Danny Oriente’s two-run double in the eighth inning lifted the No. 20 Louisville baseball team to a 5-4 series-opening win against Virginia on Friday night at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With the Cardinals facing a 4-3 deficit and one out in the bottom of the eighth, Oriente pulled a 1-1 pitch from Andrew Abbott down the left field line scoring Logan Wyatt and Josh Stowers for the clinching runs. The victory was the sixth straight for Louisville, which improved to 26-11 overall and 10-9 in the ACC.
Oriente finished with a career-high four RBIs and was 2-for-3 at the plate extending his career-best hitting streak to 11 games. The Downers Grove, Illinois native has a .512 batting average (20-for-39) with 19 RBIs during the 11-game streak, which includes seven-multi-hit performances. Overall, Oriente has lifted his average from .205 entering the day on March 31 to .349 following Friday’s game.
Along with Oriente’s pace-setting game on Friday, the Cardinals also received strong offensive performances from Tyler Fitzgerald and Logan Wyatt. Fitzgerald extended his career-best hitting streak to 10 games as the sophomore was 2-for-4 with his third home run of the season, while Wyatt was 3-for-4 with a double and scored twice.
Righthander Bryan Hoeing earned the win for Louisville and moved to 4-1 on the season after the junior twirled 1.2 scoreless innings of relief with two strikeouts. Sophomore righty Shay Smiddy had two strikeouts in a perfect ninth inning to register his first career save. Junior lefty Adam Wolf did not figure into the decision after the starter allowed three earned runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts in 6.1 innings.
After the starting pitchers dominated the first three innings of the game, the Cardinals broke through for the first run of the night in the fourth after Wyatt scored on a two-out RBI single from Oriente. Wyatt started the inning with his team-leading 17th double of the season before scoring when Oriente drove a 1-1 pitch from Derek Casey into right center for the 1-0 lead.
Virginia (22-17, 7-12 ACC) used an unearned run to even the score at 1-1 in the top of the fifth inning. After a two-out fielding error by the Cardinals allowed Cameron Comer to reach base, Devin Ortiz drove him home with a RBI triple down the right field line.
Louisville regained its lead in the bottom of the fifth on a two-out solo home run from Fitzgerald. The shortstop turned on a 2-2 pitch sending it over the left field wall for his third homer of the season and a 2-1 edge.
The Cavaliers gained their first lead of the night with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning. Andy Weber’s RBI double down the left field line scored the tying run before Nate Eikhoff’s RBI double down the right field line gave Virginia a 3-2 lead.
The Cardinals tied the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning after Devin Mann scored from third on a RBI sacrifice fly to right by Oriente. UVA then moved back ahead at 4-3 with a run in the seventh inning on a RBI double down the right field line by Justin Novak to score Ortiz.
Louisville completed the scoring with its two runs in the eighth inning while also earning its 14th come-from-behind win this season. UofL also moved to 8-3 all-time against Virginia.
Up next, the Cardinals continue their series with the Cavaliers on Saturday at 1 p.m., ET before concluding the weekend Sunday at 1 p.m.
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