Wednesday, March 24, 2010 | Baseball
No. 7 Louisville Rallies Past Evansville, 8-7, In Ninth Inning

No. 7 LOUISVILLE 8, EVANSVILLE 7

EVANSVILLE, Ind. -
In a back-and-forth contest on Tuesday afternoon at UE's Charles H. Braun Stadium, nationally-ranked Louisville had the last laugh, as the seventh-ranked Cardinals rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth inning to post an 8-7 come-from-behind victory over the host University of Evansville Purple Aces in Evansville.

Defensive replacement Zak Wasserman followed a lead-off single by third baseman Phil Wunderlich in the ninth inning with an RBI double to the wall in right-center field to tie the game at 7-7 off of UE closer Tom Heithoff (2-3).  After Wasserman moved to third on a throw home on the play, center fielder Drew Haynes used a safety squeeze bunt on the first pitch he saw to score Wasserman from third with the eventual winning run and give the Cardinals an 8-7 lead.

Evansville would put the lead-off man aboard in the bottom of the ninth inning against Louisville closer Neil Holland (3-0), but Holland would retire the next three men in order to preserve the victory for the Cardinals.

Louisville, which had defeated UE by a score of 13-6 on March 3 in Louisville, jumped on the board first with an unearned run in the first inning.  Evansville would answer back though with three runs in the second inning to grab a 3-1 lead thanks to an RBI single by senior outfielder Alex Acheson and a two-run triple off of the bat of junior outfielder Greg Wallace.

Louisville would answer back with three runs of its own in the third inning on back-to-back home runs by Wunderlich and sophomore outfielder Stewart Ijames to grab a 4-3 lead. 

The teams would trade runs in the fourth inning to move the score to 5-4.  Louisville would add another run in the sixth inning to push the lead to 6-4, before the Aces would answer back.

Sophomore infielder Trentt Copeland delivered a two-run single in the seventh inning to tie the game at 6-6, and UE would take advantage of a pair of Louisville errors to grab a 7-6 lead in the eighth inning.  But, that's where UE's luck would run out, as Wunderlich, Wasserman, and Haynes came through with hits in the ninth inning to help the Cardinals improve to 18-2 on the season.

Copeland and Wallace led Evansville offensively with three hits and two RBI each.  Acheson also added three hits, and freshman shortstop Eric Stamets also went 2-for-4 with a run scored, a stolen base, and an RBI.  Ijames and outfielder Kyle Grieshaber both had three-hit efforts for the seventh-ranked Cardinals, who were the highest-ranked team to play at Charles H. Braun Stadium in Evansville since it opened in 2002.

With the loss, Evansville falls to 10-12 on the season.  The Purple Aces will now hit the road this weekend to open up Missouri Valley Conference play with a three-game series at defending regular-season champion Missouri State.  The series will begin Friday night at 6:30 p.m. and continue on both Saturday (2:00 p.m.) and Sunday (1:00 p.m.) afternoon.

Other Scores from Around the Valley:
Indiana State 6, Austin Peay 5
Missouri State 14, Central Arkansas 5
Southern Illinois 20, Tennessee-Martin 3
Kansas 5, Creighton 4
Oral Roberts 7, No. 30 Wichita State 1