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Baseball takes series against Western Michigan

By on February 24, 2014
Photo by Austin Lassell

By Annie Moore

Louisville’s baseball team continued its home stand, winning its three game series against

Western Michigan University. The Cardinals won on Friday and Saturday, 21-8,and 8-

0 and dropped the third and final game 4-2.The series proved the Cardinals’ explosive

offensive potential, shed light on many members of the pitching staff and provided some

younger team members game experience.

“I’m pleased with some of these young guys we’re giving opportunities to,” Louisville

Head Coach Dan McDonnell said. “We’ll continue to give some guys opportunities.”

The weekend started on a beautiful Friday afternoon in a high-scoring game one. The

team set a season-high for runs and hits in the game, with 21 and 22 respectively.

Senior outfield Cole Sturgeon was one of many leaders on offense, Sturgeon led the team

going 3-for-6 with a home run, two doubles and a career-best six RBI.

Friday also marked the return of junior infielder Sutton Whiting. Whiting — who

suffered a fractured nose after being hit in the face in the season opener against West

Virginia — came off the bench and went 2-for-4 with a double and scored two runs.

The visiting Broncos looked to be a challenge to the Cardinals after fighting back to a

one-run deficit at 8-7 in the top of the fifth, but Louisville pulled away scoring thirteen runs

in the following four frames to WMU’s one, to put Louisville on top 21-8.

Saturday was another dominating performance by the Cardinals, this time the defense

stepped up to shut out the Broncos.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Kyle Funkhouser had his longest outing of the season,

throwing seven shutout innings with just two hits and 10 strikeouts. Funkhouser got his

first win of the season and his sixth-career win.

Six Cardinals scored on Saturday, including Whiting and designated hitter Nick Solak,

who each scored two runs.

Not only did Western Michigan plate zero runs on Saturday, they failed to have a runner

reach third base the whole day.

On Sunday the nice weather and high-powered Cardinal offense were nowhere to be

found. Western Michigan struck early, putting up a quick run in the first and plating three

more in the top of the third.

The Cardinals didn’t get on the board until the fourth, when senior Alex Chittenden hit a

single to shallow right-field, which allowed sophomore first baseman Danny Rosenbaum to

advance on the throw from right to score the first Louisville run of the day.

The day went from cold to punishing; the snow began to fall in blizzard-like fashion,

making the Cardinal comeback even tougher.

“We knew it was going to be a tough day to score,” McDonnell said. “You have to control

the game defensively, on the mound. We had some opportunities, but we couldn’t control

this game.”

Jump ahead to the bottom of the fifth and bases were loaded following back-to-back

singles from Whiting and Sturgeon, and Kay reached base off an error by the Broncos

catcher, Brett Sunde. Senior left-fielder Jeff Gardner was walked, which plated Whiting to

make it just a 4-2 game. But the Cardinals failed to capitalize and Western Michigan escaped

the bases-loaded jam with just one run in the books.

But unlike the snow, the Cardinals offense didn’t pick up. The score would stay the same

for the following four frames and Louisville would miss out on the sweep.

The Cards look to get back to winning Tuesday at Jim Patterson Stadium. First pitch is set

for 3 p.m.

About Annie Moore

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