By Derek DeBurger

The Cards were nothing but sunshine and rainbows in the final rainy week of the regular season, giving them one final boost before a much-needed postseason run.

Thursday—Game One

With Tuesday’s game against Indiana canceled due to rain, and forecasts of a rainy weekend, Louisville agreed with Notre Dame to play a double-header on Thursday to try and beat the weather.

In the first matchup against the Irish, Louisville’s rocky start gave up solo home runs in both the first and second innings to fall behind 0-2. Outside of the two home runs, Sebastian Gongora gave up no hits, but for a team that needed to get out to a strong start those two pitches were extremely costly. Eddie King Jr. hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the second to bring the game back even, and a solo home run in the fourth to take the lead.

The pitchers for both teams continued to dominate. The next three innings were scoreless with minimal batters getting on base. The Irish were, however, able to tie things back up in the eighth inning with an RBI single. After Louisville’s offense posted no runs in the bottom of the eighth, their defense was up against loaded bases and only one out. As most of game one had been decided, it took just one pitch of an at-bat for the Irish to ground out into a double-play.

With the game on the line in the bottom of the ninth, King Jr. got on base with a single and was replaced by Lucas Moore as a pinch runner. Next up to bat was Gavin Kilen, and after taking the first pitch for a strike, Kilen crushed a pitch for a walk-off home run.

Louisville won 5-3.

Thursday—Game Two

Louisville had a better performance from the mound in the second game of their double-header with Evan Webster starting the game with five shutout innings. During this time the Cards scored five runs of their own, including a two-run home run from King Jr.

Notre Dame’s one pitch in the sixth went their way with a solo home run, but Webster ended the inning without letting another batter on base, and his day ended when Kaleb Corbett took the mound in the seventh inning. Corbett gave up no hits and only one walk to end the game. The Irish hit just three times.

Louisville would win 5-1, clinching the series.


With the pressure of winning the series off their shoulders, the Cards were hunting for a series sweep as they continued to improve their resume. After nothing in the first inning for either side, Louisville burst onto the scoreboard with three solo home runs in the second. Dylan Hoy scored another solo home run in the third, two more runs in the fourth, and yet another home run from King Jr. to bring the lead to eight.

While Louisville’s bats were absolutely letting it fly, Colton Hartman had a career day with three hits seven strikeouts, and no runs in five innings. Hartman was replaced in the sixth inning, and the Irish took advantage by instantly loading the bases and bringing home five runs to cut the lead to three. Louisville, however, marched right back from the bottom of that very inning with four runs. The Irish would score one more run, but the Cards responded with two more.

Louisville won 14-6 and completed just their third conference sweep of the season.

Hartman recorded the first win of his career.

Hot or Not?

Louisville has now gone undefeated in two of their last three weeks, but the 0-4 disaster during their third week comes from a difference in the quality of opponents. North Carolina is one of the best teams in the country, and the Cards at times struggled to look competent against them. Louisville, however, handled Boston College and Notre Dame. Not every team the Cards play will be one of the best in the country, if an NCAA appearance is in their future that means strong opponents.

While the Cards may or may not be playing their best baseball right now, King Jr. is undoubtedly doing so. He is currently on a streak of four straight games with a home run with six hits in that timespan. In Friday’s game against the Irish, King Jr. went 2-of-3 with two home runs, reaching a base on a walk and being hit by a pitch.

Louisville has been ok this season, but an all-time hot streak from King Jr. and others could propel the Cards on an unexpected run.

Louisville ends their regular season at 32-22 and 16-14 in the ACC.