The 10th-ranked Louisville baseball team completed its ninth series sweep of the season while clinching head coach Dan McDonnell’s 300th career win with Sunday’s 3-1 victory over Connecticut at J.O. Christian Field.
With their 12th straight win overall, which ranks just one shy of the school record, the Cardinals improved to 42-10 on the season and 17-4 in BIG EAST Conference games, while the host Huskies dropped to 28-24 and 9-15. Having equaled the 12-game winning streak first achieved during the 2006 season, the 2013 Cardinals will look to match the 13 consecutive wins set by the 2010 team when they visit Ohio State on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
McDonnell, in his seventh season leading the Louisville baseball program, has guided the Cardinals to six 40-win seasons while putting this year’s team in position to earn the program’s sixth NCAA Regional berth in that span. McDonnell becomes the third coach in Louisville history to reach the 300-win plateau joining Lelo Prado and Dr. John Heldman Jr., and he is the fastest of the trio to reach that mark.
In Sunday’s finale, junior righty Dace Kime (Defiance, Ohio/Defiance HS) gave the Cardinals their third straight dominant start of the weekend striking out nine while allowing just one run on four hits in 6.2 innings to win his third straight start. Overall, Kime improved to 5-1 on the season and lowered his ERA to 3.06.
Junior lefty Cody Ege (Cherokee, Iowa/Washington HS) delivered yet another scoreless relief outing striking out four in 1.2 innings of no-hit work before sophomore righty Nick Burdi (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South HS) recorded the final two outs for his team-leading 11th save of the season.
Sunday’s performance capped a truly dominant week for the Louisville pitching staff, which allowed just four runs on 21 hits in five games and 45.0 innings for an ERA of only 0.80. The Cardinals, whose scoreless streak was ended at 29.2 straight innings on Sunday, finished with 47 strikeouts and just seven walks while going 5-0. For the season, Louisville lowered its team ERA to 2.40 and the Cardinals have 508 strikeouts in 471.2 innings pitched.
For the third straight game in the series and the 12th straight overall, Louisville struck first on Sunday plating a run in the fourth with a two-out rally against UConn starter Jordan Tabakman. Following a double to center by junior third baseman Ty Young (Coatesville, Pa./Malvern Prep), junior outfielder Coco Johnson (Benton Harbor, Mich./Central Arizona) delivered a RBI single through the right side for the 1-0 advantage.