JMU, Kentucky, UCF, Louisville, and Northeastern pick up wins

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCES

James Madison 8 ETSU 4

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn., May 6, 2008 – Freshman Turner Phelps (Roanoke, Va./Lord Botetourt) pitched seven innings of shutout relief and James Madison University overcame an early four run deficit for an 8-4 non-conference baseball victory over East Tennessee State University on Tuesday night at Cardinal Park.

JMU improved to 31-13 and salvaged a win on its three-game road swing after dropping a pair at Radford. The Dukes improved to 4-1 in night games this season. ETSU fell to 18-32 on the season.

The Buccaneers jumped on the board with three runs in the second and one in the third to grab a 4-0 lead. The Dukes answered back with one in the fourth and one in the fifth with the lead holding until JMU posted two runs each in the seventh, eighth, and ninth to pull away.

Phelps silenced ETSU by allowing just four hits with six strikeouts in seven innings, at one point retiring seven in a row and also striking out the side in the eighth.

Senior Matt McGahey (Jonesborough, Tenn.) took the loss after allowing four runs, three earned, on five hits in 3 1/3 innings of relief.

Sophomore Alex Foltz (Mathias, W.Va./East Hardy) went 3-for-5 with his third triple of the season, a run scored, and an RBI. Redshirt sophomore Chris Johnson (Shrewsbury, N.J./Red Bank Regional) was 2-for-3 with a double, his first career home run, and a walk. Redshirt senior Joe Lake (Elkridge, Md./Long Reach) was 2-for-4 with a run, an RBI, and a stolen base.

Junior Troy Mendez (Roswell, Ga./Roswell) was the only ETSU player with multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Junior Ben Allen (Kingsport, Tenn./Dobyns-Bennett) doubled with a walk, a run, and an RBI.

After retiring the first four batters in order, JMU freshman starter Alex Valadja (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Catholic) ran into trouble in the second with a double down the left field line and a walk. Allen then smacked a double to the wall in left center to drive in the first run of the game. Mendez cracked the third double in four batters up the hill in right that sophomore Matt Browning (Mystic, Conn./Fitch) couldn’t settle under. The hill, similar to the Houston Astros’ Minute Maid Park, runs the distance of the right field line. The double drove in two runs for a 3-0 Buccaneers lead. The three doubles proved to be the only extra-base hits of the game for ETSU.

In the third inning, the leadoff batter reached on a bunt single towards third base. Senior Anthony Russell (Waldorf, Md./DeMatha) then smashed a single up the hill in right center to bring the runner all the way around to score for a 4-0 ETSU lead.

The Dukes got on the board in the top of the fourth on the first career home run by Johnson over the high wall in right field. JMU then loaded the bases in the fifth with one out and got one run in on a fielder’s choice RBI groundout by redshirt sophomore Steven Caseres (New City, N.Y./St. Joseph Regional) before a popup ended the frame.

The score held until the seventh when freshman David Herbek (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) led off with a high fly to shallow right that the left fielder couldn’t settle under with Herbek going to second for the double. Foltz then blasted a triple off the wall in left center to drive in one run. Lake singled just in front of the diving centerfielder to drive in Foltz and tie the score at 4-4.

ETSU got a leadoff single in the seventh and a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner. Junior Chris Rankhorn (Gallatin, Tenn.) then lined a ball to shallow center with Foltz laying out for the diving catch. With the runner expecting a hit and already rounding third base, Foltz was able to make the easy double play to end the inning.

After one out in the eighth, Johnson drilled a double off the wall in left center with Browning then lining a ball to left center that rolled through the gap to the wall for an RBI double and a 5-4 JMU lead. Browning moved to third on a groundout and came in when Herbek reached on a throwing error by the short stop, Rankhorn.

In the ninth inning, Lake led off with a single and stole second to set up an intentional walk to Caseres. With the runners moving on the pitch, a groundout by freshman McKinnon Langston (Tallahassee, Fla./North Florida Christian) put two in scoring position. Junior Brett Garner (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock) then grounded through the left side to bring in the pair of insurance runs for an 8-4 JMU advantage.

In the ninth, freshman Derek Trent (Kingsport, Tenn./Dobyns-Bennett) reached on a leadoff single before a foul flyout for the first out. Mendez then reached on a ball that Herbek lost in the lights before later being caught in a rundown for the second out. A walk and an infield single that took a bad hop and hit Lake in the face loaded the bases before a shallow flyout to center ended the game.

