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Louisville Overwhelms EKU in Midweek Finale

The Cardinals kick off the final week of the regular season in the win column.
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W: Tate Kuehner (6-3), L: Isaac Milburn (2-4)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Kicking off the final week of the regular season, the Louisville baseball program returned home to host Eastern Kentucky for last midweek game of the season, and picked up a 9-3 win Tuesday at Jim Patterson Stadium.

The No. 7 Cardinals (36-15-1) finish their slate of midweek games this season with an 11-1 record, with the lone loss coming to Lipscomb back on Mar. 22. They also move to 20-2 against the Colonels (33-18) in the Dan McDonnell era.

The Louisville offense got a quick spark right out of the gates, with Jack Payton (2-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB) and Ben Metzinger (3-4, HR, 3 RBI, BB) each launching two-run homers in the first and third, respectively. The Cardinals followed that up with a three-spot in the fourth, as Ben Bianco (1-4, RBI), Noah Smith (2-4, RBI) and Metzinger all collected RBI singles.

After a couple scoreless frames, Louisville added a trio of insurance runs down the stretch. Seeing his first action since late March, Tyeler Hawkins (1-1, 2 RBI, 2B, BB) collected an RBI double in the seventh, then that was followed up by an Isaac Humphrey (2-3, RBI) RBI single. Hawkins also drew a bases loaded walk in the eighth.

As with most midweek games, it was a staff day on the mound for Louisville, with the Cardinals sending out nine total pitchers. Ben Wiegman (1.1 IP, 1 K 3 BB) and Tate Kuehner (1.2 IP, 3 K, 2 BB) combined to pitch the first three innings, with EKU plating their first run of the game in the fourth inning.

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The Colonels might have chased out Kyle Walter (0.0 IP, 1 BB, 1 ER) before he recorded an out, but Garrett Schmeltz (2.0 IP, 2 K, 1 H) was able to steady the ship after he exited the game. Will Koger (1.2 IP, 1 K, 4 H) and Ryan Hawks (0.1 IP) also followed with scoreless outings.

EKU did make things slightly interesting in the late stages, taking advantage of a throwing error to plate two runs in the eighth inning off of Seamus Barrett (0.2 IP, 2 K, 3 BB) and Adam Dowler (1.0 IP, 2 K, 2 H). The pitching staff was able to rebound to end the night, with Dowler and Kaleb Corbett (0.1 IP) combining to pitch a scoreless ninth.

Next up for Louisville, they'll kick off their final weekend series of the regular season and host Virginia. First pitch of game one is slated for Thursday, May 19 at 6:00 p.m. EST, and will be televised on ACC Network Extra and broadcast on 93.9 The Ville.

(Photo of Louisville Players via Jared Anderson - State of Louisville)

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