Lefthander Josh Rogers anchored No. 8 Louisville’s second shutout of the weekend as the Cardinals completed a series sweep of No. 22 Notre Dame with Sunday afternoon’s 3-0 victory at Frank Eck Stadium.
Rogers, a sophomore from New Albany, Ind., worked a season-long 7.1 innings finishing with six strikeouts and scattering six hits to win his second straight start and move to 3-1 on the season. After freshman righty Lincoln Henzman (Lexington, Ky.) struck out the only batter he faced with two on and one out in the eighth inning, sophomore lefty Drew Harrington (Elizabethtown, Ky.) recorded the final four outs of the game, including two by strikeout, to record his second save of the weekend and the fourth this season.
“I couldn’t find it at the start but I was able to settle in pretty quickly after the first inning. I knew if I pounded the strike zone, I had a chance to be successful and our defense was very good again today,” Rogers said after the game. “This was a good weekend for our team and for our pitching staff.”
At the plate, sophomore outfielder Corey Ray (Chicago, Ill.) was 2-for-4 with one RBI, while senior infielder Sutton Whiting (New Wilmington, Pa.) finished 2-of-5 with a double and a run scored as the Cardinals (18-6, 8-1 ACC) remained atop the ACC Atlantic Division while winning their seventh straight game overall. Freshman Ryan Summers (Westfield, Mass.) chipped in with two hits and a run scored, and freshmen Devin Hairston (Lexington, Ky.) and Blake Tiberi (Taylor Mill, Ky.) each drove in runs.
“The pitching was strong again today. Josh Rogers was very good on the mound and Lincoln and Drew kept them from taking advantage of runners on first and second in the eighth,” said Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell. “Offensively, we had 10 hits but only scored three runs because Notre Dame doesn’t walk anyone and they make all of the routine plays. They are very efficient with their starting pitching and they play solid defense. We’ve also been very good in those areas the last couple of weeks.”
The Cardinals struck for their first run of the game on Sunday when Whiting led off the game with a double to left field, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a RBI groundout by Ray. It was the fifth double of the season for Whiting and the 18th RBI for Ray.
Louisville added its final two runs of the day in the fourth with a pair of runs against Notre Dame (15-7, 3-6 ACC) starter Nick McCarty. Freshman first baseman Brendan McKay (Darlington, Pa.) opened the inning with a single to left, moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a flyout to right before scoring on a RBI groundout by Tiberi. Later in the frame, Summers reached base with a two-out single, took second on another wild pitch and then scored on a RBI single up the middle by Hairston for the 3-0 advantage.
That was more than enough for the Louisville pitching staff, which allowed just four runs on 17 hits with 41 strikeouts in 36 innings during the three-game sweep of the Fighting Irish. The Cardinals benefitted from all three starters pitching at least seven innings while the bullpen allowed just one run on four hits and had 15 strikeouts in its 14.2 innings against Notre Dame.
Up next, No. 8 Louisville remains on the road for a midweek matchup against No. 21 Indiana on Tuesday at 6:05 p.m., ET in Bloomington, Ind., and the game will be aired live on 93.9 The Ville.
Louisville Postgame Notes
- The Cardinals improved to 19-8 all-time against Notre Dame and have won eight straight in South Bend.
- Louisville has won 114 straight games when leading entering the ninth inning dating back to May 2012.
- The Cardinals have won 13 of their last 15 overall.
- Sunday marked Louisville’s fourth shutout of the season.
- At 8-1 in the ACC, it is the best start to conference play for the Cardinals under the guidance of head coach Dan McDonnell.
- In nine ACC games, the Louisville pitching staff has a 2.47 ERA with 88 strikeouts in 91.0 innings.
- For the season, the Louisville bullpen is 11-0 with a 1.84 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 97.2 innings.
- Louisville improved to 6-0 this season when scoring in the first inning and 10-0 when scoring first.
- In his last four starts, Josh Rogers is 3-0 with a 1.07 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 25.1 innings pitched.
- Sutton Whiting leads the Cardinals with a .413 average through 24 games and is hitting .500 in ACC games.
- Devin Hairston has a team-high 20 RBI, while Corey Ray and Blake Tiberi each have three home runs for the Cardinals.
- In four games this week, Ray hit .421 with a home run and three RBI, while Whiting also hit .421 with three extra-base hits and three runs scored.
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