By Dalton Ray —
No. 13 baseball recorded their second week day win with a 6-4 victory over Xavier. The Cardinals are now 8-0 and freshman Bobby Miller received the win.
Sophomore Josh Stowers recorded two RBIs in the win. Sophomore Ethan Stringer and Justin Lavey each cranked a home run for U of L.
Coach Dan McDonnell said his sophomores are adjusting well.
“It’s the year of the sophomore because so many of them are in the lineup. Tonight, (Drew) Campbell, (Pat) Rumoro, Lavey and (Tyler Fitzgerald) had eight hits,” McDonnell said. “I’ve always said the sign of a really good team is the bottom half of the lineup … tonight it showed.”
In the second inning, Stringer kicked off the scoring with a homer to left center, the first of his career.
A single and a walk put two runners on with no outs then a sacrifice bunt put the two no second and third. The Cardinals couldn’t take advantage, as a ground out and strike out left two on.
Xavier scored in the third with a RBI single through second and short. A home run in the fourth gave the Musketeers a 2-1 lead.
Stowers’ two-out RBI single to left field in the fifth tied the game up for U of L.
Sophomore Adam Elliott’s wild pitch in the top of the fifth inning allowed Xavier to retake the lead. Sophomore Shay Smiddy replaced Elliott but surrendered a run giving Xavier a 4-2 lead. A diving catch in foul territory by junior catcher Pat Rumoro ended the inning.
Back-to-back hits in the bottom of the sixth put runners on the corners with no outs for U of L. A sac-fly followed by a RBI single from sophomore Jake Snider tied the game at 4-4.
Rumoro had a chance to drive in the go-ahead run in the seventh, but the throw home beat sophomore Drew Campbell. The next at bat, Lavey ripped a shot to left field to put the Cardinals ahead up two.
Xavier loaded the bases to the top of the eighth, forcing junior Sam Bordner on the mound. Bordner used four pitches to close the inning and end the threat.
Bordner retired the top of the ninth in order to finish the game.
The Cardinals needed a comeback to down the Musketeers and McDonnell appreciates the tough, early season competition.
“I have a lot of respect for Xavier. They seem to be in the Regionals every year,” McDonnell said. “They aren’t afraid of anyone … their kids are very confident. I knew we would have our word cut out for us and we had to earn it tonight.”
Louisville’s weekend series is against Western Carolina starting on March 3.
You can follow Dalton Ray on Twitter @dray5477.
Photo by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal