#13 Louisville (4-0) used a four run second inning, led by RBI singles from Devin Mann and Drew Campbell, to edge out a 4-2 win over Eastern Kentucky (0-4) in their home opener.
The win marked the 11th straight for Louisville in the series, extending their all-time record to 68-48-1 against the Colonels.
It was another game where Louisville allowed early runs in the first, but rebounded with a strong second inning. EKU’s Nick Howie drove in an RBI triple in the first, giving the Colonels an early 2-0 lead.
Louisville then responded in the second with a four-run outing. Drew Campbell drove in an RBI single to right field, with Devin Mann adding a two-RBI single of his own. In between, a bases loaded walk from Jake Snider added another run for the Cardinals.
It would be a quiet day for both teams, afterwards. EKU had opportunities late in the game, but couldn’t capitalize on them. Shay Smiddy worked his way out of the sixth and seventh innings with runners on base, while Sam Bordner closed the ninth with three strikeouts after allowing a lead-off single.
Tyler Romanik (2-5, one run) was the only Colonel batters with multiple hits in the game. Nick Howie finished 1-4 at the plate, with two RBIs on his triple in the first inning.
For Louisville, Devin Mann and Drew Campbell finished 2-for-4 at the plate, with Mann driving in two RBIs and Campbell landing one. Jake Snider also had a 1-for-2 showing at the plate, with an RBI and two walks. Ethan Stringer also recorded a hit in the game for Louisville.
Bryan Hoeing got the weekday start, after making an appearance in Friday’s win against Richmond. Hoeing allowed the RBI triple in the first, but finished five innings of work with three hits, four walks and two strikeouts. Shay Smiddy, Adam Elliott and Sam Bordner made appearances out of the bullpen, combining for four shutout innings. With Bordner’s shutout ninth inning, he has not allowed a run in 24 of his last 25 appearances.
Also of note, this was U of L’s first ticketed game of 2018. Attendance was 2,535 for the game, up 15% from last year’s home opener against EKU. The game was moved from one day ahead to Tuesday, due to possible inclement weather on Wednesday. One game won’t foreshadow any trends regarding attendance, but it’ll be an ongoing story as the season progresses.
Up next, Louisville will host a weekend series against Youngstown State. Friday’s opener is set to start at 3 p.m., with Saturday & Sunday’s game both starting at 1 p.m.