Louisville (4-3) took care of Dartmouth on Friday and Sunday, but the two lopsided wins sandwiched a tough loss for the Cards on Saturday afternoon. Dan McDonnell used the three games this weekend to insert new faces in the lineup and starting rotation, which appears to be a fluid situation until he settles on his preferred lineup.
The Cards have used four different starting first basemen this season, changed the weekend rotation, and have used many new faces during the first seven games of the season.
The narrative that this Louisville team doesn’t have talent - is wrong. They have plenty of talent, they are just young and inexperienced at some positions. This team will probably take a few on the chin this year, but let the cake bake. They will be just fine.
On Friday afternoon, the Cards exploded with 19 runs on on 15 hits, scoring the games first 12 runs on their way to a 19-5 victory. Christian Knapczyk paced the Cards with three hits, followed by Ben Metzinger, Jack Payton, and Levi Usher chipping in two apiece.
Cam Masterman and Dalton Rushing both homered in the game, with Ben Bianco and Usher leading the offense with three RBI apiece.
Tate Kuehner (1-0) picked up his first victory of the season, tossing five innings of shutout baseball, striking out five Big Green batters. Freshman, and Somerset native, Kade Grundy, Evan Webster, and Alex Galvan came in from the pen and each kept Dartmouth off the scoreboard.
Captain Carter Lohman made his first appearance on the season and gave up all five runs in just .2 innings, walking five batters.
Outside of the 7th inning, this was about as dominating of a win as you could hope for as a Louisville fan.
On Saturday, things just didn’t seem to click for the Cards as Dartmouth won their first game in over 730 days after not competing in 2021. Louisville managed just five hits, losing game two of the series, 6-4.
Louisville led 4-2 after six innings, but Dartmouth went on to score the final four runs of the game.
The Cards used four pitchers on the afternoon and none of them seemed to find a good feel for the ball. Ryan Hawks (1-1) picked up the loss after giving up three runs in 2.2 innings.
Logan Beard was the only player with multiple hits, recording two on the day. Masterman, for the third time in three games, left the yard, but it wouldn’t prove to be enough.
The rubber match on Sunday was reminiscent of the opening game on Friday with the Cards taking game three, 16-3, improving to 4-3 on the season.
Riley Phillips (1-0) got his first start of the season, giving up just one run in five innings of work. Phillips struck out five batters and gave up four hits before turning things over to the bullpen. Will Koger, Kyle Walter, Carson Liggett, and JR Langworthy finished up the final four frames.
Ben Bianco was en fuego on Sunday afternoon, leading the offensive attack with five hits, including a triple and two doubles, three RBI, and four runs scored. Knapczyk, Metzinger, and JT Benson also recorded multi-hit games, with Metzinger pitching in a game-high, five RBI day.
Louisville will host Morehead State, who beat the Cards last season, on Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 pm before Akron visits Louisville next weekend for a three game series. All four games will be televised on ACC Network Extra.