards (27-16) on top 2-0 for the only scoring of the game.

Lea started and tossed a season-long five shutout innings, giving up a harmless two-out single in the second, and striking out a career-best eight. He faced just two over the minimum, and picked up a nice diving catch in right center by right fielder Stewart Ijames for the second out of the fourth on one of just two balls that left the infield.

Freshman Neil Holland then retired the side in order in the sixth on his way to three shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk, striking out two. Freshman centerfielder Drew Haynes made a nice diving catch to end the seventh, helping to preserve the first Cardinal shutout of the season.

Senior Zack Pitts allowed a single in the ninth and struck out one, earning his first career save, the fifth different Cardinal pitcher to earn a save this season.

Ijames had two of the Cardinals’ six hits, while Arnold’s single in the fifth extended his career-long hit streak to 14 games, equalling Justin McClanahan’s season high stretch.

MSU (16-26) starter Clay Muntz made just the one mistake, allowing the two runs on three hits and a walk, striking out two in five innings, and was followed by three Eagle relievers.

The Cardinals will complete a nine-game homestand Wednesday against Western Kentucky at 6:00 p.m. The Hilltoppers defeated the Cardinals 10-5 in Bowling Green on April 1. Admission to the game is free.

Louisville will travel to Washington, D.C. for a three-game weekend series against Georgetown beginning Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET.

East Carolina 14 UNC Wilimington 7

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Five Pirates drove in two or more runs on the night highlighted by Jamie Ray’s grand slam in the first inning as No. 30 East Carolina beat No. 24 UNC-Wilmington 14-7 Tuesday night at Brooks Field in non-conference action. With the win the Pirates improve to 33-13 while the Seahawks drop to 33-10-1.

Ray’s second career grand slam to center sparked a 5-run first inning putting the Pirates up 5-0 early and never looked back. Harrison Eldridge led off the inning with a single to right field on the games first pitch then moved to second on Ryan Wood walk before Stephen Batts advanced both runners 90 feet on his sac bunt. Corey Kemp and Brandon Henderson drew back-to-back walks scoring Eldridge. Ray, who got down in the count 0-2, extended Haney’s pitch count with a 12 pitch at-bat before taking pitch to straight away center field.

T.J. Hose improved to 4-4 on the season coming out of the bullpen working 2.2 innings allowing one run on two this with one walks. Starter Brad Mincey left the game with one out in the second inning due to a fingernail injury to his throwing hand. During his time on the mound he allowed two runs on two hits with two walks. Josh Ruhlman made his 25th appearance of the year working three innings allowing three runs on two hits with four strikeouts. Brett Butts (1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 K) and Seth Simmons (1.0 IP, 2 K) finished the game on the bump for the Pirates.

Jesse Haney (1-2) didn’t make it out of the first inning working 0.1 of an inning giving up five runs on two hits with three walks. Kyle Lewis closed out the first inning for Haney and finished the game working 1.2 innings allowing four runs on five hits with a pair of strikeouts. Allen Flood (1.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K), Chris Johnson (0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K), Larry Salefsky (0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 K), Cameron Roth (2.0 IP, 1 H, 3 K), Brett Braxton (1.0 IP) and Stephen Harrold (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 K) closed out the game.

ECU pushed across a pair of runs in the second to extend its lead to 7-0. Trent Whitehead singled up the middle to start the inning then took second on Eldridge’s sac bunt and third on Wood’s single up the middle. Batts drove in the first run of the frame with another single up the middle plating Whitehead and moving Wood to third. Kemp followed with a sac fly to right that scored Wood, Kemp’s 51st RBI of the season.

The Seahawks cut into the Pirates lead in the second, 7-2. Mark Carver led off with a walk and touched home for UNCW’s first run of the game on Cody Stanley’s triple down the left field line. Stanley came home when Jes Snyder reached on a fielder’s choice.

Eldridge’s two-run single up the middle highlighted a three-run inning that pushed the Pirates lead to 10-2. Kyle Roller drove in the first run of the inning with a single to right plating Ray, who led off the inning with a double to center. After a Seahawk pitching change, Dustin Harrington laid down a sac bunt that moved Roller to second. Whitehead, who collected his second hit of the game with a single through the right side to put runners on the corners, stole second base during Eldridge’s at-bat and then came home with Roller on his single to cap the scoring.

Hargrave drove in Alex Hill from first with a double to left-center cutting into the Pirates lead, 10-3.

Harrington’s double to left-center in the fourth extended ECU’s lead to nine, 12-3. Kemp drew an opening frame walk then moved to second on Henderson’s ground out. Roller drew another Pirate walk with two outs and came home along with Kemp on Harrington’s at-bat.

