A rugged stretch of four consecutive games in as many days started in bitter disappointment for the Louisville baseball team but ended in utter satisfaction.
On Saturday at Jim Patterson Stadium, the 10th-ranked Cardinals completed a three-game series sweep of No. 15 Notre Dame with a 10-5 victory that featured a few stellar defensive plays, clutch two-out hitting in a seventh-inning outburst and timely relief pitching to back a solid outing by freshman righty Anthony Kidston.
With Louisville's first sweep in BIG EAST play since the conference-opening series last season against Cincinnati, the Cardinals improved to 22-5 overall and 4-2 in league action while the Fighting Irish dropped to 15-9 and 2-4. The game was tense until Louisville broke loose with six runs in the seventh inning, all with two outs. That siege tempered the grand slam hit by Notre Dame pinch hitter Phil Mosey in the eighth and sent the Cardinals to their fourth three-game sweep of an opponent this season, this time a resilient effort after a Wednesday loss at No. 19 Indiana.
Louisville racked up 11 hits, with four different Cardinals tallying two apiece. Junior centerfielder Adam Engel (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland HS) went 2-for-4 with four stolen bases and two runs scored, junior third baseman Ty Young (Coatesville, Pa./Malvern Prep) was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two walks, and junior designated hitter Jeff Gardner (Louisville, Ky./Whitefield Academy HS) added two hits and two RBI.In the second collegiate start of his career and first in conference play, Kidston (Defiance, Ohio/Defiance) improved to 4-0 after matching a career high with 5.1 innings pitched and allowing one earned run on two hits and six walks with six strikeouts.
Louisville never trailed in the three-game series against Notre Dame.
The Cardinals host Kentucky on Tuesday at 6 p.m. before playing a three-game series next weekend at Cincinnati.