The third-ranked Louisville baseball team never found its stride offensively suffering a 2-0 road loss to Ohio State on Tuesday night at Bill Davis Stadium.
It marked only the second shutout loss of the season for the Cardinals (27-9), who have been limited to just one run or less in three of their last four games. Despite the lack of offense, the Louisville bullpen continued its stellar production with 5.2 innings of shutout work against the Buckeyes (24-9), who ended a nine-game losing skid to the Cardinals with the win.
“You have to credit Ohio State for the way they pitched and for making several great defensive plays tonight. But with that, we weren’t good enough in any phase of the offense, especially at the plate, where we got beat on too many fastballs,” said Cardinals head coach Dan McDonnell. “Our bullpen did another superb job to keep us in the game and they gave us a chance to win.”
The Buckeyes struck for the only two runs of the night in the third inning with one earned and one unearned run against Louisville junior righty Anthony Kidston (Defiance, Ohio). The inning started with a trio of singles from Tre’ Gantt, L Grant Davis and Troy Montgomery, with the last of those driving in a run.
The second run of the night scored moments later following a throwing error by Kidston allowed Davis to score from second for the 2-0 lead. The Buckeyes threatened for more in the inning loading the bases with no outs, but Kidston got a flyout before giving way to freshman righty Lincoln Henzman (Lexington, Ky.), who got a pop-up and a strikeout to keep the deficit at two.
The first of five Louisville relievers on Tuesday, Henzman had four strikeouts while scattering four hits in 2.1 innings of shutout work. Sophomore lefty Drew Harrington (Elizabethtown, Ky.) chipped in with 1.2 innings of shutout relief, while sophomore righty Jake Sparger (Eau Claire, Wis.) and sophomore lefty Robert Strader (Louisville, Ky.) recorded two outs each before sophomore rightyZack Burdi (Downers Grove, Ill.) retired the final OSU hitter of the night.
Kidston was charged with the loss and dropped to 0-4 on the season after allowing just one earned run on five hits in 2.1 innings. At the plate, freshman Brendan McKay (Darlington, Pa.) was 3-for-4, while freshman Ryan Summers (Westfield, Mass.) added two hits as the Cardinals were out-hit 12-7 by the Buckeyes.
Adam Niemeyer earned his first collegiate win for the Buckeyes after allowing just two hits with three strikeouts in five shutout innings in the starting role. Trace Dempsey added two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth to earn his five save of the season.
Up next, No. 3 Louisville resumes ACC action with a three-game home series against Wake Forest starting Friday at 5 p.m., ET at Jim Patterson Stadium. The Cardinals and Demon Deacons will also play Saturday at 1 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m., and admission is free throughout the weekend.