Tom Jurich delivers regular season AAC trophy to Dan McDonnell.
Tom Jurich delivers regular season AAC trophy to Dan McDonnell.

That 18 miles-per-hour breeze blowing out to the right field fence had to bring a smile to Jeff Gardner’s face when he arrived at Jim Patterson Stadium. He was even happier at the end.

The big left-handed batter would connect for a single, a double and a home run while batting in two runs in the University of Louisville baseball team’s 5-1 win over Cincinnati Friday.

Scoreboard statement
Scoreboard statement

His four-bagger would come in the fifth inning, sailing high over the right field fence, tying the game at 1-1.

The win, the 42nd against only 13 losses, would give Louisville the American Athletic Conference’s regular season championship with an 18-5 conference record.

Gardner, who wears No. 42, would be presented the winning jersey bearing the number 42 by Coach Dan McDonnell for his performance.

The win also gives UofL the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament which begins Wednesday in Clearwater, Fla.

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Josh Rogers, a freshman left hander from Floyd County (Ind.) High School, would pitch eight complete innings, striking out 10 batters and allowing only four hits to improve his record to 2-2.

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By Charlie Springer

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