INDIANAPOLIS – Wednesday afternoon belonged to the Louisville Bats (14-28).
Bats starting pitcher Robert Stephenson tossed six innings of two-hit ball and Louisville’s offense erupted for ten runs on 12 hits, as the visitors cruised to a 10-2 win over the Indianapolis Indians (23-20).
Stephenson was on in this game, but it didn’t start well for the righty.
Max Moroff took Stephenson deep on his fourth pitch of the day, sending the Tribe ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first. Unfortunately for Indy, that was about it for the rest of the ballgame.
A sixth inning Jordan Luplow single is the only other knock the Indians got against Stephenson. Louisville’s starter did hit a batter and walk two, but finished with a quality start at one run allowed over six frames. He also struck out nine.
Opposing Stephenson on the mound was the Tribe’s Austin Coley.
Coley turned in a scoreless first inning, but gave Moroff’s home run right back in the second. D.J. Peterson led off with a game-tying homer to left, sneaking the ball fair around the left field foul pole. Josh VanMeter followed with a double and later scored to give the Bats a 2-1 lead on a botched pickoff attempt from Indianapolis catcher Jacob Stallings.
Louisville added to their lead with a four-run fourth inning.
Coley quickly recorded two outs to start the frame, but a walk to Mason Williams and single from Chadwick Tromp kept hope alive for the visitors. It was then Stephenson, the opposing pitcher, who singled to right and made it 3-1. Phillip Earvin followed with a double that did just drop in front of Indy right fielder Eric Wood and finally Blake Trahan singled to push the Bats ahead 6-1.
Coley completed the fourth and did not return, finishing with a final line of six runs allowed on eight hits and a walk.
VanMeter did the rest of the damage for Louisville. His RBI single in the seventh made it 7-1 and after a double from Luplow brought the Indians within five runs, he blasted a three-run homer in the ninth to extend the Bats’ edge to 10-2.
The final game of this four-game series is set for a 11:05 a.m. first pitch on Thursday. Tyler Eppler (3-2, 3.60 ERA) starts and goes for the series win for the Tribe.