UofL’s Nick Bennett handcuffs Duke on four hits

Freshman Nick Bennett pauses for a moment of reverence and solitude each inning before he takes the mound for the University of Louisville baseball team.

 

With a couple of All American pitching on Fridays and Saturdays, one of the big unknowns was who would earn the Sunday starting spot for the University of Louisville baseball team.

Nick Bennett off to a 4-0 start and a promising future with Louisville baseball.

That question has been answered with the emergence of Nick Bennett, a freshman who was down the list of potential starters in February. The 6-foot-4, 219-pound left hander from Cincinnati Moeller High School showed why as UofL defeated Duke 10-0 to wrap up another conference series.

Bennett, looking like he could have gone the distance, allowed the visiting Blue Devils only four hits while striking out five batters and yielding no bases on balls. Confidently securing the series after Brendan McKay had dropped a 5-3 decision on Friday and Kade McClure survived a 7-5 decision on Saturday.

Bennett’s longest previous outing was 6.1 innings against Wake Forest on April 9, while Sunday’s effort moved his record to 4-0 on the season, including a 3-0 mark in the ACC.

Sunday’s shutout was the eighth of the season for the Cardinals, who improved to 33-6 overall and a conference-leading 17-4 in the ACC.

A day after scoring seven runs in the second inning of Saturday’s win, the Cardinals gained control with a three-run third inning. Following back-to-back singles from McKay and Drew Ellis, Devin Mann drove both players home with his two-run double to left field. 

Sophomore righthander Riley Thompson followed Bennett and registered three strikeouts in two scoreless innings of relief to complete the shutout for the Cardinals, who moved to 23-2 at home this season.

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Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.