Feb. 26, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Aaron Cieslak hit the first home run of the season for the Oakland baseball team (0-4) in a 6-3 loss to No. 24 Louisville (6-1) on Sunday at Patterson Field. For the third straight game the Golden Grizzlies rallied to pull within three runs of the Cardinal.
"Although we are disappointed with the outcome I think we established ourselves as a quality team that can compete with top 25 opponents," said Oakland coach John Musachio. "I think that our defense was good again today and that both pitching and defense will be the key to our program taking the next step this season."
After falling behind early, the Golden Grizzlies pitching staff held the Cardinal scoreless over the final six innings. Reliever Russell Luxton surrendered just one hit as he worked a scoreless 3.1 innings. Starter Hayden Fox (0-1) finished the game with five strikeouts and allowed just two hits and no runs to score after the second inning.
"Hayden got off to a slow start on the mound, but settled in and pitched well," continued Musachio. "Russell Luxton came in and was very strong for us out of the bullpen."
Mike Carson was 2-for-4 and scored Oakland's first run in the fourth inning. In the fifth inning, Carson singled to plate Tim Ryan who had doubled earlier in the inning and finished the game 2-for-4. Cieslak's home run in the eighth inning made it 6-3, but it was as close as OU would come.
The Cardinal scored six runs on eight hits in the first two innings to give starter Travis Tingle (1-0) an early lead. Stewart Ijames and Mason Snyder went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs each. Four different Louisville players had two hits as UL outhit Oakland 11-8. Joe Filomeno (1) pitched the final inning to earn the save, his first of the season.
Oakland had 26 hits over the course of the three-game series with the Louisville and averaged over four runs per game.
"Offensively, our guys did a good job this weekend against one of the top pitching staffs in the nation," concluded Muschio.
The Golden Grizzlies will open up a four-game series with Cincinnati at Marge Schott Stadium on Friday at 4 p.m.