Saturday, February 25, 2023


University of Louisville News & Perspectives

Coach Dan McDonnell leads the charge from the outfield for the UofL baseball team on opening day (Mike DeZarn photo).

Louisville baseball heats up quickly on opening day

Dan McDonnell welcomes Peyton Siva to Jim Patterson Stadium to throw the opening pitch. Peyton and friends are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Louisville’s third NCAA basketball championship this weekend (Mike DeZarn photo).

Thirty degrees but it feels like 20 or below out there. But University of Louisville baseball was back, opening up the 2023 college baseball with a convincing 7-1 win over Bucknell at Jim Patterson Stadium. An estimated 576 chilled-to-the-bone fans bearing witness to the wintry conditions.

Senior Ryan Hawks made his first start a good one, striking out nine batters and allowing only one hit (Mike DeZarn photo).

Ryan Hawks, a senior from Bowling Green, turning in a dominant performance in his second start of his career. The right-hander struck out a career-high nine in 6.1 innings with his only run allowed coming after he exited the game in the seventh. The longest Opening Day start by a Louisville pitcher since Kyle Funkhouser worked seven innings against Alabama State in the first game of 2015.

A surprising offensive performance from the Cardinals with three batters — Isaac Humphrey, Ryan McCoy and Tyeler Hawkins — accounting for three home runs in an 11-hit game for the Cardinals.

Shortstop Christian Knapczyk led off the third inningh with a perfect bunt single down the third base line and Isaac Humphrey launched the first UofL four bagger to open the scoring. Two batters later, Ryan McCoy singled and Eddie King Jr. followed with his first collegiate hit, sending a triple into the left-center gap that scoring McCoy from first. Brandon Anderson tacked on another run with a ground out and the Cards led 4-0.

After a Jack Payton single, McCoy recorded his first home run in a Louisville uniform, launching a ball 428 feet down the right field line. One inning later, Tyeler Hawkins added the final run of the day with a solo shot in the eighth. McCoy was three-for-four with two RBIs and two runs scored in his Louisville debut.

Relievers Evan Webster and Alex Galvan each turned in scoreless outings out of the bullpen, with Webster striking out the side in the eighth.

Great first day for junior transfer Ryan McCoy who is welcomed home by his teammates after his first home run. He was three for four hits and scored two runs (Mike DeZarn photo).
Christian Knapcyzk pauses for a moment before laying down Louisville’s first hit of the season, a perfect bunt down the third base line (Mike DeZarn photo).


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Charlie Springer

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

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