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May 18, 2013Louisville baseball beat Pitt 12-4 Friday night to clinch a share of the Big East title for the fourth time in the last five seasons. After the game, CardinalSports.com caught up with Louisville coach Dan McDonnell.
After Pitt's Stephen Vranka opened the game with a solo homer, the Cardinals' junior ace Jeff Thompson struck out six of the next eight batters. After Thompson mowed through Pittsburgh's lineup in the top of the third, Louisville put up six runs to break the game open.
Nick Ratajczak brought in Kyle Gibson to start the scoring. Then, after Pitt walked ty Young to load the bases with one out, CoCo Johnson made them pay with a single up the middle that scored Adam Engel and Zak Wasserman. Jeff Gardner hit a three-run homer to cap the scoring in the third.
Louisville added two more runs in the fourth, both teams scored a pair of runs in the fifth and Louisville added two more insurance runs in the seventh. Pitt could only muster a final run in the eighth as Louisville secured at least a share of the Big East title.
Thompson (10-1) finished seven innings giving up three earned runs on three hits with seven strikeouts and three walks. Pitt's Matt Wotherspoon (9-2) took the loss, surrendering 10 earned runs on eight hits, three walks with two strikeouts.
Gardner finished the game 2-4 with two home runs and four RBIs. Engel was 2-3 with two RBIs and Ratajczak was 2-4 with three RBIs.
Louisville and Pitt play Saturday at noon in the final game of the regular season. If Louisville wins, the Cardinals win the Big East regular-season title outright. If they lose, Pitt ties the Cardinals for the title.