Louisville hosted Valparaiso this weekend in a three game series that brought us highs, lows, and a preview of what to expect from the Cards moving forward this season.
Friday afternoon was a game to remember as the Cardinal Nine delivered a total of 22 strikeouts. Reid Detmers once again proved why he deserves the Friday start. Through six innings pitched he struck out 14 batters and allowed only 3 hits. Things didn’t slow down with Glenn Albanese or Michael Kirian in the game. They struck out a total of 8 batters through 3 innings. As well as things went in the pitching department, one thing we’re not used to seeing is a lack of run support. Louisville only scored 3 runs on Friday with four hits through 31 at bats. My big take away from this game was the noticeable difference in stability with the team as a whole. Friday made me realize that this team is finally settling into the team we expected to see this season.
Valparaiso was able to get on the board first Saturday but it wasn’t easy.Through six innings Bobby Miller had 12 strikeouts. Louisville finally saw their bats come alive in the fifth inning when they were able to plate three runs. Adam Elliott entered the game in the seventh inning where Valparaiso went three up, three down. The Cards were able to plate three more runs in the eighth inning to take the 6-1 lead. We would end the day with 18 total strikeouts and and see Levi Usher tie the Jim Patterson Stadium record for the most stolen bases (4) by a Louisville player since at least 1999.
Louisville went for the sweep on Sunday but took an inning to get settled into the day. They gave up a run in the first inning but answered with runs of their own in the second, third, and fourth inning where they took the lead 4-3. The bats didn’t slow down there.. Danny Oriente sent a rocket to left field sending another one home for the Cards and we were able to plate a sixth run by the end of the inning. In the sixth inning Valparaiso was able to tack on two runs making it a 5-6 game but not without seeing Damon Jorgensen ejected from the game. Louisville would answer those two runs with six in the bottom of the sixth. Dalton Rushing would give the Cards a 14-5 lead after a two-run RBI double in the seventh inning. There were a few defensive changes in the game bringing in Chris Seng and Cameron Masterman who would both help carry the Cards through to the series sweep. Drew Benefield took the mound for the first time in the ninth inning and Valparaiso would score 3 runs before Jared Poland was moved from second base to pitching. Louisville would tie their record at home for strikeouts in a three game series (45) on their way to getting the sweep.
The Cardinal nine will host Xavier on Tuesday at 3:00 before Western Michigan comes to town for a weekend series set to begin on Friday.