No. 13 Cardinals Defeat EKU to Win Seventh Straight Home-Opener
Hoeing twirls career best five innings to register first collegiate victory
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Junior righthander Bryan Hoeing paced a stellar night for the pitching staff as the 13th-ranked Louisville baseball team won its home-opener for the seventh straight season with Tuesday's 4-2 victory against Eastern Kentucky at Jim Patterson Stadium.
A native of Batesville, Indiana, Hoeing did not allow an earned run while surrendering just three hits with two strikeouts in a career best five innings to register his first collegiate win as the Cardinals moved to 4-0 on the season. Along with extending its winning streak in home-openers, Louisville also pushed its victorious streak against EKU (0-4) to 11 consecutive games.
Hoeing was backed up by a strong outing from the Louisville bullpen as sophomore righthander Shay Smiddy, sophomore lefty Adam Elliott and junior righty Sam Bordner combined for seven strikeouts in four scoreless innings of relief. After Smiddy pitched 2.1 innings and Elliott recorded a pair of outs, Bordner worked past a leadoff single with three strikeouts to earn his second save of the season and the sixth of his career.
At the plate, junior Devin Mann led the way for the home side as the infielder was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, while sophomore Drew Campbell was 2-of-4 with one RBI and scored once. Sophomore Jake Snider chipped in with a single, two walks and one RBI and sophomore Ethan Stringer added a double and scored once in the win.
The Colonels struck first Tuesday plating a pair of unearned runs in the first inning on a two-out triple down the right field line by Nick Howie. The Cardinals answered with four runs in the second inning, highlighted by Mann's two-out, two-run single to push the home side ahead for good. Campbell started the scoring with his one-out RBI single to right to plate Stringer. Following a bases loaded walk to Snider to push Campbell home for the tying run, Mann sent a 2-2 offering from lefty Will Brian up the middle and into center field scoring sophomore Tyler Fitzgerald and junior Josh Stowers.
The four-spot for the Cardinals in the second inning capped the scoring in the game as the teams combined for just six hits in the final seven innings with neither side connecting for more than one hit in a single frame in that stretch. Tuesday's game marked the second straight outing Louisville has registered a victory despite surrendering multiple runs in the first inning after overcoming a 6-0 deficit in the first inning in last Sunday's 15-8 win over George Mason.
Up next, No. 13 Louisville continues its 14-game homestand with a three-game weekend series against Youngstown State, which begins Friday at 3 p.m., ET at Jim Patterson Stadium.