The University of Louisville welcomed Western Michigan to Jim Patterson Stadium for the first home weekend series on Friday night by using the Bronco's pitching staff for batting practice.
The 7th-ranked Cardinals scattered a Jim Patterson Stadium record 22 hits throughout the game, scoring in every inning but the first to defeat the Broncos 21-8.
Kyle Gibson highlighted a night that saw seven Cardinals have multi-hit outings. The senior catcher had a career best 4 hits in 5 at bats, with 3 RBIs and 3 runs scored. Jeff Gardner, Danny Rosenbaum, Will Smith and Cole Sturgeon all connected for 3 hits.
Gardner upped his team leading batting average to .526, while Smith, a freshman, hit a pair of doubles.
Sturgeon, who went 3-for-6, connected for two doubles and a home run to drive in a career best 6 runs.
“It was a good day,” said Sturgeon, a senior from Owensboro, Ky. “It's a great feeling personally, but it helps the team and helps the lineup and that's the main purpose. It gets everybody going, so its good.”
Friday saw the return of Sutton Whiting to the lineup. After missing three games with a fractured nose caused by a wild pitch during the season opening win against West Virginia, the junior entered in the fifth inning and played shortstop. He went 2-for-4 at the plate.
Nine freshmen played against Western Michigan, with many recording their first hits.
“They play hard,” Sturgeon said of the freshmen. “That's the biggest thing. They play really hard and they get after it every day in practice and it is showing in the game when they get the chance.”
Louisville and Western Michigan will face each other on Saturday and Sunday. The Cardinals hope to avoid any let down after such a dominating win.
“It's a new day,” he said, explaining that baseball “can humble you very quickly. We've all learned that at some point or another. You just have to wash it. Enjoy for a couple hours tonight, but wake up tomorrow focused.”