ECU continued to put runs on the board adding to its lead in the fifth, 14-3. Eldridge picked up his third hit of the game with a leadoff single to left then stole second with one out. Batts followed with a walked that chases Johnson who then walked Kemp to load the bases. Henderson’s single to left scored Eldridge and Batts.

Carver hit a two-run bomb to left field that scored Jason Appel to make the score 14-5 in favor of ECU.

In the eighth inning Carver drilled his second two-run home run of the game to center field to cut the lead to seven, 14-7.

The Pirates will be back in action Friday night when they play host to Conference USA foe UAB with a first pitch scheduled 7 p.m.

Alabama 10 Samford 6

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Alabama rallied from a four-run deficit and overcame three errors en route to a 10-6 come-from-behind victory over Samford in front of a stadium record 1,641 fans at Joe Lee Griffin Field on a chilly Tuesday night.

Alabama erased a 5-1 deficit with four runs in top of the third inning and then overcame a 6-5 deficit in the fifth inning when junior catcher Kyle Moore blasted a two-run home run to left-center field putting the Tide ahead to stay, 7-6.

“With a runner on third and two outs, I was trying to hit the ball back up the middle,” Moore said of his home run. “I got a fastball and put it on the sweet spot.”

Alabama (26-21) put the game away with a three-run eighth inning, taking advantage of a pair of Samford errors in the process. Junior DH Alex Avila and junior right fielder Kent Matthes had RBI singles in the inning as the Tide extended its lead off relief pitcher Andrew Jones.

Four Alabama relief pitchers – Jimmy Nelson, Josh Copeland, Will Stroup and Austin Graham – combined for six shutouts innings in relief of starter Nathan Kilcrease.

Nelson (2-2) earned the win with three scoreless innings of relief, while Graham pitched 1 1/3 innings for his second save.

Samford reliever Joshua Vanfleteren (2-3) was charged with the loss after allowing two runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Moore had two hits and three RBI for Alabama. Matthes added three hits and scored two runs for Alabama.

Alabama (13) and Samford (13) combined for 26 hits and the teams stranded 22 base runners in the three-plus hour game.

The Crimson Tide scored a run in the top of the second inning when senior first baseman Matt Bentley drew a walk and later scored on Moore’s two-out single to left to give the Tide a 1-0 lead.

Samford (27-16) loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the first inning, but did not score. The second inning was a different story, however, as the Bulldogs took advantage of some good fortune and scored five runs to take a 5-1 lead. The Crimson Tide aided the cause with a pair of errors and senior right fielder Michael Rutledge launched a three-run home run to left field to cap the inning. All five runs were unearned.

Alabama answered right back with four runs on three hits in the top of the third inning to knock out SU starter David Knapp. Avila led off with a four-pitch walk and scored on sophomore left fielder Brandon May’s two-run home run to dead center field to close the gap to 5-3. It was May’s sixth home run of the season. Bentley then lined a single to right and moved to third on Matthes’ double to center field. Tyler Odle and Jake Smith followed with back-to-back sacrifice flies as Alabama knotted the score at 5-5.

“That was the key to the game,” Alabama head coach Jim Wells said. “We tend to give up runs early in the game, even multiple runs, but we came back with a big inning and then got a zero in the (bottom of the fourth). The key to game was our four runs after they scored five.”

Knapp allowed five earned runs and five hits in 2 1/3 innings for the Bulldogs, with one strikeout and two strikeouts.

The Bulldogs regained the lead with the run in the bottom of the fourth inning, 6-5, but things could have been worse for the Crimson Tide as Jimmy Nelson relieved starter Nathan Kilcrease and minimized the damage despite four Samford hits in the inning. John Morgan was picked off second base by Moore that prevented the big inning. SU shortstop Michael Marseco delivered a one-out RBI single to right to give Samford a 6-5 lead.

Kilcrease allowed six runs and eight hits in three innings with two strikeouts and one walk. Of the six runs charged to the UA freshman, five were unearned.

Alabama answered in its half of the sixth inning as Moore slammed a two-run home run to left center field to give the Tide a 7-6 lead. Matthes, who had walked to lead off the inning, scored on the two-out home run. It was Moore’s fourth career home run and first of the 2008 season.

South Florida 14 UCF 6

TAMPA, Fla. – Sophomore Victor Pina and juniors Chris Rey and Brian Hobbs each blasted home runs in the University of South Florida’s 14-6 victory over UCF Tuesday night at Red McEwen Field.

Pina’s solo shot in the eighth was his first-career bomb, while Rey and Hobbs each blasted two-run shots in the third and seventh innings, respectively.

Sophomore Teddy Kaufman earned his third win of the season, striking out five batters in 6.2 innings. He allowed only three runs from eight hits in his fifth start of the year. Freshman Doug Wagner made his sixth-career appearance, closing out the game aggressively with a pair of strikeouts.

