The fourth-ranked University of Louisville baseball team scored 11 unanswered runs and tallied an 11-7 victory in the series opener against Dayton on Friday at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Louisville (12-1) has now won seven consecutive games after reaching double digit runs for the sixth time during that stretch.
The win was the 700th of Dan McDonnell’s career over his 17 seasons at Louisville. Already the all-time winningest coach in program history, McDonnell is now the 33rd active coach in Division I baseball with 700 wins.
Dayton (3-9) jumped on the Cards on Friday, plating two runs in the first and three more in the second. The Flyers remained in front 5-0 until things unraveled in the fifth.
Logan Beard led off the fifth with a single and Christian Knapczyk was hit by a pitch before Jack Payton drove in Louisville’s first run of the day with a double to the wall in left field. Back-to-back walks forced in a second run and Eddie King Jr. singled home the third run of the frame.
JT Benson took a bases loaded walk to bring the deficit to just one, and Gavin Kilen tied the game at five with a single into shallow centerfield. The Cards took the lead on another bases loaded walk and then pushed three more across, the last two scoring on Payton’s second hit of the inning.
In total, Louisville sent 13 batters to the plate and scored nine times, its largest offensive inning of the season.
After a rough start to the game, Ryan Hawks settled in and kept the Flyers off the board for the rest of his start. He improved to 4-0 on the season with 5.1 innings of work.
Evan Webster handled the rest, allowing just a pair of unearned runs in the ninth. The southpaw recorded the final 11 outs on the way to his first save of the season.
Payton led the Cards with a 2-for-3 day at the plate, as the Cardinals reached double figures in hits for the 11th time in 13 games. King and Kilen also recorded two hits each.
Louisville and Dayton continue the three-game series on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.
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