I made my inaugural appearance at Jim Patterson Stadium last night to take in the opening game of U of L's weekend series with West Virginia, and the baseball installment of the best rivalry in the new Big East did not let down.
Center fielder Boomer Whiting's two-out single up the middle in the bottom of the eighth knocked in Isaiah Howes for what proved to be the game-winning run as the Cards (17-8, 3-1) prevailed 4-3 in front of a joyous dollar beer-filled crowd.
The loss was the first in the conference for the Mountaineers, who fell to 3-1 in the Big East and 15-6 overall.
Manual High product Trystan Magnuson hurled the last two innings and picked up his first win of the season, allowing an unearned run while striking out a pair. Magnuson has not allowed a run in 21.1 innings this season, striking out 23.
After WVU tied the game at 3 in the eighth, Howes got things started in the home half of the inning with an infield single and quickly moved to second after a sacrifice bunt by Pete Rodriguez. An out later, shortstop Chris Cates reached on another infield single, and the stage was set for Whiting who finished the game 3 for 5 with a pair of RBI and extended career-best hitting streak to 14 games.
Center fielder Adam White went 3 for 5 to lead the way for the 'Eers, while fromer Trinity High standout Tyler "Baby" Kuhn was 1 for 4 with a double.
The two teams will face off again Saturday at 2 p.m.