By Micah Brown —
After capping off a perfect 3-0 record in the Charleston classic, baseball returned home to Louisville last week for their 2018 home-opener, as they faced in-state foe Eastern Kentucky Colonels.
With rain forecasted for Feb. 21, the original date for the matchup against EKU, U of L decided to push the game up to Feb 20.
“We had a great home crowd,” coach Dan McDonnell said in his postgame interview. “Let the fans enjoy a sunny, warm day … it was a great day for everyone.”
Despite the athletic administration’s new policy of charging for admission, 2,500 fans packed Jim Patterson Stadium to watch the no. 13 Cardinals begin play for the new season. The attendance was good for the second-highest home-opener in Jim Patterson history.
Pitching for the Cardinals was junior right-hander Bryan Hoeing, who threw a career-best five innings, shutting out the Colonels and surrendering just three hits and striking out two. Hoeing received help from the bullpen, as four relievers combined for four scoreless innings of relief along with seven strikeouts.
At the plate for the Cards was Devin Mann, who went 2-of-4 hitting with two RBIs to help push Louisville ahead of the Colonels for a 4-2 victory.
Baseball returned to action Feb. 23, hosting Youngstown State for a three-game series over the weekend.
Junior Adam Wold took the mound for the Cards in the first match-up, leading Louisville to a 11-0 victory over the Penguins.
Wolf threw seven scoreless innings, recorded six strikeouts and allowed only two hits. The junior’s shutout appearance extended his career-long scoreless streak to 20.0 innings dating back to last season.
Producing at the plate for Louisville was sophomore Justin Lavey. The third baseman belted the first home run for Louisville of the 2018 season, adding two runs to the Cards’ five-run third inning against YSU.
Junior Joshua Stowers also drove in three runs with a triple. With the win, Louisville improved their record to 4-0 on the season.
In the second game of the series, Louisville once again overcame Youngstown State by a score of 8-1.
Junior right-hander Riley Thompson started the second game of his career, pitching for five innings and denying any runs while he was on the mound. He recorded three strikeouts and walked only two batters, lowering his ERA to 0.93.
The Cards ultimately used a four-run seventh inning to put the Penguins away.
Louisville completed the series sweep with an easy 12-2 victory over Youngstown State Feb. 25.
Man led the Cardinal offense, hitting 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs.
The Cardinals host Xavier Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 3 p.m.
File photo / The Louisville Cardinal