LOUISVILLE, Ky. Ohio State was defeated by Louisville Tuesday, 21-5, at Jim Patterson Field. The Cardinals, a College World Series team two years ago and looking like an NCAA team again with a 33-13 record, hit six home runs and five doubles as part of a 19-hit night. Ohio State drops to 34-12 with the loss. 

A two-out walk in the first inning followed by a 3-0 pitch to All-American third baseman Chris Dominquez led to an early 2-0 Louisville lead. Dominguez stroked that 3-0 pitch into center field for his 15th home run of the season. One batter later, Phil Wunderlich hit his 13th home run of the season to right field for a 3-0 Cardinal lead.

Wunderlich hit a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double in the third inning to break the game open. A five-run inning for the Cardinals resulted and was followed by another five-run inning in the fourth. Louisville now has 16 five-or-more run innings this season and those two put this game out of reach at 13-0.

An interesting side story: Wunderlich, a terrific player, is lucky to be playing. Four weeks ago he was struck by a pitch at the bridge of his nose that broke it in 13 places. As ugly as the situation was, he didn’t miss a game. He wore a mask and moved to designated hitter for two weeks. He then had surgery and went back to outfield and he has been hitting over .400 in the 17 games since, with hits in 15 of those 17 games.

Louisville scored four more runs in the fifth, one in the seventh and three in the eighth. Its Nos. 3-4-5-6-and-7 hitters accounted for 18 runs, 16 hits Adam Duvall and Dominguez had two home runs apiece and 19 RBI. Ohio State scored five runs in the ninth off six singles and a hit batter. T.J. McManus, D.J. Hanlin, David Corna, Cory Kovanda and Cory Rupert had RBIs in the inning.

The two teams will take the field once again Wednesday at 12 noon. It will be a noisy crowd: Cardinal officials are expecting 2,000 elementary school kids at the game as part of their elementary school day at Patterson Stadium.
Game Notes and Random Thoughts from the Press Box:

  • This is the beginning of “turf week” for the Buckeyes. The team will play two games on FieldTurf the material the Buckeyes play on at Ohio Stadium here at Patterson Stadium and then the team will play three more on the same turf at Illinois this weekend.
  • Jim Patterson Stadium is darling. The 2,500-seat venue, which opened in 2005, has two concessions stands, nice grassy areas along both first- and third-base lines (albeit, Bill Davis Stadium has bleacher seats in those locations), a grassy knoll in centerfield with a kids’ playground on top, and a “sun tan city” party deck in left field with terraced, wide steps for seating with a see-through fence. All very sweet features.
  • Entering the stadium, one is greeted by a small fountain water park with a centerpiece of three 30-foot tall Louisville Slugger bats. Real cool.  
  • A Tiger Woods drive from home plate into right/right center field would hit Papa John Cardinal Stadium, the 42,000-chair back seat home of the football Cardinals. The drive would clear a working railroad and a non-working strip of track that is home to about 15 red cabooses real ones that are used by donors and for tailgating purposes before football games.
  • The batter’s eye is a solid black piece of mesh with a gray “shadow” of the Cardinals’ menacing-looking official athletic logo.
  • And an organ!! There is a real organ and a real organ player Al Greener in the press box playing organ songs real organ songs throughout the game. The park sounds like baseball. Think Peanuts and Charlie Brown type music. Fun.
  • And finally…nothing. That’s what Louisville charges for admission into its home baseball games. They are free. An effort to build support for the program. Looks like it’s working: there were over 2,000 in attendance.