By Daniel Rankin —
The University of Louisville Baseball team won its first weekend series of the season against Dartmouth University by winning two of three games.
With the series victory, the Cardinals move to a 4-3 record to start the season.
Game 1 – Fri., Feb. 25
The Cards routed Dartmouth 19-5 in the opening game, with the offense scoring every inning.
Sophomore Christian Knapczyk contributed 3 of the Cards’ 15 hits. Ben Metzinger, Jack Payton and Levi Usher also had big days, each with a pair of hits.
Dalton Rushing and Cameron Masterman helped expand in the 6th with a pair of back-to-back home runs.
Junior pitcher Tate Kuehner picked up his first win of the year with a solid five scoreless innings. However, pitching struggles still seem to be a lingering issue for the Cards after giving up five in the 7th.
The bats made sure a comeback was out of reach after putting up a game-high six runs in the 8th. Ben Bianco scored three of those eight by unloading the bases with his first career triple.
Pitcher Alex Galvan came in the 9th and finished the game off.
Game 2 – Sat., Feb. 26
Saturday’s contest was the odd game of the series, with the Cards dropping the game 6-4. A seemingly unstoppable offense from the prior afternoon was noticeably missing.
After being down early, Masterman extended his home run streak to three games giving the Cards the lead 2-1.
Dartmouth was able to retake the lead but Louisville responded by scoring two in the 6th. Infielder Logan Beard added to his two-hit game by scoring Usher on a sacrifice fly.
Dartmouth responded by scoring three runs in the bottom of the 7th and one later in the 9th.
The Cards’ offense struggled to get runners on base, allowing Dartmouth to finish off the upset and even the series.
Game 3 – Sun., Feb. 27
After the surprise loss, the Cardinals’ offense responded dominantly, winning 16-3 to take home the series.
The bats produced a season-high 17 hits to compliment a solid day for the pitching staff.
Senior Ben Bianco had a career day with five hits, five runs, three RBIs and was a home run away from completing the cycle. Metzinger was also one hit away from the cycle, missing just a single to achieve the feat.
The Cards’ offense started quickly, putting up two in the first and five in the second. Riley Phillips earned his first win of the season, ensuring Dartmouth could not mount a comeback. Stable appearances from Kyle Walter and Carson Liggett continued the solid pitching performance.
In the 9th inning, J.R. Langworthy finished off the game and series with a win in front of the crowd at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Overall, it was a good series for the Cards with the offense showing signs of being one of the nation’s best. Louisville will need to learn from Saturday’s performance with tougher opponents approaching.
Up next for the Cardinals is an instate weekday matchup against the Morehead State University Eagles on Tues., Mar. 1 at 3 pm.
A reminder that for UofL Students, admission is free to all home games with a valid student ID.
Photo by Daniel Rankin // The Louisville Cardinal