Nick Bennett delivered one of the best performances of his young career, pitching eight shutout innings as #25 Louisville (39-16) cruised to a 5-0 win over Notre Dame (24-27).
The series win gives Louisville an 8-5 series record in the 2018 regular season, and with a win tomorrow, would give them its 11th 40-win season in 12 campaigns under head coach Dan McDonnell. The 5-0 win also marked their first shutout since February 23rd, when Louisville rolled to a 11-0 win over Youngstown State.
Jake Snider got Louisville on the board first with an RBI single in the bottom third inning, dropping a ball into left field to score Tyler Fitzgerald. Snider lined into a 6-4-3 double play in the fifth inning, but Justin Lavey was able to score in the meantime and increase Louisville’s lead to 2-0.
Louisville added two more runs in the sixth; Josh Stowers would reach home on a wild pitch, then Ethan Stringer drove in an RBI single in the same inning. Tyler Fitzgerald added an RBI single of his own with two outs in the bottom eighth, scoring a pinch-hitting Lucas Dunn.
Devin Mann led all Louisville batters with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate. Jake Snider (2-for-5), Josh Stowers (2-for-4) and Tyler Fitzgerald (2-for-4) also had a multi-hit game for Louisville (2-for-4, RBI), and eight of their eleven hitters in the lineup recorded a hit. Mann, Stowers and Fitzgerald each had a double as Louisville’s only extra-base hits in the game. Ethan Stringer finished 1-for-3 with an RBI single in the sixth inning.
At the mound, Nick Bennett delivered a gem as the starter. The sophomore pitched eight complete innings and struck out eight batters, only allowing six hits and one walk. The eight innings matched a career high for Bennett, set on April 14th at Virginia Tech. Shay Smiddy was the only Louisville pitcher out of their bullpen, throwing a shutout ninth inning to seal the win.
Jake Johnson (2-for-4) and David LaManna (2-for-3) both had multi-hit games in Notre Dame’s batting lineup, accounting for four of the Irish’s seven base hits. Matt Vierling and Niko Kavadas (both 1-for-4) also recorded a hit in the game, with Alex Kerschner (1-for-4) adding a late hit in the ninth.
Louisville and Notre Dame close their regular season tomorrow at 1 p.m. Louisville will also hold a tent sale in the Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium parking lot at 9 a.m., among them being game-worn jerseys. Tickets for Saturday’s game are available at GoCards.com, and can also be watched on the WatchESPN app.