Entering the game Friday afternoon, Dayton (3-9) was 282nd in the country in runs scored, averaging just over 3.3 runs per game. You would not have been able to tell from the Flyers performance to begin the series, pounding 11 hits against a Louisville pitching staff that was top 15 in the country in ERA.
As well as Dayton played, Louisville (12-1) found yet another way to win a baseball game, outlasting the Flyers 11-7 in front of a small, but rowdy crowd. I don’t know who they are, but the (assumed to be) students behind home plate made their voices heard for much of the game, giving the Flyers dugout hell from first pitch.
The main story of the afternoon was the milestone for Head Coach Dan McDonnell on his 700th career win, which have all taken place at Louisville. Pitching Coach Roger Williams has been on staff in the same position for each win along the way as well.
Kudos to these two for having a vision for this program and sticking around for 17+ seasons.
Although the Flyers have struggled early on this season, they came into Jim Patterson Stadium with a chip on their shoulders attempting to delay Coach McDonnell’s milestone victory. Facing Ryan Hawks (W, 4-0), one of the best pitchers early on this season, Dayton jumped out in front with 5 runs in the first 2 innings.
Edward Yamin hit a two-run shot in the top of the first inning into the berm, followed by a three-run second inning to stun Louisville fans early on. The Cards would outscore Dayton 11-2 in the remaining 7 innings.
Fast forward to the home-half of the 5th, Louisville manufactured 9 runs on 5 hits, 4 walks, 1 error, and 1 HBP. Dayton would use four different pitchers to get out of the inning.
Jack Payton (2-3, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 R) once again proved why he is an All-American, recording the only extra base his for Louisville on the afternoon. He was joined by Eddie King Jr. and Gavin Kilen as the three batters with two hits apiece.
Having the ability to score 11 runs with just one extra base hit is a mighty impressive feat and comes down to patience in the batters box. The Cards drew 9 walks, plus 2 HBP in the opening series win.
Hawks picked up his fourth victory of the season, settling down after a shaky first two innings, keeping the Flyers off the board for his final 3.1 frames. His line for the day was: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 3 K’s, 2 BB. It was not his best outing of the season, but the fact that he was able to bounce back and give an additional 3.1 innings, saving the bullpen, was huge.
Evan Webster (S, 1) made his 5th appearance this season, twirling the final 3.2 innings, allowing 2 runs (both unearned), on 3 hits while striking out 3. Webster continues to show growth and has been a reliable arm in the bullpen this season. In 10.2 innings, he has a 1.69 ERA.
The Cards and Flyers will do it again tomorrow with first pitched scheduled for 1:00 PM. Greg Farone (1-0, 1.46 ERA) will make his second career start for Louisville against Mark Manfredi (0-1, 3.29 ERA). The game will be televised on ACC Network Extra, or you can find it on the airways on 93.9 The Ville and 970AM.