The fifth-ranked University of Louisville baseball team closed out a perfect opening weekend with a 5-3 victory over Bucknell on Sunday at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Louisville (3-0) plated four runs in the first inning and the pitching staff made it stand up behind a 15-strikeout effort.
Carson Liggett (1-0) allowed two runs over five innings with a career-best six strikeouts to earn the victory. Greg Farone struck out eight in three innings out of the bullpen in his first appearance at Louisville. Ben Wiegman picked up all three outs in the ninth for his first career save.
Bucknell (0-3) plated a run with two outs in the opening inning to give the Cardinals their first deficit of the season. The deficit wouldn’t last long though.
Ryan McCoy knotted the game up at one with a run-scoring single, starting a string of four consecutive two-out RBI singles. Patrick Forbes, Haven Mangrum and Tyeler Hawkins added RBI knocks to give the Cards a 4-1 lead after one.
The Bison plated single runs in the third and the sixth to get within one, but the Cards had the answer once again. After a walk, Hawkins and Logan Beard reached on bunt singles to load the bases and Noah Smith lined a single to right to extend the lead back to two.
Farone stranded the tying runs with a strikeout to end the eighth and exited after allowing the leadoff man to reach in the ninth. Wiegman entered and walked the first batter he faced to put the tying runs on. The junior settled down though, inducing a double play and a strikeout to close out the victory.
Hawkins turned in the lone multi-hit game of the day for the Cards going 2-for-4, while seven different players tallied a hit in the game.
Louisville returns to action on Wednesday against Xavier with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m. ET.