--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
The Louisville Cardinals won a ‘ruff’ outing against Northern Kentucky Tuesday, 11-2.
While the score was not necessarily close, and the Cardinals never trailed; it was Bark at the Park Night at Jim Patterson Stadium. There were multiple four-legged fans present at the left-field berm throughout the game.
The Louisville nine were hardly barking. Dan McDonnell’s squad jumped out in front in the first inning, and stayed there for the rest of the game. On the mound, it was a start by committee. Luke Smith pitched three innings of scoreless baseball, followed by one inning from Shay Smiddy, one from Garrett Schmeltz, two-thirds from Jack Perkins, 1.1 from Adam Elliott, and a slew from the rest of the bullpen.
Tyler Fitzgerald notched his second triple of the season in the bottom of the first. It gave him his 28th RBI of the season- and plated Lucas Dunn.
Logan Wyatt added an insurance run in the third. He drove in Fitzgerald on an RBI single to right field; on the second pitch of the at-bat.
Northern Kentucky cut their deficit in half in the fifth. Noah Fisher reached base, made it to third on an error, and scored on a groudout from Collin Luty.
Louisville scored in their half of the fifth. Alex Binelas ripped a two-bagger to the corner in left, scoring two runs. It came after Northern opted to go to the bullpen. Binelas came home on a wild pitch.
Northern Kentucky loaded the bases in the top of the sixth. Instead of looking like the four Norsemen of the apocalypse (does anyone even read these recaps?), they scraped across only one run. Louisville’s lead was still greater than the beginning of the previous inning.
Zach Britton looped an RBI double to right in the bottom of the seventh to restore Louisville’s four-run lead. Britton went home on an error. Trey Leonard stole second, and advanced to third on an error. He ran home on a wild pitch, scoring Louisville’s ninth run. Since he completely missed the bag, the umpire was hesitant to call him safe.
Wyatt drove in Louisville’s 10th run on a sacrifice fly deep to center in the eighth. Fitzgerald scored on a wild pitch later in the inning.
Louisville moves to 25-8 (10-5 ACC). They will travel to Raleigh, for a three-game set against NC State. Game one is Friday at 6:30. Reid Detmers looks to make another tremendous start.