To cap off one of the best days for Louisville fans in recent memory, Dan McDonnell and Co. kicked off the series against #6 Notre Dame with a loud 16-11 victory at Jim Patterson Stadium.
The Cardinals and Fighting Irish delivered blow after blow, but Louisville proved to be too much for the visitors from South Bend.
It didn’t take long for Notre Dame to get their offense going, scoring three runs in the top of the first, but Louisville answered with five of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Levi Usher connected a three run home run to left field, giving the Cards a 5-3 lead after one.
Notre Dame would then tie the game at five apiece in the third inning before the Cards answered with three more runs in the home half of the third.
Fast forward to the fifth inning when Louisville took control and didn’t look back. Trailing 9-8, the Cards tacked on eight consecutive runs over a three inning span, giving the Fighting Irish their first ACC loss after taking two games from North Carolina State last weekend.
In one of the more impressive offensive box scores you will see all season, Louisville pounded out 14 hits, five of which were doubles, two home runs, and drew ten walks.
Jack Payton and Logan Beard led the offense attack with three hits apiece, while Christian Knapczyk and Cam Masterman both recorded two. Eight of the nine starters recorded at least one hit in the rout.
Entering the game, Aidan Tyrell, the Fighting Irish starting pitcher, allowed just four runs this season over 20 innings. He lasted one inning against Louisville, allowing five earned runs.
In the first 13 games of the season, the Notre Dame pitching staff led the nation with a 1.66 ERA. The Cards exploded for 16 runs, the same amount the Fighting Irish game up in their first eight games of the season.
Although he gave up four runs in three innings, Ryan Hawks (W, 3-1) picked up the victory for the Cards. In the latter innings, the bullpen, made up of Garrett Schmeltz, Kaleb Corbett, and Michael Prosecky, allowed just one hit over the final three frames to secure the victory.
The series is up for grabs tomorrow, first pitch is scheduled for 1:00pm. Jared Poland (1-1, 1.38 ERA) will face John Michael Bertrand (4-1, 1.80 ERA). Louisville faced Bertrand last year, recording just two runs on five hits over seven innings. The Cards will have their hands full tomorrow afternoon.
What. A. Day.
L’s all the damn way up.