By Cole Emery —
Louisville swept Valparaiso in their home opening series at Jim Patterson Stadium Feb. 21-23.
Louisville defeated Valpo 14-10 in the final game of their series.
The Crusaders scored the first two runs of the game thanks to an error from the Cards and a homerun to left field by freshman Nolan Tucker.
The Cards answered in the bottom of the second inning with back-to-back single RBIs from senior Justin Lavey and sophomore Jared Poland. Later in the bottom of the third inning, sophomore Ben Metzinger scored off senior Danny Oriente’s sacrifice fly.
After Valpo brought a new pitcher in to start the fourth inning, the speedy sophomore Levi Usher scored from first base thanks to a Poland double to left field. This run gave the Cards their first lead of the game at 4-3.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Cards scored two more runs thanks to RBI singles from Oriente and sophomore Henry Davis, but left two runners in scoring position to finish the inning.
After Valpo hit a two-run single in the top of the sixth, freshman Evan Webster came in to relieve senior Luke Smith from his pitching duties. Webster walked the first batter he faced and loaded the bases, but struck out the next two batters to retire the side.
Smith allowed nine hits, four earned runs and struck out one batter for the contest.
The Cardinals went through their entire lineup and scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth to secure a 12-5 lead over Valpo.
Two more runs for the Cards in the bottom of the seventh gave them a comfortable 14-5 lead. The Crusaders scored five more runs in the final two innings, but Louisville was able to hold off for the victory.
In their second game of the series, Louisville defeated Valpo 6-1.
Junior Bobby Miller (1-0) continued Louisville’s dominant pitching. He struck out 12 batters and gave up one run during his six innings on the mound. Junior Michael Kirian achieved his third save of the season with the final two outs.
Valparaiso scored the first run of the game with a blooper into centerfield in the fourth inning.
The Cards responded in the fifth inning with three runs of their own. Lavey started the inning off with a leadoff triple and scored the tying run thanks to a double from sophomore Tim Borden II. After junior Luke Brown reached on a bunt single, Metzinger bounced a single up the middle and brought both baserunners in for the score.
Louisville scored three more runs in the eighth inning thanks to a throwing error by the Crusaders.
Usher stole four bases during the contest, tying the Jim Patterson Stadium record for the most by a Louisville player since 1999.
Louisville won the first game 3-0 against Valparaiso.
A dominant pitching performance from the Cards resulted in 22 strikeouts during the contest. This marked a Jim Patterson Stadium record and the most in a nine-inning game for the Cards since 1999.
Junior Reid Detmers (2-0) retired the first nine batters in order with eight strikeouts. He finished the game with 14 strikeouts, allowed three hits and no earned runs in six innings pitched.
In the second inning, Davis knocked a double inside the third base line. Lavey brought him home with a sacrifice fly to give the Cards a 1-0 lead.
Junior Ben Bianco cranked a 1-1 pitch over the left field wall in the sixth inning for a two-run homer, putting the Cardinals up 3-0.
Strong relief pitching allowed the Cards to cruise for the victory as juniors Glenn Albanese and Kirian struck out eight of the last 10 batters.
Anna Claire Will // The Louisville Cardinal