No. 2 Louisville handily defeated Eastern Kentucky, 14-2, Tuesday, improving to 4-0 to start the season.
The competition will get markedly tougher this weekend when Louisville travels to No. 21 Mississippi, but so far the Cardinals have been dominant at the outset of the season, outscoring their opponents 57-7. You can see highlights of Tuesday’s game here.
|How The Top 25 Fared|
|(1) Florida: won, 12-4, vs. Eastern Michigan|
|(2) Louisville: won, 14-2, vs. Eastern Kentucky|
|(3) Texas A&M: won, 21-1, vs. Stephen F. Austin|
|(4) Virginia: won, 18-1, vs. Virginia Military Institute|
|(5) Oregon State: off|
|(6) Miami: off|
|(7) Vanderbilt: won, 11-6, vs. Tennessee-Martin (5 innings)|
|(8) Louisiana State: off|
|(9) Houston: won, 14-1, vs. McNeese State|
|(10) Louisiana-Lafayette: off|
|(11) California: won, 5-4, vs. San Francisco|
|(12) Oregon: off|
|(13) Oklahoma State: off|
|(14) Michigan: off|
|(15) UCLA: lost, 10-1, vs. Long Beach State|
|(16) Florida State: off|
|(17) Texas Christian: off|
|(18) North Carolina State: won, 7-5, vs. Morehead State|
|(19) Coastal Carolina: ppd. at UNC-Wilmington|
|(20) North Carolina: off|
|(21) Mississippi: off|
|(22) Kentucky: off|
|(23) Georgia Tech: off|
|(24) Mississippi State: ppd. vs. Memphis|
|(25) Oklahoma: ppd. vs. Abilene Christian|
Preseason All-American outfielder Corey Ray especially has started the season hot and finished a double short of the cycle Tuesday (5-for-6, HR, 3B, 4 R, 2 RBI). Through four games, the junior is hitting 11-for-15 (.733) with three home runs and six stolen bases.
Catcher Will Smith went 3-for-4 with two home runs and six RBIs and second baseman Nick Solak added four hits. On the mound, sophomore righthander Kade McClure made his first start of the season and threw five scoreless innings to pick up the victory.
Having warmed up with four easy wins at home, Louisville is ready for its first big test of the season this weekend at Mississippi.
“We’re playing good baseball, having good at bats, we’re battling,” Ray told reporters after the game. “Not a lot of strikeouts. I think that’s the key, to just have quality at bats. At Ole Miss, that’s what we’ll do.”
No. 1 Florida and No. 3 Texas A&M were also big winners Tuesday to stay undefeated as they prepare to hit the road this weekend. Florida routed Eastern Michigan, 12-4, and coach Kevin O’Sullivan used the first midweek game of the season as an opportunity to empty his bench, using 23 players in the victory.
Catcher J.J. Schwarz (2-for-2, 3 R, 2 RBI) hit his first home run of the season and first baseman Peter Alonso added two doubles and four RBIs. Florida plays Eastern Michigan in Lakeland, Fla., on Wednesday, before visiting No. 6 Miami for three games this weekend.
Texas A&M defeated Stephen F. Austin, 21-1, its largest victory since 1995. Center fielder Nick Choruby (4-for-5, 2 2B, 5 RBIs) led the offense and junior college transfer righthander Jace Vines (5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K) won his first start for the Aggies. Texas A&M plays Prairie View A&M on Wednesday before traveling to Pepperdine for a weekend series.
At the other end of the spectrum, No. 15 UCLA continued its early-season skid. After losing its opening weekend series to North Carolina, UCLA lost, 10-1, Tuesday to Long Beach State. Dirtbags shortstop Garrett Hampson (2-for-3, 4 R) paced the offense, and junior college transfer Dave Smith (5.1 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K) earned the win in his debut.