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Bats Mash Their Way to 9-3 Victory

May 25, 2024 - International League (IL)
Louisville Bats News Release

The Louisville Bats attacked early and often to power the home team to a 9-3 win over the Toledo Mud Hens, clinching a series victory in front of a lively crowd of 5,578 at Louisville Slugger Field on Saturday night.

The win improves the Bats record a season-high eight games over .500 at 29-21 through the first third of the season. Louisville has now won three consecutive series after taking four of the first five against Toledo.

Making his Cincinnati Reds organizational debut and his first appearance in affiliated baseball since 2022, Bats southpaw Brandon Leibrandt got off to a good start, working around a one-out walk for a scoreless first inning.

Louisville would waste no time getting their starter some support against Toledo southpaw Lael Lockhart. Livan Soto was hit by a pitch, Rece Hinds, singled, and P.J. Higgins walked to load the bases with one out. Peyton Burdick drove in the game's first run with an RBI ground out. Michael Trautwein followed with a line drive down the left field line for a two-run triple, his first Triple-A triple, scoring Hinds and Higgins for a 3-0 Bats lead.

Pitching with the lead, Leibrandt again pitched around a walk in the second. With two outs in the bottom of the frame, Blake Dunn connected on his third home run of the season, a 396-foot opposite field solo shot to right to increase the Bats lead to 4-0.

Leibrandt allowed a two-out double in the third. But it wouldn't hurt as he induced a ground out from Ryan Vilade to end the inning with the 4-0 lead intact.

Toledo chipped away on a solo home run from Anthony Bemboom in the fourth and a sacrifice fly from Justyn-Henry Malloy in the fifth, bringing an end to Leibrandt's start. Over 4.2 innings in his Bats debut, the lefty gave up two runs on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

With the tying run at the plate and two outs in the fifth, Yosver Zulueta entered and struck out Vilade to maintain the lead. In the bottom of the inning, the Bats broke the game open for good.

Soto began the bottom of the fifth with a single to center. Hinds doubled on a blooper to right and Burdick walked to load the bases with one out. Trautwein laced a single to right to score Soto. Levi Jordan provided more insurance with a two-run double to the gap in left-center before a sacrifice fly from Hernan Perez capped a four-run inning for an 8-2 Bats lead.

The offensive onslaught continued an inning later when Rece Hinds blasted a 423-foot solo home run to left-center, his sixth home run of the season for a 9-2 Bats advantage.

Zulueta (W, 2-0) wrapped up his relief outing in the seventh. In a season-high 2.1 innings, he gave up one run on two hits with two walks and three strikeouts to pick up his second victory of the season.

Alex Young continued his dominance on his rehab assignment with his 11th consecutive scoreless outing, pitching a clean top of the eighth. In the ninth, Zach Maxwell finished the win with a dominant ninth, striking out a pair.

Trautwein drove in three of the Bats' runs in a 2-for-4 performance, scoring once. Hinds went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI, finishing a triple shy of the cycle. Burdick also recorded a pair of hits while Soto scored twice in the victory. The home runs from Dunn and Hinds increased the Bats' franchise-record streak of consecutive games with a homer to 19.

The Bats (29-21) conclude the series with the Mud Hens (26-24) on Sunday afternoon. First pitch at Louisville Slugger Field is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Nick Curran and Jim Kelch will be on the call for 1450/96.1 WXVW.

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