By Mike Gilpatrick–
With the 10-4 win over Ball State (2-1), sixth-ranked baseball (3-0) completed the sweep of their season-opening series in Clearwater, Florida.
A team effort from the pitching staff, freshman Michael Avene started off on the mound. Avene went 3.2 innings of one-run ball, striking out four and walking three.
In the second inning, freshman Zeke Pinkham’s RBI single gave Louisville their first run.
Moving to the third, junior Brendan McKay launched his second home run of the season over right field. Ball State scored on a RBI single from Alex Maloney. After three innings, Louisville led 4-1.
The Cards scored six times in the sixth inning. Starting with a RBI single from senior Logan Taylor, Louisville loaded the bases with back-to-back base on balls. Ball State then walked McKay, scoring Taylor. A pitching change didn’t help Ball State, as U of L scored four more runs.
Ball State put together a small rally in the seventh when they loaded the bases. A single brought home a run and kept the bases loaded. With one out, freshman southpaw Nick Bennett forced Caleb Staton into a 4-6-3 double play to get out of the jam.
Justin Kirkpatrick’s two-run RBI came with two outs in the eight, making the Louisville lead 10-4.
Freshman Riley Thompson entered the game after the RBI and finished off Ball State, recording two strikeouts.
The Cards play Eastern Kentucky in their home opener on Feb. 22 at 3 p.m.