By Matt Bradshaw —
In their second sweep of the season, no. 10 baseball (11-0) defeated Western Carolina (1-10) 3-2. The Cardinals had a sluggish start at the plate, but edged the Catamounts with RBIs at key moments during the contest.
“Respect the game, respect your opponent,” coach Dan McDonnell said. “It was tough on both offenses today.”
Junior Devin Mann led the Cards on offense, hitting 1-for-3 with a triple and RBI. Freshman Reid Detmers got the first win of his college career on the mound, pitching three innings with seven strikeouts.
“It’s a talented arm,” McDonnell said of Detmers. “He hasn’t been perfect, but seems to get better each week.”
Mann drove in fellow junior Josh Stowers with a sac fly in the top of the first.
W. Carolina tied the game 1-1 in the top of the third. Junior starter Liam Jenkins threw a wild pitch on the mound for Louisville, putting a runner on third base. The Catamounts drove him in with a left-field single.
Stowers took the lead back in the bottom of the third with a RBI groundout. W. Carolina answered with another RBI single in the top of the fourth, tying the game 2-2.
Detmers took the mound in the top of the fifth for the Cardinals. The lefty struck out the side 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth.
“It feels great,” Detmers said of his first college win. “I’m just trying to throw strikes, avoid the walks and help my teammates do the rest.”
Mann reignited the Cardinal offense with a lead-off triple in the bottom of the sixth. Sophomore Danny Oriente drove in Mann with a line-drive single for a 3-2 lead.
Freshman Bobby Miller entered the game in the top of the eighth to pitch for Louisville. Catamount runners threatened on first and third with two outs, but shortstop Tyler Fitzgerald fielded a tough grounder to get out of the jam.
Junior Sam Border entered to pitch in the top of the ninth. The right hander kept W. Carolina scoreless for his fourth save of the season, clinching the 3-2 victory.
Louisville faces Morehead State at home on Tuesday, March 6 at 3 p.m.
“We have an in-state matchup, then 10 of the next 11 games against ACC opponents,” McDonnell said. “We have to get better in some areas.”
You can follow Matt Bradshaw on Twitter @bradmatt8.
Photo by Taris Smith / The Louisville Cardinal