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Louisville completes comeback, improves to 4-0 with 12-8 win over Xavier

The Cards erased a 6-2 deficit on Wednesday night to remain undefeated on the season

Photo by Taris Smith (University of Louisville Athletics)

Seven home runs and four lead changes later, Louisville (4-0) won a slugfest at Jim Patterson Stadium on Wednesday afternoon against the visiting Musketeers (0-5). Every time Xavier threw a punch, the Cardinals responded, ultimately landing the knockout blow with four runs in the bottom of the 8th inning to seal the victory.

Xavier took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning with a solo shot by Jared Cushing, but they would only hold on to the lead for a short period of time.

Fast forward to the bottom of the second when Ryan McCoy belted his second home run of the season, followed by a back-to-jack by Eddie King Jr. who gave the Cards a 2-1 lead.

Check out McCoy’s opposite field home run here:

And here is the go ahead blast from King:

Like Xavier, the Cards lead was temporary, as the Musketeers would respond with a two-run home run in the top of the 3rd inning to reclaim the lead.

The excitement calmed down through the middle innings until Xavier tacked on three more runs in the 6th inning, extending their lead to 6-2. Then the Cards got hot.

In the home half of the 6th inning, Will Cook smoked a ball into right-center field, scoring two, followed by a RBI double by JT Benson to get the Cards within a run.

It seemed like Louisville was starting to gain momentum, then Xavier responded in a big way with two solo home runs in the top of the 7th to stretch their lead to 8-5. The first home run of the inning was off the bat of Matt McCormick, his second of the afternoon.

It was all Louisville from that point forward.

In the bottom of the 7th inning, the Cards were still trailing by three runs. Logan Beard stepped in the box with two runners on, two outs. Beard was off to a slow start this season, but this is exactly what he needed to turn things around, belting a home run to straight away center field, tying the game at 8.

In the bottom of the 8th inning, Jack Payton (1), McCoy (1), and Tyeler Hawkins (2) would each chip in with RBIs to complete the comeback for the Cards.

Payton, McCoy, and King added three hits apiece, while Beard led the way with 3 RBI. The Cards tallied 17 hits on the afternoon as a team.

This is the type of game we are going to get used to seeing this season. Back-and-forth and high scoring, but very entertaining. The pitching staff is working out a few kinks, trying to get a few guys healthy, and determining roles for each member of the bullpen.

I anticipate the offense will continue producing the way they have been, which will keep us in a lot of games, even if the pitching staff is having an off day. The question is, who responds on this staff? Time will tell.

On the mound Wednesday afternoon, Justin West made his first career start in a Louisville uniform after missing last season due to recovering from Tommy John surgery. In the top of the 2nd inning, West was taken out of the game due to an arm injury. No further information has been given at this time.

Kade Grundy (2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER), Will Koger (2.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER), and Evan Webster (1 IP, 3 H, 2ER) each made an appearance from the bullpen, but could not seem to cool the bats of the Musketeers.

Alex Galvan (.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER) entered in the top of the 7th inning to stop the bleeding before turning it over to Ben Wiegman (W, 1-0) for his first win of the season. Wiegman allowed just two hits in the final two innings, surrendering 0 runs.

The Cards will host Bowling Green (1-2) this weekend at Jim Patterson Stadium. The Falcons took one game from Tennessee Tech over the weekend, but lost the other two. The proposed schedule is as follows:

Friday @ 3:00 PM

Saturday @ 1:00 PM

Sunday @ 1:00 PM

Admission is free for all three games, and they will be televised on the ACC Network Extra. You can also listen along on 970 AM.