By Jocelyn Kronoveter and Gabriel Wiest —
Louisville baseball defeated the University of Illinois Chicago Flames 5-3 in the first round of the NCAA regionals May 31.
In front of a home crowd at Jim Patterson Stadium, Nick Bennett gave up his fourth pitch for a home run in the first inning. The Cards did not respond and struck out.
UIC had a strong second inning, scoring on a home run and adding another after loading the bases.
The Cards brought the heat in bottom of the second inning by scoring three runs. Junior Danny Oriente’s two-run homer started the scoring and sophomore Lucas Dunn’s RBI knotted the score at three. The Flames started allowing the Cards to walk.
The Cards pitching was on lock the rest of the game, keeping UIC from scoring for seven innings straight. Bennett was on the mound for just over five innings. Three of those were scoreless.
Louisville relievers Bryan Hoeing, Michael McAvene and Michael Kirian built on this shut-down.
U of L scored two more runs during the game, securing their victory.
Louisville will face off against Illinois State (35-24), who won in an upset against Indiana University (36-22). The next round of the NCAA regionals will be June 1 at 4 p.m. at Patterson Stadium. UIC will match up with Indiana University at 11:00 a.m.
Photo by Gabriel Wiest / The Louisville Cardinal