The U of L Nine’s seriously important weekend series against the dudes from the Land o’ Crash Davis had, shall we say, an inauspicious beginning.
After Friday night Cardinal ace Michael Kirian’s first 7 pitches in front of increased attendance at The Jim, Louisville was down, 0-3.
It was only the beginning of troubles.
Meanwhile Duke hurler Jack Savoy, if not exactly Ebby Calvin LaLoosh after Annie Savoy fixed his mechanics, did go seven, surrendering just 4 hits and a lone run.
After a disastrous weekend at Clemson, where the Cards came away clobbered Dabo-style, they had bounced back Tuesday against the Commodores. Yet Louisville’s necessary midweek W over vaunted Vanderbilt had nary a smidgen of carry over effect.
Cards bats were somnambulant.
At the end of the evening, the good guys were back in Lunardian bubble territory, or whatever they call it when a college baseball team wants to be one of 16 regional hosts and is teetering precariously on the perch.
Cards 3, Duke 13.
Not a good thing.
Because of Sunday’s projected Edward Bulwer-Lytton weather — “dark and stormy” — it was decided the ACC rivals would tap into their inner Ernie Banks on a sunny, slightly chilly Saturday.
The double dip sweep, a good thing.
Turned out to be like a trip to Graeter’s, when you can’t decide between the Maple Cinnamon Crunch and the Dark Chocolate Brownie so you go for both. The teenaged server is especially generous for the just about Hamilton it sets you back, providing enough cholesteriffic deliciousness to last you until Independence Day.
And, we’re not talking one of those newfangled ersatz double headers they play these days in the bigs, because those guys making a gazillion times more than the soda jerk might get tired. 7 and 7, they go.
Two full games at The Jim. Long day. Long, long day.
Luke Seed and Tate Kuehner tamed the visitors in the opener.
Alex Binelas and Levi Usher went yard. I heard the former in my car in the Kroger parking lot. I thought Sean Moth was going to jump through the dashboard, so excited was he.
Cards 5, Blue Devils 1.
U of L finally unloaded in the nightcap, marking 8 in the bottom of the 4th.
It was not all downhill from there. The visitors got 5 back the next half inning. But Usher hit another tater in the bottom.
It was Hammer Time, as the Cards put it away with 5 in the 7th. Henry Davis’s grand slam was the cherry and hot fudge and whipped cream, that would have come on top of a sundae, had that been what you ordered at the ice cream shoppe. (To use those analogies way past their useful half life.)
Cards 15, Blue Devils 6.
* * * * *
Before the weekend, U of L was ranked between #12 and #15 in the polls.
Taking 2 of 3 from mediocre Duke should be enough for them to hold steady, if not move up a spot or two.
This weekend in Chapel Hill, U of L, second in the ACC Atlantic standings, will need to match that against underwhelming North Carolina to stay the course.
* * * * *
I almost hate to bring this up.
But feel compelled.
Cardinal baseball fans love Cole Sturgeon.
He was stalwart. An L1C4 to invoke some formerly overused slang.
He obviously knows the game. Way more than I do, to be fair and honest.
But, an announcer, he is not.
I’ve used the descriptor somnambulant already. But that’s the word that fits his seriously understated, monotone announcing style.
— c d kaplan