By Hannah Walker —

The No. 2 Cardinals’ baseball team took a hard hit on Feb. 26 against Western Illinois, losing 8-3. Although they were able to recover with a double header win against the Leathernecks the following day: going 4-1 and 4-9.

With U of L’s junior pitcher Glenn Albanese not present at last Friday’s game, the Cardinals struggled to keep up with Western Illinois.

At the start of the game, freshman Michael Prosecky took Albanese’ place as starting pitcher for U of L. He was successfully able to face five batters and make only two ground outs during the first inning; setting a decent start for the Cards.

Nonetheless, the Leathernecks started to pick up speed when sophomore short stopper, Derek Botaletto, faced four of U of L’s batters at the beginning of the game; leaving U of L with no points by the end of the first inning.

U of L started to warm back up by the fourth inning when junior infielder/outfielder Cameron Masterman advanced to second base; leading to a score by infield sophomore Alex Binelas.

A few minutes after the Cardinals made their first point during the fourth inning, U of L junior outfielder Trey Leonard doubled to right center and sophomore infielder Tim Borden scored another well-needed point for Louisville. This led to the ultimate tie of 3-3 between the Cards and the Bulldogs by the end of the fourth inning.

Western Illinois continued to give Louisville a run for their money during the fifth inning when they made an additional three points from the help of Botaletto’s advance to fourth base.

U of L continued to try and catch up to Western Illinois’ points, but it unfortunately wasn’t enough. U of L left the fifth, sixth and seventh inning with zero points made.

The game slowly came to an end during the eighth inning when both Botaletto and freshman outfielder Chase VanDerGinst scored more points for Western Illinois; leading to a loss for the Cardinals that evening.

“I was kinda surprised because we usually thrive in the conditions we were under today,” head coach Dan McDonnell said. “Overall, Western Illinois was just offensively better than us. They gave more strikes, and they clearly played better than us.”

The recovery U of L made the following day proved that Friday’s game was just a mishap, and has given both the fans and McDonnell more hope for the Cardinal’s this season.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal