It was a cold, chippy game on Sunday afternoon as Louisville improved to 14-1 on the season with a 5-1 win over Dayton (3-11), completing the weekend sweep. The Flyers head coach, along with many of the players, were mouthy all weekend long.
As he exited the field after striking out Isaac Humphrey in the bottom of the third inning, Eli Majick, the Flyers starting pitcher, was responsible for both dugouts receiving a warning after he shouted at JT Benson as the two ran off the field. This ignited both teams for the remainder of the afternoon.
For the second day in a row, the Louisville starting pitcher was forced to an early exit due to injury. Carson Liggett (2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 K) took a line drive off his elbow in the bottom of the 2nd inning and was not able to return to the mound. It was an extremely odd play as Dayton had runners on first and second. The line drive hit Liggett, popped in the air to Noah Smith, who doubled up the runner on first base to end the inning.
The ball was then tossed to freshman Tucker Biven, who has provided a spark out of the bullpen this season, posting a 1.00 ERA in 9 innings. Biven worked 3 innings on Sunday, allowing 1 ER on 3 hits and 3 walks, striking out 3 batters.
Riley Phillips (W, 1-0), who began the season in the weekend rotation, was called to get out of a jam in the top of the 6th inning. The Flyers loaded the bases with no outs and Phillips was able to limit the damage to one run, inducing a strikeout, single, ground out, and fly out to end the frame. Phillips recorded 5 strikeouts in 2 innings, 4 of them coming in one inning.
Fast forward to the top of the 8th inning, freshman Kayden Campbell (S, 1: 2 IP, 4 K, 0 H, 0 BB) entered in the same situation, with bases loaded and no outs, facing the Flyers 2-3-4 hitters. With a 4-1 lead, the first batter grounded out to Jack Payton, followed by two strikeouts to end the threat.
Campbell would sit the Flyers down in order in the top of the 9th inning to seal the series sweep. In the two innings he was credited for, Campbell faced the minimum of six batters, striking out 4 of them.
With Kade Grundy ready to go in the bullpen, the fact that the coaching staff went with Campbell and stuck with him shows how much confidence they have in this young man. He likely just earned himself some work in ACC play.
The two freshman, Biven and Campbell, combined for 5 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, and 7 strikeouts. Massive impact from two of the younger guys on this roster that have very bright futures with this program.
For the second day in a row, JT Benson (2-3, 2 3B, 2 R, SB) led the offensive attack for Louisville, who stole 7 bases as a team, led by Tyeler Hawkins with 2.
Christian Knapczyk, Patrick Forbes, Logan Beard, and Hawkins were each credited with an RBI.
Although Louisville picked up the sweep, they had a few bumps along the way. Between the base running mistakes and free passes issued (17 BB and 3 HBP), the Cards will have to clean up these miscues before Georgia Tech (13-3, 2-1 ACC) comes to town next weekend.
The Cards will have one more tune-up game before ACC play begins Friday evening. Louisville will host Miami (OH) on Wednesday at 11:30 AM for Elementary School Day.