Junior lefthander Drew Harrington twirled seven shutout innings while the offense erupted for a 10-run fifth inning as the No. 7 Louisville baseball team clinched a series victory against No. 9 Virginia with Sunday afternoon’s 15-0 win at Jim Patterson Stadium.
In the deciding game of the weekend series between the top 10 foes, the Cardinals (19-5, 6-3 ACC) produced their highest scoring performance in a conference game since May 1, 2010 when they defeated Rutgers 24-6 in a Big East Conference contest. That game against the Scarlet Knights was also the last time Louisville scored 10 runs in an inning with 10 in the first frame that day.
On the mound, Harrington allowed just four hits with two strikeouts and no walks in seven scoreless frames to win his fourth straight start and improve to 5-1 on the season. The Elizabethtown, Kentucky native has 35 strikeouts and only four walks in 38.0 innings while lowering his ERA on the season to 1.42. Sunday’s outing, which anchored the fifth shutout of the season for Louisville, marked the fourth time in six starts this season Harrington has not allowed a run.
At the plate, senior first baseman Danny Rosenbaum led five Cardinals with two or more hits on Sunday finishing 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI. Junior outfielder Corey Ray was 2-for-5 with three RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base, while freshman second baseman Devin Mann, in his third start of the season, finished 2-for-4 with a double, three RBI and scored twice.
Sophomore Brendan McKay chipped in going 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI, junior catcher Will Smith added two hits, including a double, and scored three runs and junior outfielder Logan Taylor doubled, walked twice, drove in a run and scored two times. Louisville reached double-figures in scoring for the ninth time this season while improving to 16-1 at home in 2016.
For the second straight day, the Cardinals found the scoring column in the first inning plating a pair of runs in Sunday’s finale. Ray led off with a single up the middle and stole second before scoring on a RBI double down the left field line by Mann. Later in the inning, Rosenbaum drove Mann home with a RBI single to center off Virginia starter Tommy Doyle for the 2-0 lead.
Louisville extended its lead to 3-0 in the second on a RBI sacrifice fly to right field by Mann to score Taylor. Two innings later, Taylor delivered a RBI double down the left field line scoring Smith for the 4-0 advantage. Including Sunday’s performance, Ray has a .434 batting average with three home runs and nine runs scored in the first inning this season with all of those appearance coming as Louisville’s leadoff hitter.
The Cardinals ended any chance of a comeback for the Cavaliers (17-8, 5-4 ACC) in the fifth inning scoring 10 runs on nine hits and sending 13 batters to the plate against three different Virginia pitchers. Rosenbaum and McKay had two hits each in the inning – Rosenbaum homered and singled while McKay doubled and singled. Sophomore third baseman Blake Tiberi started the scoring with a RBI double and sophomore shortstop Devin Hairston followed with a two-run single. Ray added a two-run single, Mann followed with a RBI and McKay added a RBI single. After Mann scored later in the inning on a wild pitch, Rosenbaum launched his third home run of the season to plate McKay for the final two runs of the inning.
Louisville scored its final run of the game in the sixth on a RBI sacrifice fly from Ray, who his hitting .333 with seven home runs, eight doubles, 30 RBI and 25 stolen bases through 24 games. Overall, the Cardinals have six players hitting .309 or better while starting at least 16 games.
Sunday’s contest marked the second straight game without leading hitter and junior second baseman Nick Solak, who suffered a bone bruise in Friday’s game against Virginia and is listed as day-to-day.
Up next, No. 7 Louisville travels to Bowling Green, Kentucky for a midweek challenge against Western Kentucky on Tuesday at 7 p.m., ET at Nick Denes Field.
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