After the road swing, JMU will return home this weekend for a first vs. second Colonial Athletic Association series against UNC Wilmington beginning Friday at 3 p.m.

Kentucky 21 Wright State 3

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Senior second baseman Ryan Wilkes homered from both side of the plate, finishing 5-for-6 with a career-high eight RBI, as the No. 22 Kentucky Wildcats pummeled the Wright State Raiders 21-3, with a season-high 23 hit, 21-run performance, on a picture-perfect Tuesday evening at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Wilkes, a four-year starter in the middle infield for the Wildcats, charted two homers – his first career two-homer game – finishing with a career-high eight RBI and four runs scored. Wilkes hit homers seven and eight on the year from the left and right sides of the plate, using different bats with each homer. On the year, Wilkes is batting .385, with 10 doubles, eight homers and 30 RBI.

Before this season, Wilkes had four career home runs, functioning as UK’s everyday shortstop for three years. Wilkes made the move to second base in 2008, shoring up a UK defense that ranks second in the conference in fielding percentage, a .975 clip. The move has paid off, as Wilkes is the only everyday second baseman in the Southeastern Conference to remain perfect in the field, handling 204 chances, making 87 putouts, 117 assists and turning 30 double plays.

One of the more prolific players to ever come through Lexington, Wilkes ranks on the career record lists in nearly every category, including games played (201), games started (194), most at bats (664), most walks (112), sacrifice flies (19) and sacrifice bunts (36).

Kentucky (35-14) finished the 2008 home non-conference schedule unblemished, going 18-0 in non-conference play at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The Wildcats have one non-conference game left in 2008, a road game next Monday against Murray State in Paducah. UK will seek to finish the season 25-1 in out of conference action.

Every Wildcat starter finished with a hit, with Wilkes leading the way with his career-best five. Third baseman Spencer Korus and freshman outfielder Bryan Rose finished with three hits each, with rose going 3-for-5 and Korus finishing 3-for-4 with two RBI. All-American outfielders Sawyer Carroll and Collin Cowgill each added two hits, with Cowgill launching his 13th double of the year. Senior Brian Spear hit his eighth homer of the season, going 2-for-4 at the dish, with two RBI. Keenan Wiley added a 2-for-5, two run scored, one RBI game at the plate, starting in centerfield for the first time in 2008. Korus added his fifth and sixth doubles of the season.

Freshman shortstop Chris Wade went 1-for-3 with his SEC-leading 20th double of the season. Freshman Kevin Bishop notched his first career hit and freshman catcher Brian Suerdick ripped his first career double, an opposite-field two-bagger down the line.

UK starter Clint Tilford (3-0) picked up the win, tossing five innings, allowing five hits and three runs. The Wildcat bullpen was perfect, not allowing a hit in the final three frames. Scott Green worked two perfect innings, striking out two and Logan Darnell and Mike Kaczmarek each hurled a perfect inning. Kaczmarek struck out all three of the batters he faced in the ninth.

Wright State (24-19) took just its second loss in the past seven games, with the Raiders winning eight of its past 10 games entering the Tuesday matchup, ranking second in the Horizon League with a 13-6 record. WSU was led at the plate by its slugging first baseman, Jeremy Hamilton, a member of the 2007 USA National Team, who hit his seventh homer of the season, going 2-for-3 with three RBI in the game.

WSU took an early 2-0 lead in the third, getting Hamilton’s two-run homer.

Kentucky wasted no time in answering, hanging up eight runs on nine hits and two WSU errors in the bottom of the third. Tyler Howe got plunked by his NCAA-leading 23rd pitch to lead off, and Korus sacrificed him over. Wiley scored Howe with a single and Rose laid down a bunt single. Carroll scored Wiley with an RBI single and Cowgill doubled down the line to score Carroll. Wilkes got his first RBI of the game, scoring Cowgill with a single up the middle. Spear singled and Wade doubled down the line, scoring Wilkes. Howe batted around, doubling to score Wade and then Korus did the same thing, scoring Howe with a double.

UK got another run in the fourth as Carroll and Cowgill singled back-to-back with one out. After the duo stole their respective bases, Carroll scored from third on a wild pitch.

Sam Mote doubled to lead off the Wright State fifth inning, scoring on Hamilton’s two-out RBI single up the middle.

Kentucky got two more runs in the sixth as Cowgill drew a lead-off walk and Wilkes homered for the first time, this coming from the left side of the plate, his seventh of the year.

