Sophomore lefthander Brendan McKay delivered one of the best pitching performances of his career registering his first collegiate complete game to lead the No. 2-ranked Louisville baseball team to a 4-0 road win over No. 21 Ole Miss on Saturday afternoon at Swayze Field.
A day after the Cardinals (5-1) narrowly dropped the series-opener against the Rebels (5-1), McKay made sure his club would see a decisive third game by striking out eight and allowing just three hits with no walks to improve to 2-0 on the season and 11-3 in his collegiate career. The outing was 1.1 innings longer than his previous best of 7.2 innings against Michigan in last year’s NCAA Regional and it marked the ninth time McKay has struck out eight or more in his career.
In his two starts this season, McKay has 16 strikeouts with just four walks and has surrendered only six hits and no runs in 14.0 innings. McKay, whose shutout streak has reached 19.0 consecutive innings dating back to last season, is 11-3 with a 1.55 ERA and 133 strikeouts in 110.2 career innings.
At the plate, all nine starters in the Louisville lineup finished with at least one hit as senior first baseman Danny Rosenbaum helped pace the way with a single, two RBI and one run scored. Junior outfielder Colin Lyman was 2-for-3 with a stolen base, while sophomore thirdbaseman Blake Tiberi and sophomore catcher Colby Fitch drove in one run each. Junior infielder Nick Solak scored a pair of runs, and McKay helped himself doubling and scoring once.
The Cardinals, who finished with a 10-3 advantage in hits on Saturday and have registered 10 or more hits in all six games this season, broke through for their first run of the day in the sixth inning without the assistance of a hit. Solak started the inning by reaching base on a fielding by error shortstop Errol Robinson and before advancing to third on a throwing error by first baseman Will Golsan. Rosenbaum followed with a RBI groundout to plate Solak for the 1-0 lead.
Louisville ended any thoughts of a comeback for Ole Miss with a three-run eighth inning. Solak also ignited this inning for the Cardinals providing a leadoff single through the left side. After moving to third on McKay’s double to right field, Solak scored on a RBI single up the middle from Rosenbaum. Tiberi’s RBI grounder scored McKay, while Fitch drove in Rosenbaum with a RBI single up the middle to complete the three-run inning.
The Cardinals, who have not lost a road series since 2014, will look to extend that streak with Sunday’s decisive third game against the Rebels, set to begin at 2:30 p.m., ET. The game will be televised by SEC Network+ at WatchESPN and radio coverage is scheduled for 93.9 The Ville. Drew Harrington is expected to start for the Cards.
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