The Eastern Kentucky University baseball, softball and football teams made the trip to Louisville to face the Cardinals.
The Colonel baseball team played a double header against the Cards and fell in both exhibition games 2-1 and 9-3.
Both games were played until the sixth inning since they were exhibition games.
Head coach Edwin Thompson was glad his team was able to play a highly ranked team like Louisville.
“We’re only nine games in so playing against a program like that gives us experience and I think anytime you play a game like that in the fall gives us information,” he said.
Playing the Cardinals gave the Colonels a chance to learn and improve before the season starts in the spring.
“The freshmen and the new guys got a chance to get out and get their feet wet and make some mistakes,” Thompson said. “Our first half was some of the older guys so it was a close game, but it’s not really about the score we’re just trying to play the game the right way. At this point in the year we still try to put stuff in during these exhibition games.”
Thompson is pleased to have a good connection with Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell and to be able to face them throughout the year.
The Cardinals have made four trips to the NCAA College World Series in 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2019.
This time also gave Thompson and his coaching staff the opportunity to coach their younger players through the mistakes and teach them along the way.
Many of the players that saw action against the Cards were freshmen.
“They’re freshmen, it doesn’t matter how you cut it until you get out there in that moment your heart rate is going to be faster and the game is going to speed up a bit,” Thompson said. “Once we get them calm down the next time we play is against Wright State in October at our place so that’s our challenge, seeing where the growth is by the end of the fall hits and hopefully get ready for the spring.”
Thompson said his guys need to see more reps during the fall to improve and prepare for the spring.
“This is a good measuring stick against one of the best programs in the country so when you do that and put your guys in that type of environment it gives us a better chance to be competitive for later in the fall and into the spring.”
The baseball team finished last season with a 32-27 record and recorded the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament for the second year in a row.
The EKU softball team also played a double header against the Cards on Saturday.
The Colonels fell in game 1 of the series 3-2. Louisville redshirt freshman Eden Mayo went 2-for-2 with a home run and two RBIs.
In game 2, EKU came up short by a final score of 5-1 against the Cards.
The softball team continues its fall season on Sept. 29 when Kentucky State comes to Richmond. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Gertrude Hood Field.
On Oct. 6, the Colonels will travel to the University of Kentucky for a 1 p.m. game. EKU will wrap up the fall schedule against Campbellsville in a double header in Richmond.
Thompson was happy to see all three teams in Louisville to compete.
“It’s awesome. They [Louisville] are great partners with us and they always come to our field and they invite us over to play and to have everything EKU day, it’s always pretty cool to have that,” Thompson said.