UK added four runs in the seventh as Wiley led off reaching on a fielding error charged to WSU’s shortstop. Rose doubled to left center and Wilkes scored the two with a single up the middle. Spear cleared Wilkes of the bags with his eighth homer of the year.

The Wildcats added six runs on four hits in the eighth, as Suerdick doubled down the right-field line and Korus scored him with his sixth double of the year, second of the game. Brock Wright drew a pinch-hit walk and Rose also drew a walk. Troy Frazier walked in a run with a bases-loaded free pass and Marcus Nidiffer tallied an RBI groundout on a bang-bang play at first base. With Rose and Wright on the bases, Wilkes launched his second homer of the game, a blast from the right side of the plate to the opposite field.

Kentucky returns to action in a pivotal three-game SEC series at Tennessee beginning Friday at 7 p.m. ET.


UCF 9 South Florida 5

TAMPA, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) – Senior Ryan Richardson recorded a career-high four RBI on a home run and a triple to hand the UCF baseball team a 9-5 triumph over USF in Tampa Tuesday. The win went to reliever Austin Hudson (3-1), who pitched 3.2 scoreless innings with three strikeouts for the Knights (29-21).

Freshman Cody Allen made his third career start and went 3.0 innings, striking out three and allowing two earned runs against the Bulls (25-22). Junior Justin Weiss served as the third pitcher after Hudson left in the seventh, and the UCF closer grabbed his seventh save thanks to a 2.1-inning performance.

Helping out the pitching staff, junior Robert Lara was 1-for-3 with two walks and tied a career-high by scoring three runs, while junior Colin Arnold smashed his first homer in a Knight uniform in the victory.

In USF’s two previous wins over UCF this year, it plated at least two runs in the first inning. The Bulls tried to continue that trend Tuesday when Ryan Lockwood, who stretched his hitting streak to 28 games, belted a one-out RBI double to left center in the opening frame vs. Allen. Chris Rey added a sacrifice fly to enable the Bulls take a 2-0 lead on just one hit.

Just as quickly as the Bulls plated a pair of runs, USF starter Teddy Kaufman worked into trouble as soon as the second inning got underway. The lefty walked Lara on four pitches, then witnessed Richardson blast a 1-0 offering over the left-field wall for a two-run homer. It was the right fielder’s fourth long ball of 2008.

That 2-2 tie held up until the sixth, where back-to-back USF fielding errors put the first two Knights aboard. One of those hitters, Arnold, eventually stole third and touched home as the go-ahead run on a sac fly off the bat of junior Kiko Vazquez. UCF duplicated that effort when senior Tyson Auer swiped third and scored on a fly ball to center from sophomore Shane Brown.

Even though the bases were now empty and there were two outs, the Black and Gold kept rolling. Lara sent Kaufman to the dugout with a single through the left side, and Richardson walked on a full count vs. reliever Zach Pietrzyk. Falling behind 1-2, junior Eric Kallstrom then reached out at an outside pitch to poke a RBI single down the right-field line to hand UCF a 5-2 lead.

USF attempted to climb back into it in the bottom of the seventh, putting runners at the corners with two outs. After Hudson threw one ball to Joey Angelberger, junior Justin Weiss came in from the pen and promptly struck out the USF first baseman on three pitches for the final out.

Richardson sealed the victory in the eighth. Following a one-out single by Brown and a walk to Lara, Richardson dropped a hit into right field that Brian Hobbs tried to make a catch on but saw it skip under his glove and to the fence, permitting the UCF senior to reach third. Now holding a 7-2 cushion, sophomore Chris Duffy delivered a two-out single to center to cap off a three-run inning. Completing the night’s scoring for UCF, Arnold took Stephen Hunt deep to right for a solo homer in the top of the ninth. USF did plate three in the bottom half, but could not overcome the deficit.

The Conference USA regular season wraps up for the Knights when they host UAB Friday-Sunday. The series will be crucial for both programs as they try to lock down a spot in the C-USA Championship.

Louisville 13 Indiana 6

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The University of Louisville baseball team picked up their eighth straight win, scoring the final eight runs of the game against Indiana in a 13-6 win Tuesday at Sembower Field. Louisville will host Butler Wednesday at Jim Patterson Stadium, with first pitch now taking place at 4:00 p.m. because of rain in the forecast.

The winning streak is the longest during the brief tenure of Head Coach Dan McDonnell, and the longest since the 2006 team closed the season with 12 straight wins before losing in the BIG EAST Championship game.

An RBI single by Phil Wunderlich plated John Dao, who leadoff the game with a single and a stolen base, put the Cards (32-16) on top 1-0, but the lead was short-lived.

