— Louisville Athletics (@GoCards) April 29, 2015
— Louisville Baseball (@UofLBaseball) April 29, 2015
Blake Tiberi’s 10th inning RBI single scored Mike White and lifted the No. 3 Louisville baseball team to a 2-1 walk-off victory over Kentucky on Tuesday night at Jim Patterson Stadium.
In front of a standing room only crowd of 5,056, the largest for a regular season game at Patterson Stadium since its opening in 2005, the pinch hitting Tiberi (Taylor Mill, Ky.) laced a 2-2 offering into center field to score White (East Orange, N.J.) and set off a wild celebration that carried into the outfield. It marked the fifth walk-off win of the season for the Cardinals (35-10), who moved to 23-4 at home in 2015.
The walk-off victory capped a dramatic final two innings for Louisville, which won for the 24th time in its last 28 games despite matching a season-low with just four hits. Facing a 1-0 deficit entering the bottom of the ninth, the Cardinals pushed the game into extra innings on a RBI single by Nick Solak (Woodridge, Ill.) to score pinch runner Logan Taylor (Lexington, Ky.).
Junior Danny Rosenbaum (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) started the ninth with a leadoff walk from Kentucky reliever Dylan Dwyer and was replaced by Taylor, who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Sutton Whiting (New Wilmington, Pa.). Taylor then stole third without a throw before scoring when Wildcats reliever Spencer Jack allowed the single to Solak, who extended his career-best hitting streak to 20 games.
The decisive 10th inning started when reliever Zach Logue allowed a one-out infield single to White, who advanced to second on a throwing error by Kentucky (25-18) shortstop Connor Heady. That set the stage for Tiberi, who drove in his 16th RBI of the season in plating White, who has scored the game-winning run in two of Louisville’s walk-off wins this season and had an RBI in another.
While the Cardinals struggled at the plate, they stayed in the game behind another stellar effort on the mound, which began with a strong start from freshman righty Sean Leland (Orland, Park, Ill.). Working a career-best seven innings, Leland allowed just one run while scattering six hits in his third career collegiate start.
A trio of relievers followed as sophomore lefty Robert Strader (Louisville, Ky.) and freshman righty Lincoln Henzman (Lexington, Ky.) provided scoreless relief appearances in the eighth and ninth inning respectively before turning it over to sophomore righty Zack Burdi (Downers Grove, Ill.). After the Cardinals had extended the game with the run in the ninth, Burdi needed just six pitches to retire the three batters he faced and maintain that momentum. The hard-throwing closer was credited with the win and improved to 3-0 on the season.
The Wildcats struck for their only run of the night when Evan White drove in Connor Heady with a RBI single to left in the third inning. Heady opened the frame with a single down the right field line and advanced to third on a single to right by Kyle Barrett before plating the run. Kentucky threatened for more with two runners on base and no outs, but Leland battled back to get three straight flyouts to center field to end the inning.
Logue was charged with the loss for the Wildcats and dropped to 2-2 on the season after allowing one unearned run on one hit in one inning of relief.
Up next, No. 3 Louisville travels to Clemson for an ACC weekend series. The Cardinals and Tigers are scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m., ET (RSN/ESPN3), Sunday at 6:30 p.m., (ESPN3) and Monday at 7 p.m., (ESPNU) and all three games will be aired on 93.9 The Ville.
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