By Conner Farrell–
In baseball’s opening game of the NCAA tournament, Louisville’s bats proved too strong for the Radford Highlanders, winning 11-6.
Starting pitcher Kade McClure opened the game’s first three innings with a perfect game still intact. Following the top of the third, the offensive side started helping McClure.
The Cards sent 10 batters to the plate in the third, scoring six of their 11 runs. Four different batters registered a RBI in the inning, Josh Stowers walked away with two in the inning coming off his double to put the Cards up 5-0.
Radford showed signs of life in the fourth inning. The Highlanders’ Adam Whitacre jacked a two-out grand slam to put them back in striking distance at 6-4.
Following a scoreless fifth inning, the Highlanders tied the game at six with a two-RBI triple by Whitacre.
Breaking the tie was no sweat for the Cards. After a single and a steal by Dylan Mann, Stowers hit a no-out two-run homer to right field. Brendan McKay chipped in an RBI to push the lead to 9-6.
The Cards added insurance runs in the seventh inning with Stowers adding another RBI. He finished the day with three hits, three runs scored and three RBIs.
McClure went 5.6 innings with seven strikeouts and two walks.
Sam Bordner, who came in for relief, pitched 3.3 innings with six strikeouts.
The Cards continue their run for a regional title against Oklahoma June 3 at 7 p.m.
Photo by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal