Ruxer, Filomeno impress as Cards go 2-1

The No. 9 Louisville baseball team was 2-1 this weekend beating the Toledo Rockets twice and dropping a game to the University of Indiana. A hindrance in weather conditions even forced a triple-header for the Cardinals, Rockets and Hoosiers Saturday. IU faced off against Toledo in the first game played at 10 a.m. and the Cards played IU and Toledo in succession afterwards at 1:30 and 5 p.m.
Jr. LHP Joe Filomeno started on the mound for the Cardinals in Friday's game against Toledo. Coming into the game Filomeno had been struggling to put together an affective outing throughout the season. Friday's game changed that for Filomeno who saw his first win this season and tied a career high with five strikeouts.
Filomeno said, "I spoke with my dad and Coach Williams and other people who know me as a pitcher and they said I just need to get out there and throw my stuff and not think so much and that's kind of how I got through the day."
Jeff Gardner continued hitting well smashing his second homerun of the season (16th career) and had an RBI in every game up to that point except for one.
It was a tough afternoon for Cardinal athletics as the men's basketball team and the baseball team both suffered tough losses.
The first game of the day was against the University of Indiana, a team the Cardinals failed to defeat last season as well. The impressive lefty from California, Joey DeNato, continued his winning ways against the Cardinals. DeNato struck out four Cardinals and did not allow a single earned run across.
IU's Perfect Game Catcher of the Year, Kyle Schwarber, hit well going 2-2 with two runs and two RBI's.
Game three of the weekend featured an 8-2 win for the Cardinals who saw a game with 10 hits and 11 strikeouts.
Jared Ruxer tallied a career high 11 strikeouts on the day in six innings pitched with zero walks. Jeff Gardner, Danny Rosenbaum, and Alex Chittenden all had two hits on the day and contributed to the win.
Scouts sitting out in the front row finally seemed to get what they came for in the top of the 9th-inning as All-American RHP Nick Burdi entered the game and soon after ended it for the Cardinals.
After the Toledo game Saturday afternoon, I was able to speak with Jeff Gardner about the games, and his performances specifically. We also spoke about some more personal information about him. This is what he had to say.
Q. You all got down early against IU today, how does the team keep composure and try to come back from that?
A. One thing we do is just try to fight our way out of it after recognizing that we are in the situation. We don't look for the big play, we look for the little things that we call "crumbs" to try and fight our way back in it. That generally will help you get out of that situation.
Q. The team has eight homeruns on the season so far, in terms of strength work during the off-season what kind of work did you do?
A. We lift a whole lot. A lot of teams like to do mainly running, and we do a good amount of running too. But we have a lot of guys who are "meatheads" on the team who just like to lift and get as big as possible so that definitely helps.
Q. Speaking of homeruns, in the bottom of the second inning it looked like you and Coach Lemonis both thought maybe Rosenbaum had hit a homerun, take me through what happened there.
A. I did, I thought it was gone, and then when I went back out to left field I asked a couple of people who had been standing there and they said that it looked like the ball had gone off the fence. I don't know it looked like a homer to me, but the bottom line is I think we ended up getting a run out of it so it worked out.
Q. Coming into today your slugging percentage was at .806%, what do you do to keep those numbers up?
A. To be honest man, I just try and show up every day and prepare the same way and see what happens. I don't try to go out of my way to have a lot of power numbers, just see the ball well and put my best swing on it.
Q. I have to ask; on the big board it said your favorite food was sushi. Do you have a favorite sushi restaurant around town?
A. Sapporo. Sapporo on Bardstown Road.
Q. Do you get the ginger salad?
A. Love the ginger salad, and the surf-and-turf roll. That's my go to roll.
Q. Last question, is there a story behind the "Bad Boys" walkout song?
A. A little bit. My major is in Justice Administration and a lot of the guys used to give me trouble about wanting to be a police officer, so…
Q. Are you a big Cops fan, the show?
A. BIG Cops fan! My father was a police officer for 26 years. My grandfather was a cop, and my brother-in-law is a cop so it's in my family and that's what I want to do so I thought why not go with the walkout song.
Next the Cardinals will play a three game weekend series against Miami (OH), March 7th, 8th and 9th. The Friday game will be a 3:00 start, Saturday a Noon start, and Sunday a 1:00 start.