Louisville Baseball Caps Opening Weekend Sweep with Win Over Ball State

Junior Brendan McKay hit his second home run of the weekend and drove in three runs overall as the No. 6 Louisville baseball team cruised to a 10-4 win over Ball State on Sunday afternoon at Spectrum Field. With the victory, the Cardinals completed a 3-0 opening weekend after defeating Alabama State on Friday and No. 22 Maryland on Saturday.

McKay was 2-for-4 overall on Sunday, highlighted by a two-run homer in the third inning as Louisville reached double-figures in scoring for the second straight day. The Darlington, Pennsylvania native was 4-for-8 at the plate with two home runs, five RBI and three walks during the opening weekend while also earning Friday’s victory on the mound with nine strikeouts in six shutout innings.

“We had to grind out these last two days and it wasn’t easy as we had to fight through a couple of innings there. Both days, Lincoln Henzman (Saturday) and Riley Thompson (Sunday) were dominant, which is promising when you have those two guys on the back end,” said Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell. “I thought we played, for the most part, good defense all weekend. To play three games and not make an error, and to have as many quality at-bats as we had this early in the season, I’m pleased.”

Junior Drew Ellis added a two-run double for Louisville, while sophomore Zeke Pinkham singled and drove in two runs in his first career collegiate start. Sophomore Devin Mann chipped in with a single, two walks, one RBI and scored twice and sophomore Josh Stowers came off the bench for a single, a walk and two runs scored.

Senior righthander Shane Hummel was credited with his third career win and the first this season after working 1.1 innings of shutout relief. Sophomore righty Riley Thompson made his Louisville debut by recording the final four outs of the game, all by strikeout. Freshman righthander Michael McAvene had four strikeouts and allowed one run on three hits in 3.2 innings in the starting role in his first college outing.

In a matchup of Cardinals with 2-0 records, Louisville struck first when Pinkham delivered a two-out RBI single to right field in the second inning to score junior Devin Hairston. UofL added to the advantage in the third inning when McKay followed a leadoff walk to Mann by crushing a 3-1 offering from Ball State starter Evan Marquardt over the right field wall. After BSU plated a run in the bottom of the third, Louisville answered with a run in the fourth on a RBI groundball off the bat of Mann to score Stowers.

Louisville put the game out of reach with a six-run sixth inning, which included four walks, two hits and one Ball State error. The Cardinals from the Mid-American Conference cut into the margin with a run in the seventh and two runs in the eighth before Thompson entered from the Louisville bullpen to close it out.

Playing games at Spectrum Field for the 10th time in the last 12 seasons, Louisville improved to 26-13 all-time at the spring training home of the Philadelphia Phillies. Louisville has played eight different conference championships at the ballpark and has played season-opening events in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017.

The 2017 home-opener at Jim Patterson Stadium for No. 6 Louisville is set for Wednesday at 3 p.m., against Eastern Kentucky. Wednesday’s game will begin an eight-game homestand for the Cardinals at the corner of Third and Central.

Fans can follow Louisville baseball on Twitter (@UofLBaseball) at http://twitter.com/uoflbaseball and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ulbaseball.

Garett Wall
Assistant Sports Information Director
Baseball | Men’s Soccer | Rowing
University of Louisville Athletics

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