A five-run first inning by No. 18 Louisville led the Cardinals to a 7-6 victory over the WVU baseball team on Saturday evening in game two of the series at Hawley Field.
The Mountaineers won game one of doubleheader in walk-off fashion earlier in the evening, setting up a rubber match on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Despite the loss, the Mountaineers outhit the Cardinals 10-6. Louisville committed two errors with WVU making one. WVU falls to 18-28 overall and 6-14 in the BIG EAST, and Louisville improved to 32-15 overall and 13-7 in conference play.
The Cardinals jumped out to a quick start with Cole Sturgeon drawing a leadoff walk. Stewart Ijames drove in Sturgeon for the first run of the game to give Louisville the early 1-0 lead with a one-out bases loaded walk. Ryan Seiz came to the plate in the next at bat and drove the ball over the left center field wall for a grand slam, extending the lead to 5-0.
The Mountaineers fought back by scoring a run in the bottom half of the inning as junior right fielder Brady Wilson scored on a Louisville error, and then a run in the second inning after a double by junior catcher Alan Filauro that plated freshman second baseman Billy Fleming.
After a run by Louisville in the third inning to bring the score to 6-2, freshman center fielder Bobby Boyd scored on a passed ball and sophomore first baseman Ryan McBroom scored on a Fleming single in the bottom half of the inning to cut the Cardinal lead to 6-4.
Louisville's Alex Chittenden scored a run on a wild pitch in the top of the seventh that proved to be costly in the bottom of the seventh as WVU scored two, bringing the game within one run at 7-6. Fleming knocked in another run with a single and junior shortstop John Polonius scored on a fielder's choice by junior left fielder Chris Rasky.
Sturgeon, who doubles as a reliever for the Cardinals, entered the game in the seventh inning and earned his first save of the season, pitching 2.2 innings and allowing just one hit with two strikeouts. Starter Jeff Thompson earned his ninth win of the season, giving up four runs on seven hits in five innings. Thompson struck out four and walked three.
WVU sophomore left-hander Marshall Thompson calmed down after a five-run first inning and lasted seven innings. Louisville knocked in seven runs on six hits against Thompson, who struck out six and walked five. Freshman left-handed reliever Caleb Ross pitched the final two innings and struck out four with two walks and no hits allowed.
Fleming led all players with four hits, scoring one run and driving in two. Boyd, Filauro and sophomore designated hitter Matt Frazer each recorded two hits for the Mountaineers. The first six batters in the WVU lineup scored one run apiece.
Zach Lucas scored two runs with two hits for Louisville, while Seiz and Ijames drove in four runs and two runs, respectively.
Sunday's finale will be video and audio streamed through MSNsportsNET.com, while local fans can listen on WAJR 1440-AM.