LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Behind a big home run from Blake Tiberi (Taylor Mill, Ky./Holy Cross HS), and strong plate appearances from Mike White (East Orange, N.J./Salisbury HS), Brendan McKay (Darlington, Pa./Blackhawk HS), and Will Smith (Louisville, Ky./Kentucky Country Day), the University of Louisville Cardinals baseball team pulled out a 7-6 win over a game Eastern Kentucky squad Tuesday afternoon at Jim Patterson stadium.
EKU struck first in the top of the second inning when Ben Fisher hit an RBI rope to third scoring TJ Alas who had moved to third after a double by Taylor Blair. Outfielder Kyle Nowlin then scored on a wild pitch from third, after he had moved to third the previous pitch on a passed ball. Fisher then scored off an RBI groundout by Kenny Hostrander giving the Colonels a 3-0 lead.
In the Cards half of the frame Tiberi hit an RBI single to centerfield that scored McKay. Tiberi showed up big today logging a 3-for-3 day at the dish with three RBI, and one home run that came in the fifth inning. Tiberi talked about his day.
“There is no better feeling than winning at home,” Tiberi stated. “Eastern is no easy win, just tried to stay simple today. I hit a fastball in my first at-bat, I was just trying to be patient, I was trying to work the other way to the field. Then he got the 3-2 on me and I saw the fastball and reacted.”
White hit an RBI sac fly in the second inning scoring smith cutting into the EKU lead 3-2.
Louisville went back to work in their half of the third frame when Tiberi hit his two RBI home run to right field. McKay scored on the shot, giving the Cards a 4-3 lead.
McKay is earning a daily spot in the Cards lineup with his production of late. He went 2-for-4 with two runs scored today.
“I’m seeing the ball well but you just have to be prepared out there,” McKay stated.
The fifth inning saw each team score with EKU putting up a run when Nowlin doubled scoring Alas. Then White singled to right field, advanced to second on an error by right-fielder Alas, and Tiberi advanced to third while Smith scored for the Cards. Then Devin Hairston (Lexington, Ky./Tates Creek HS) RBI singled to third base on a 3-2 pitch, White advanced to third; Tiberi scored moving the score to 6-5 in favor of the Cards.
With Louisville up 7-5 in the ninth, Alas made it interesting when he bombed a solo shot to center pushing the score to 7-6, but the Cards retired the next two batters in a row to end the game.
“I knew this was going to be a hard fought battle,” said Head Coach Dan McDonnell. “I got a lot of respect for this EKU team.”