Evan Crawford singled and Josh Phegley was hit by a pitch before Tyler Rogers’ wind aided home run to left center with two out gave the Hoosiers(21-26) a 3-1 lead.

The Cardinals edged closer in the top of the second. Jeff Arnold and Andrew Clark reached on consecutive singles, and an out later a walk to Drew Haynes loaded the bases for Dao, whose Sac fly to center made it 3-2.

Louisville took the lead in the third inning. Justin McClanahan singled and Chris Dominguez walked and prior to a walk to Stewart Ijames, they executed a double steal. An RBI groundout by Arnold knotted the game at three and Clark wired a two-run single inside the first base bag to put the Cards up 5-3.

Josh Phegley’s team-leading 10th home run of the season with two out in the bottom of the third trimmed the advantage to 5-4, and Kipp Schutz’s solo shot to right tied the seesaw battle at five. Dylan Swift followed with a single, and after a single by Tyler Cox, Swift scored when a shot to McClanahan at second off the bat of Andrew Means could not be turned into a spectacular double play, allowing the runner to score from third and putting the Hoosiers on top 6-5.

Dominguez singled to lead off the fifth, moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on a fly out to center by Ijames and scored on a second wild pitch, tying the game at six.

With two down in that same inning, Clark singled and Josh Richmond drilled the first pitch he saw over the fence in left for a two-run home run, putting the Cards back on top 8-6. It was his fourth of the season.

Dao singled to open the sixth, two outs later Dominguez was walked intentionally, and Ijames made the Hoosiers pay. The freshman smoked a 2-0 pitch over the fence in right for his fifth home run of the season, a three-run shot that made it 11-6 Cards.

Haynes singled leading off the seventh and Dao reached on a bunt single. After a fielder’s choice by Wunderlich, McClanahan lined a shot to left for a sac fly and a 12-6 advantage, and after Dominguez was intentionally walked for a second time, Ijames was hit by a pitch and Arnold drew a bases-loaded walk that inked the final margin.

The Cardinal bullpen logged another stellar performance.

After starter Gabriel Shaw was touched for six runs on five hits and three innings, striking out four, the pen gave up two singles in six scoreless innings.

Gavin Logsdon, who improved to 1-3 with the win, allowed a hit and fanned a pair in two scoreless innings.

Zack Pitts needed just five pitches to get through a 1-2-3 sixth, striking out one.

Freshman Thomas Royse continued the string, setting the side down in order in the seventh and eighth before a one-out single in the ninth snapped a stretch of 15 straight outs. Royse picked up his first career save with three innings of one hit baseball.

Cardinal pitchers have now tossed 37 consecutive innings without giving up a walk.

Joey O’Gara (0-2), one of six IU relievers took the loss, giving up three runs on three hits, striking out two.

Clark had his second four-hit game of the season, Dao added three and Arnold and Haynes each had two of the Cardinals’ 16 hits.

The Cardinals also stole a season-best seven bases in seven tries.

Louisville has won 16 of their last 19 games.

Northeastern 6 UMass 4

Frank Pesanello set a new single-season home run mark at Northeastern with his 16th home run of the season and the Huskies defeated the University of Massachusetts 6-4 at Earl Lorden Field in Amherst, Mass. on Tuesday afternoon. Pesanello’s homer was a three-run blast that broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the eighth inning and was the eventual game-winner.

While Pesanello was the big story for NU, Mike Tamsin continued his recent hot streak, going 4-5 with an RBI and two runs scored, while tri-captain Josh Porter had a big game as well, finishing 2-4 with a homer and two RBI.

Les Williams started the game for the Huskies, but he pitched just the first two innings. Trevor Smith was first out of the bullpen for NU and was extremely efficient in four scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one hit over that span. Dan Zehr allowed one run in two innings of relief, but he picked up the win after Pesanello’s homer gave the Huskies the lead for good. Bobby Carrington then tossed the ninth inning and picked up his second save of the season.

Tim Daley (1997) and Derek Gauthier (1994) held the previous NU season home run mark of 15. Pesanello has eight regular season games left to improve on his record 16 long balls.

Northeastern improved to 20-22-1 on the season with the win, while Massachusetts fell to 16-22 overall. The Huskies are back in action on Thursday night at 7 p.m. when they open a crucial three-game series at William & Mary. The Huskies enter the series just a half-game behind Towson for the sixth and final qualifying spot in the CAA Championship.