Saturday, March 5, 2011

Louisville spoils Chafin’s outstanding pitching performance

No. 23-ranked Louisville overcame a two-run ninth-inning deficit to force extra innings, ruining Western Reserve graduate Andrew Chafin’s outstanding pitching performance, in a 3-2 come-from-behind win for the Cardinals last night.

Chafin, a redshirt sophomore, hurled a career-high seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball for the Golden Flashes (5-3) and had a no-hitter going through five innings. Chafin struck out a career-high 10 batters and became the first Kent State pitcher to strike out 10 or more since Robert Sabo recorded 11 in a 9-2 victory over Miami on May 27, 2010, at the Mid-American Conference Tournament.

"It’s great to see Andrew back at 100 percent," said head coach Scott Stricklin. "His slider was really working today, and threw a lot of strikes. He was very aggressive in the strike zone. It was good to see him have that kind of outing. We’re going to win a lot of games with him out on the mound, no question."

The contest was a classic pitcher’s duel between Chafin and Louisville sophomore right-handed starting pitcher Matt Koch, who went eight innings for the Cardinals and gave up one earned run on five hits and struck out two. Chafin sat down seven batters in a row between the third and fifth innings.

Chafin’s no-hit bid was broken up by a two-out single up the middle by Louisville junior infielder Ryan Wright in the bottom of the sixth, but Kent State junior third baseman Travis Shaw struck back with a leadoff home run to left center in the ensuing frame.

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