Josh Stowers is greeted by his teammates after scoring the third of UofL four runs in the second inning (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

A dark day in the University of Louisville sports history, but a beautiful day for baseball. Coach Dan McDonnell ushering in the 2018 home season, reason to cheer again, reminding fans only one sport was affected by NCAA bungling.

Brian Hoeing gets off to a rocky start but hangs on for first win (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

A crowd of 2,535 showing up for game against Eastern Kentucky, the first game under the paid admissions structure. Temperatures reaching the 80’s, 300 more people on hand than attended last year’s opener free in equally nice weather.

Right hander Brian Hoeing, getting the mid-week start, notching his first win of the season despite giving up four bases on balls and three hits in four-and-a-half innings.  Sam Bordner would shut down the Colonels one-two-three on strikeouts in the ninth to get his second save of the season.

The firepower was provided by junior Devin Mann with two singles for the game, one of them driving in the two deciding runs in the second inning. Sophomore Ethan Stringer doubled to open the inning and scored on a single by classmate Drew Campbell.

The long wait is over, and UofL is 4-0 after the first week of the season. More of an attraction than a distraction for UofL fans, lots of new faces in the lineup and much to look forward to if the past is any predictor of the future. 

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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.