Louisville Drops First Game of Season vs. Western Illinois

The Cardinals' four-game win streak is snapped at the hands of the Leathernecks.
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(Photo of Luke Brown: William Caudill via University of Louisville Athletics)

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W: Brett Sears (1-0), L: Michael Prosecky (0-1), S: Brian Raymond (1)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Continuing on their eight-game home stand to start the 2021 season, the Louisville baseball program ran into their first roadblock of the year, dropping Game 1 of their three-game series with Western Illinois 8-3 on Friday at Jim Patterson Stadium.

The Cardinals pitching staff gave up 15 hits and five walks on the day, while their defense committed three errors in the field. Conversely, Louisville (4-1) could only collect five base hits themselves, while striking out 10 times to WIU starter Brett Sears (5.0 IP, 4 K, 2 H, 5 BB, 3 ER) and reliever Brian Raymond (4.0 IP, 6 K, 3 H, 2 BB, 0 ER).

Freshman left-hander Michael Prosecky (3.2 IP, 7 K, 6 H, 3 BB, 1 ER), who was given the start on the mound after Glenn Albanese was one of eleven players deemed unavailable for the series, had an up and down season-debut. While he was able to strike out seven batters, he worked himself into a couple jams, including one that got him pulled in the fourth inning. While he gave up double digit base runners, only one of his three runs given up was earned because of a passed ball from catcher Henry Davis.

The Leathernecks (1-0) might have plated the first three runs of the game, but Louisville responded quickly with a three-run fourth inning. Infielder Tim Borden II (1-4, RBI, 2B) reached on a bases loaded fielder's choice, and outfielder Trey Leonard (1-4, 2 RBI, 2B) followed that up with a 2 RBI double.

Unfortunately, Western Illinois jumped on Tate Kuehner (2.1 IP, 2 K, 3 H, 1 BB, 2 ER) in the fifth inning for three more runs. A fielding error with two men on plated a run, then the freshman southpaw gave up a bases loaded walk and single for the other two runs in the inning.

Freshman right-hander Seamus Barrett (1.2 IP, 3 K, 4 H, 1 BB, 2 ER) tossed a scoreless seventh, but then he would also get worked into a two-out jam in the eighth. Freshman left-hander Evan Webster was inserted into the jam, and immediately gave up a 2 RBI single to the Leathernecks. He did, however, respond with a scoreless ninth.

Next up for No. 2 Louisville, they'll continue their three-game weekend series against Western Illinois with Game 2. First pitch is slated for Saturday, Feb. 24 at 1:00pm EST, and will be televised on ACC Network Extra & broadcast on 93.9 The Ville.

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