On a warm Tuesday evening at Jim Patterson Stadium, fans brought many good canines to the park to enjoy Louisville baseball.
This day would see the Cardinals (25-8) provide plenty of bark and bite on offense, as they carried Louisville to an 11-2 win over Northern Kentucky (8-23).
With the win, Louisville extends their winning streak to eight games over in-state competition, heading into next Tuesday’s road trip to face Kentucky in Lexington.
Louisville jumped to an early 2-0 lead after three innings, managing to get one run in the first and third inning each. Tyler Fitzgerald’s RBI triple in the first inning brought Lucas Dunn home. Fitzgerald, himself, scored a run in the third inning via Logan Wyatt’s RBI single.
Northern Kentucky did manage to get a run in the fifth and sixth inning, themselves. Collin Luty grounded out to the shortstop in the fifth, but brought Noah Fisher home for the Norse’s first run of the game. A wild pitch brought in another run for NKU in the sixth inning.
However, Louisville got three runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth inning. Alex Binelas drove in two runs on an RBI double down the left field line, and later scored the third run himself on a wild pitch by NKU.
After the seventh inning stretch, Louisville would put the game away with six total runs (four in the seventh inning, and two in the eighth). Zach Britton’s RBI double brought in the first run of the seventh inning, then scored a run himself after a fielder’s choice (as well as a throwing error) allowed Jared Poland to reach base. Drew Campbell had a sacrifice fly out that brought Poland home for another run in the seventh. Trey Leonard reached home on a wild pitch by NKU, closing the seventh inning with four runs scored for Louisville.
The Cards added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth. Logan Wyatt flied out to centerfield, allowing Ethan Stringer to score and give Louisville its tenth run of the game. Tyler Fitzgerald would score the 11th and final run on another wild pitch by NKU.
Louisville finished the game with 11 runs on nine hits, and were aided by three NKU errors, as well as three wild pitches thrown by the Norse. Tyler Fitzgerald had a great outing at the plate, hitting 3-for-5 with two doubles, one triple and an RBI. The Cardinals matched a season-high with five doubles: two from Fitzgerald, two from Zach Britton (2-for-4, RBI, two runs), and one from Alex Binelas (1-for-3, two RBIs).
Additionally, the Cardinals also drew nine walks in the game, one away from matching their season-high. Three of those came from Zeke Pinkham and Logan Wyatt each, with Wyatt raising his total to a team-high 42 on the season.
At the mound, Louisville was also proficient, dishing out 14 strikeouts and allowed two runs as a team. Luke Smith advanced his record to 4-0, throwing three shutout innings and only allowed two hits. Seven total pitchers made an appearance for Louisville, including freshmen Garrett Schmeltz, Kerry Wright, and Carter Lohman.
NKU entered the game averaging .229 at the plate, and only had two runs on five hits. Will Haueter was the only Norse batter with two hits, going 2-for-3 at the plate. Sam Hedges (1-for-4), Andrew Bacon (1-for-3), and Jake Murray (1-for-4) all recorded hits for NKU.
Louisville will take the road again this weekend, facing N.C. State in Raleigh. The Cards and Wolfpack begin their series on Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET.