FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 5, 2021
ATLANTA – The No. 1 ranked University of Louisville baseball team opened up Atlantic Coast Conference play with a 13-6 victory over No. 10 Georgia Tech on Friday evening.
Michael Kirian (2-0) was dominant in his first career ACC start, allowing just a solo home run in six innings. The southpaw pounded the zone all night, throwing 64 strikes in 83 pitches before handing the ball off to the bullpen.
After struggling to come up with clutch hits on Tuesday, the Louisville (7-2, 1-0 ACC) offense got rolling early on Friday. With a pair of runners in scoring position and two away in the first inning, Cameron Masterman dumped a soft single into shallow left field to give the Cardinals the early lead.
One inning later, the Cardinals sent 11 men to the plate and had five come across the score. Luke Brown singled home a pair with the bases loaded, while Henry Davis, Alex Binelas and Lucas Dunn each added RBIs of their own in the frame.
Georgia Tech (6-3, 3-1) got its only run off Kirian in the bottom of the second, but Louisville kept tacking on runs in the fourth. Dalton Rushing singled through the right side for the first run of the inning and Christian Knapczyk laced a double into the right field corner to bring home two more.
Davis later extended the Cardinals’ lead to 10 with a long home run in the seventh inning, his third of the year.
It appeared Louisville would cruise to the victory, but the Yellow Jackets plated two runs in the seventh and had three across in the eighth to cut the margin to five and still had the bases loaded with nobody out. However, a sharp line drive found the glove of Lucas Dunn and the junior was able to double off the runner at second to slow the threat. Kaleb Corbett then struck out the next batter to stop the rally.
Trey Leonard helped the Cardinals get a couple runs back in the ninth, lifting a two-run homer into the trees beyond the right field wall for his first long ball of the season before Corbett closed out the ninth inning.
Brown, Davis and Leonard all had a pair of hits in the victory, while five different players drove in two runs.
The series continues on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m.