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Tenth ranked Cardinals’ baseball sweeps Samford
By Annie Moore
Cardinals’ baseball swept Samford University this past weekend, 20-10, 18-2 and 4-2. The 42-run sweep marked the highest-scoring three-game series for the Cardinals since a 1991 series victory against rival Cincinnati.
The sweep started on Friday with sophomore right-handed pitcher Kyle Funkhouser on the mound for the Cardinals. Funkhouser got the win after recording eight strikeouts, and allowing four earned runs on nine hits in six innings, moving him to 3-1 on the season.
Junior infielder Zach Lucas had a big offensive day for the Cards, who put up the first 11 runs of the game. Lucas had two home runs and five runs batted in, and scored four runs himself to lead Louisville. Grant Kay also had a big day, with two runs and five RBI’s, a career-best for the junior. Senior outfielder Jeff Gardner added two runs and two RBI’s, going 3-for-5.
As has been a theme for the start of this baseball season for Louisville, the weather caused the schedule to be rearranged. Sunday’s game was moved to Saturday, making Saturday a doubleheader.
In Saturday’s first game, Jared Ruxer was on the mound for Louisville. He threw seven innings, allowing four hits and one single run. Ruxer also had six K’s.
The Cardinals came out swinging on Saturday, putting up seven runs in the first inning —the highest scoring inning of the season for Louisville.
Leading the dominating Cardinal offense in this game was again, Zach Lucas. Lucas went 3-for-4 with two RBI’s and scored three runs. Also adding to the tally was Sutton Whiting. Whiting went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and a stolen base.
The final game of the series on Saturday saw much less scoring by both teams. The win marked the seventh-straight win for Louisville, its longest streak since closing the 2013 season with 16-consecutive wins.
This was the first time in the series Samford struck first. Catcher Drew McWhorter scored on an RBI grounder in the second to get the 1-0 lead. Louisville answered with three runs in the following two innings to regain the lead, which it would keep for the remaining frames.
“It was a good spring break for us,” Louisville Head Coach Dan McDonnell said. “It was a pretty complete week for the Louisville baseball program.”
Louisville takes to the road for its first road game since Feb. 16, when it travels to Bloomington, Indiana to take on the Hoosiers on Wednesday.