Kicking off the final month of the regular season, the #7 Louisville Cardinals (32-9, 15-6) traveled up to the Queen City to take on the Cincinnati Bearcats (18-21) in a game where the home team really had no chance. The Cards shutout UC to the tune of 12-0, nabbing their 4th shutout of the season and first since a 4-0 victory over Boston College on March 8th.
Starting on the mound in lieu of normal midweek starter junior Luke Smith, freshman left-hander Jack Perkins made his first collegiate start in his 12th appearance of the season. The nerves of his very first start being on the road might have gotten to him, as he issued an HBP and 3 walks including a pair of 4 pitch free passes. However, he did allow only 1 base hit and kept the Bearcats off the scoreboard in his 3.0 innings of work.
Louisville finally cracked the scoreboard in the middle innings, and it was the bottom of the order that pulled the majority of the offensive weight. Batting 7-9, infielder Justin Lavey, catcher Zeke Pinkham and outfielder Drew Campbell plated the first 4 runs of the game all via the RBI double. Pinkham would give Louisville their 5th run of the game with an RBI groundout in the 5th, giving him his 3rd RBI of the game.
The first runs of the game not coming from the bottom of the order came off the bat of junior shortstop Tyler Fitzgerald. Batting 3rd in the order, he struck a 2 run home run that sailed deep over the left field wall of Marge Schott Stadium and gave Louisville a 7-0 advantage. It was his 5th home run of the season and increased his season RBI total to 42, good for first on the team.
The seventh inning would mark the fourth straight inning in which Louisville plated a run, and once again it had Zeke Pinkham’s name all over. An RBI single from the senior captain would be good for his 4th of the game, setting a new career high for the Elizabethtown, KY native.
While the Cardinal Nine were putting up their fair share of runs, the bullpen pulled their their weight as well. In their 4.0 combined innings, junior Adam Elliott and senior Bryan Hoeing struck out 6 batters while allowing only 2 walks, 4 hits and no runs. Hoeing’s 4 strikeouts in 2.0 inning was his most efficient outing since his 7.0 inning/9 strikeout effort against James Madison on March 2nd.
Louisville continued to pour on the runs even as the blowout progressed into the later innings. In a pinch hitting situation, Cam Masterman would strike his first career collegiate home run to extend the scoring to 5 straight innings, and he became the 13th Cardinal this season with a long fly ball. Also chiming in with the scoring efforts was freshman third baseman Alex Binelas. The Oak Creek, Wisconsin native would continue his late season surge with a bases loaded/bases clearing triple, sending Louisville up to double digits in the run column.
Closing out the game were freshman right-hander Jared Poland and sophomore right-hander Glenn Albanese. Each pitcher tossed a single inning, with both striking out a pair of UC batters and neither giving up a walk or hit. Each bullpen arm tallied a strikeout, with all 4 relievers combining for 10.
W: Adam Elliott (3-2), L: Andrew Noelker (1-1)