By Micah Brown —
In its second extra-inning game of the season, baseball (5-3) fell to Xavier (2-5) by a score of 5-4.
Runs were traded back-and-forth throughout the contest, as Louisville matched Xavier’s scoring every time the Musketeers took the lead. Xavier won the matchup with a run in the top of the tenth, as the Cardinals failed to counter in the bottom of the inning.
“We got to their starter in the first (inning) and they got to ours, but both pitchers settled in,” head coach McDonnell said, referring to Xavier only using two pitchers throughout the game. “You gotta tip your hat to the second guy. You don’t expect 10 innings in a mid-week game and only see two arms.”
Luke Smith was the starting pitcher for the Cards. The junior threw five innings and surrendered six hits and three runs on top of four strikeouts, slightly raising his earned run average to 2.84.
At the plate, junior Jake Snider provided an offensive boost for the Cards with two hits and one RBI. Sophomore Lucas Dunn also posted two hits alongside two runs scored.
Shay Smiddy replaced Smith on the mound in the sixth inning with a 3-3 score. In 2.1 innings, the junior surrendered just one hit while striking out four consecutive Musketeers.
Xavier grabbed a 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth, then Louisville tied the game in the bottom of the inning with a RBI double from freshman Henry Davis.
In the top of the 10th, Xavier went ahead 5-4 on a passed ball from the Cards. Louisville failed to score in the bottom of the inning to cement the loss. Freshman Jared Poland (1-1) took the loss on the mound.
One statistic that stands out for Louisville’s offense is the 11 runners left on base, in addition to playing from behind for the entirety of the game.
When asked whether it takes longer to develop pitching or hitting early in the season, McDonnell said it’s “usually hitting.”
“It’s getting outside more and getting the at-bats under your belt,” McDonnell said. “Getting in the game situations. Knowing how to have success with two outs. Knowing how to have success with runners on base. Hopefully the more you go through it, the more comfortable you get.”
The Cardinals move on to host a weekend series against James Madison. The first game will be played Friday, March 1 at 4 p.m.
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File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal