No. 4 Louisville continued its winning trend with a 12-2 win over Fort Wayne on Wednesday at Jim Patterson Stadium.
The Cardinals fell behind for just the third time this season and were held without a hit until Devin Mann connected for a solo home run over the left-center wall. The shot sparked a five-hit, five run inning that lifted Louisville to a 5-2 advantage.
Highlighted by a 3-for-4 outing by shortstop Devin Hairston, Louisville would go on to pound out 12 hits to defeat the visiting Matadors 12-2. Hairston came up a home run shy of hitting for the cycle. His bases loaded triple in the seventh inning fueled a career-best five RBI outing.
Mann finished 2-for4, including a double and scored a pair of runs.
Bryan Hoeing made his third start of the young season, but continued to struggle. The freshman who had Tommy John surgery following his high school career, worked 3.1 innings, giving up two runs on six hits. He also walked four while striking out two. Sam Bordner, Adam Elliott, Shay Smiddy and Chandler Dale combined to work 5.2 scoreless innings.
The win marks the 28th consecutive home win.
Louisville improved to 12-0 on the season with the win over Ft. Wayne, making the team just one win shy of equaling the best start for a team during the Dan McDonnell era. The 2010 team started the year 13-0.
The best start in school history occurred in 1957 when the team finished 17-0 on the season.
Louisville begins ACC play this weekend as Pittsburgh visits Jim Patterson Stadium for a three-game set.
The Panthers enter the weekend following two straight losses and are 7-4 overall. Louisville holds a 14-8 all-time series edge against Pittsburgh, including five consecutive wins and seven of the last eight meetings.
With ACC programs currently in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll, league play will bring the meat of the Cardinals schedule and it is something that head coach Dan McDonnell is looking forward to.
"The respect that you have for the teams in our league and how tough they are," said McDonnell. "It's fun."
Louisville's hot start to the season has the team among the nation's leaders in multiple statistical categories.
TEAM STAT RANKS
|On Base %||2nd||.444|
INDIVIDUAL STAT RANKS
|Brendan McKay||On Base %||3rd||.689|
|Devin Hairston||Sac Flies||8th||12|
|Brendan McKay||Slugging %||3rd||1.097|
|Logan Taylor||Stolen Bases||10th||8|