Six Bulls collected at least two hits in the game, led by Rey’s 3-for-3 outing. Along with his home run, he had a single, a double, one run scored and four RBI.

USF saw five pitchers on the hill in the third meeting with UCF. After rookies Kyle Eastham and Michael Anzivino each recorded a strikeout in relief of Kaufman, senior David Toricise took the mound for one-third of an inning.

USF took an early five-run lead after collecting three in the first and a pair in the third. UCF scored three in the seventh, but USF countered with four in the bottom of the inning to extend its lead, 9-3. The Knights came up with three more in the eighth, but five runs from the Bulls in the bottom of the eighth ended UCF’s momentum.

“When they got it close there in the seventh, we came back with a four and a five spot, that’s the reason we won this game,” said head Coach Lelo Prado. “Our offense was on tonight.”

With one out in the first, freshman Jonathan Koscso singled down the left line then scored when senior Joey Angelberger put a double in the same spot. Hobbs drew a walk and was moved into scoring position as junior Stephen Hunt singled to left field. Rey tallied his first of four RBI in the game with a sac fly to left. Junior Corey Johnson sent a two-out single up the middle to tally USF’s third and final run of the inning.

In the third, Hobbs drew his second-consecutive walk then stole both second and third in time for Rey to lift a home run to left center field, putting USF ahead 5-0.

Kaufman held UCF scoreless through six innings until a leadoff home run by the Knights’ first baseman broke up UCF’s zeros on the scoreboard. The Knights proceeded to score three runs from five hits in the inning.

The Bulls answered with four in the bottom of the seventh to extend their lead, 9-3. Junior Addison Maruszak led off the inning with a single to the left side, and was moved to second as Koscso put down a sac bunt. Angelberger doubled to center to collect his second RBI of the game, his 36th of the season. Hobbs drove in Angelberger with a bomb over the 400-foot centerfield fence. The home run was Hobbs’ team-leading seventh of the year. Hunt then stepped to the plate and singled up the middle, quickly followed by a double to left field by Rey, which scored USF’s ninth run.

In the eighth, the teams combined for eight runs, as UCF scored three and USF picked up five. Pina rocketed his first-career home run over the left field fence to lead off the inning. Maruszak singled then Angelberger and Hobbs each drew walks to load the bases. Hunt sent a sac fly to left to score one, then Johnson singled through the right side to pick up a pair of RBI.

Freshman Ryan Lockwood, who is riding a 27-game hitting streak, will be rested this week in preparation for the St. John’s series May 9-11.

The Bulls will next face Bethune-Cookman University at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Red McEwen. USF has the weekend off before hosting UCF on May 6 at 7 p.m., then traveling to St. John’s for a three-game BIG EAST series May 9-11. The Bulls wrap up the regular season with a game at Florida on May 13, then hosting Notre Dame May 15-17.

Hofstra 9 Fordham 4

Bronx, NY- Sophomore Elliot Hagburg and junior Mark Stuckless each had two RBIs and three Hofstra pitchers combined to allow just four runs as the Pride defeated Fordham, 9-4, in a non-conference game under the lights Tuesday night. With the victory, Hofstra improves to 17-30 while the Rams drop to 25-19-1.

The Pride jumped out to a five-run lead in the third and never looked back. Sophomore John Kenny worked a walk to start things off and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from junior Chris Mentrasti. Senior Anthony Sarno promptly singled up the middle, driving Kenny home to give the Pride a 1-0 lead. Senior Matt Kougasian continued his hot hitting as he smacked a single into centerfield to score Sarno, who had reached second on a throwing error by the pitcher. After a groundout moved Kougasian to second, Hagburg ripped a two-out double to left to score the senior. Junior Tom Legregni kept the rally going with a single to score Hagburg and came around to score when junior Nick Panzarella singled to left to put the Pride up 5-0.

Meanwhile, Sarno, who started the game on the mound, kept the Fordham line-up off balance with his excellent breaking stuff and freshman Anthony Gionesi came on in the fourth as a change of pace and pitched two scoreless innings, allowing just two hits while striking out two.

After Fordham pushed a run across in the sixth to cut the Hofstra lead to 5-1, the Pride scored three insurance runs in the eighth to distance themselves from the Rams. With runners on second and third and one out, Stuckless smoked a double down the left field line to score two. The junior came around to score as Mentrasti singled him home one out later. Hagburg picked up his second RBI of the game in the ninth inning when he doubled home sophomore Matt Prokopowicz, who was hit by a pitch to reach first, to up the lead to 9-1.

Senior Tom Caltabiano was able to stave off a late Fordham rally to close the game out. The pitcher-turned-catcher allowed a run in the sixth and three in the ninth to account for the four Ram runs but picked up his first save in the process.

Hofstra returns to action tomorrow, Wednesday April 30, for a non-conference game at New York Institute of Technology. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m.

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