With a trip to the ACC semifinals on the line, the #25 Louisville Cardinals took on the #10 Duke Blue Devils, and soundly defeated them 9-2, just 2.5 miles from their campus in Durham, North Carolina. The pool-clinching victory powered by Stowers, Mann and Wolf sends the Cardinal Nine to the ACC semifinal round for the first time in program history.
Primarily, Louisville used a pair of 4 run innings to take down the Blue Devils, and they got started right out of the gates. Before Duke could even step up to the plate, they were already staring at a 4-0 deficit with none other than Josh Stowers. The scorching hot junior outfielder got the scoring started with a 2 RBI single to left center for his 8th RBI of the ACC Baseball Championship. Emerging as of late, catcher Zach Britton brought the home the final two runs of the inning with a 2 RBI single of his own as well.
Duke would finally crack the scoreboard in the bottom of the third with a run, but Louisville responded quickly. Their second 4 inning had Devin Mann’s fingerprints all over it. Facing loaded bases, the junior second baseman would drive a ringing double to clear the bases and send three runs home. He would also make it home for the innings fourth run after sophomore first baseman Logan Wyatt hit a ball long enough for a sacrifice fly. Other than the two 4 run innings, the only other scoring Louisville would accomplish would be an RBI groundout from sophomore third baseman Justin Lavey in the fifth.
With it being a Friday game, of course you could expect another gem from junior Adam Wolf. In his 7.0 inning start, the left-hander struck out 9 batters and only surrendered 1 earned run with Duke’s second run in the game being unearned. After a stellar start, sophomore Shay Smiddy would provide a stellar finish. Closing the door on the Blue Devils, he would strikeout 3 batters in 2.0 innings of relief and also did not surrender a single hit.
Up next, The Cards will take on the Pittsburgh Panthers in the ACC Baseball Championship semifinals. Louisville faced Pitt in their final road trip of the regular season and swept them. The game is set for 1pm, and will be televised on RSN.
W: Adam Wolf (7-2), L: Mitch Stallings (3-5)