Josh Stowers’ RBI sacrifice fly in the seventh inning proved to be the difference as the No. 6 Louisville baseball team completed a weekend sweep of Eastern Michigan and remained unbeaten on the season with Sunday afternoon’s 8-7 win at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Following the third career triple and first this season for junior Devin Hairston, Stowers drove him home when the sophomore outfielder sent a 0-1 pitch from reliever Davis Feldman into center field for the go-ahead run. Freshman lefthander Adam Elliott retired all four batters he faced recording the final out of the seventh inning and all three outs in the eighth after inheriting the lead to earn his first collegiate win. Senior righty Jake Sparger had two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth to close the game and register his first career save.
The Cardinals, who have won 27 straight regular season home games, improved to 11-0 overall extending their longest unbeaten streak to begin a season since winning the first 13 games in 2010. Louisville has also won 28 consecutive regular season weekend series at home dating back to the 2013 season.
A trio of Cardinals connected for home runs Sunday with Drew Ellis leading the way as the junior was 3-for-4 with his fourth home run of the season, one double and two RBI. Junior Brendan McKay, back in the starting lineup after missing two games with a minor abdominal strain, was 2-of-5 with his fourth home run and a triple, while sophomore Devin Mann finished 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. Hairston chipped in with two hits while scoring the winning run.
Louisville opened the scoring with a run in the first inning after senior Logan Taylor earned a leadoff walk, stole second, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a RBI sacrifice fly by Mann. The lead moved to 2-0 in the second when Ellis crushed a 2-0 pitch from James Harness over the center field wall for his seventh career home run.
Louisville doubled the advantage with a pair of runs on three hits in the third inning. Mann opened the scoring with his first collegiate home run sending a solo shot to the top of the left field berm. McKay followed with a triple down the left field line before scoring on a RBI single to left by Ellis.
After the Eagles cut the margin in half with a pair of runs in the fourth inning, the Cardinals answered in the fifth inning with two runs against Feldman. McKay plated the first run by sending a 3-2 pitch over the right field wall for his 14th career home run. Ellis followed with a double to left center and moved to third on a single by senior Colin Lyman before scoring on a RBI sacrifice fly to right from Hairston for the 6-2 lead.
Eastern Michigan followed with two runs in the top of the sixth inning on a two-run double to right center by Brennan Williams, while the Cardinals plated a run in the bottom of the frame on a RBI double by Fitch to score Taylor. The Eagles then evened the score at 7-7 with a three-run seventh inning on a RBI triple by Jordan Peterson, a RBI groundout by Jeremy Stidham and a RBI single from Nick Jones.
Up next, No. 6 Louisville begins a five-game week with a visit to Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday at 4 p.m., ET. The Cardinals will resume their home schedule at Jim Patterson Stadium on Wednesday at 3 p.m., ET against Fort Wayne.