The No. 10 Louisville baseball team closed a dominant weekend on the diamond with a 12-3 win over Xavier on Sunday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.
The Cardinals (21-6) completed a 4-0 week by outscoring Xavier and Butler 35-5 in three weekend games. Louisville never trailed throughout the trio of contests while improving to 18-4 at home this season.
In Sunday's triumph, senior outfielder Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky.) led the offense going 2-for-5 with a triple, three RBI and three runs scored, while fellow senior outfielder Jeff Gardner (Louisville, Ky.) was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI. Senior catcher Kyle Gibson (Henderson, Ky.) was 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored, while freshmen Colin Lyman (Algonquin, Ill.) and Logan Taylor (Lexington, Ky.) added two hits each.
On the mound, sophomore righthander Anthony Kidston (Defiance, Ohio) matched a career-high with seven strikeouts while allowing one run on just two hits in a season-long six innings in his first weekend start of the season. Sunday marked the third time Kidston, who is 7-0 in his career, has struck out seven in a game.
Louisville started quickly on Sunday plating a pair of runs in the first inning on a two-run single to center by Gardner. The Cardinals added two more in the third inning as Sturgeon delivered a RBI single and later scored on an error by the Musketeers (13-13).
After Xavier scored its first run of the day in the fourth on a RBI single from shortstop Andre Jernigan, the Cardinals answered in the bottom of the inning when Gibson, who doubled and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by senior third baseman Alex Chittenden (Indianapolis, Ind.) scored from third on a wild pitch for the 5-1 lead.
Two innings later, the Cardinals ended any thought of a Xavier comeback with a six-run seventh inning. The scoring plays included a two-run triple by Sturgeon, an RBI single by junior Grant Kay (Omaha, Neb.), an RBI double by Gardner and a two-run triple by Chittenden.
The Musketeers added two runs in the top of the eighth, while the Cardinals finished the scoring in the bottom of the inning on a RBI single by freshman infielder Nick Solak (Woodridge, Ill.). Righty starter Vinny Nittoli was charged with the loss and dropped to 3-2 on the season after allowing five runs, including three earned, on five hits in four innings.
Up next, the 10th-ranked Cardinals travel to Lexington, Ky., for the first of two matchups with No. 17 Kentucky on Tuesday at 6 p.m., ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.