After a strong showing in Saturday’s doubleheader, the 12th-ranked Louisville baseball team capped off the weekend with a 6-3 victory on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep of second-ranked North Carolina State. The three-game ACC series was played at Doak Field at Dail Park.
Louisville (28-8, 13-5 ACC) now sits alone atop the ACC Atlantic Division standings. It was the Cardinals third sweep in conference play this season and 10th road conference sweep since joining the ACC in 2015.
As was the case in Saturday’s second game, neither side threatened through the first two innings, but the Cardinals broke through in the third.
Justin Lavey dropped down a bunt for a base hit and proceeded to steal second. On the stolen base attempt, the throw ended up in centerfield allowing Lavey to move up 90 feet to third. Jake Snider would take advantage of the scoring opportunity, just missing on a three-run home run as his fly ball died on the warning track for a sacrifice fly.
Bobby Miller recorded his third straight shutout inning in the bottom half and the Louisville offense helped the cause with another run in the fourth. Danny Oriente reached with a one-out single and Alex Binelas doubled to the gap in left-center. Henry Davis then doubled UofL’s lead with a groundout.
NC State (29-8, 12-6) had its first true scoring chance in the fifth, getting a one-out double and two walks to load the bases with two outs. Miller buckled down though and picked up a huge strikeout to strand the three runners and keep the Cardinals in front.
Louisville immediately cashed in on the momentum, with Binelas tallying his second double of the day and Davis singling to right off the new pitcher to bring the run home.
Miller ran into trouble again in the sixth, issuing walks to the first three hitters to once again load the bases. The Cardinals turned the ball over to Bryan Hoeing, who immediately extinguished the Wolfpack rally. Hoeing struck out the first two batters he faced before inducing a soft comebacker to get out of the jam with the lead still intact at 3-0.
Tyler Fitzgerald tacked on a fourth run for the Cardinals in the seventh with a long solo home run, his fourth of the season.
NC State plated two runs in the bottom of the seventh to cut the margin in half, but Louisville answered right back with two of its own. Lucas Dunn lined a two-out single to right with the bases loaded to score Binelas and Davis to give the Cardinals a four-run lead once again.
Shay Smiddy and Michael Kirian took care of the final six outs on Sunday, sending the Cardinals to the series sweep.
Miller (2-0) picked up the win with five shutout innings. The sophomore allowed just two hits and struck out six.
Binelas, Fitzgerald and Lavey each had two hits, as the Cardinals tallied double digit knocks for the third time on the weekend. Binelas finished the series with seven hits, four of which went for extra bases.
Louisville will head to Lexington on Tuesday for its second matchup of the season against in-state rival Kentucky. The Cardinals defeated the Wildcats 8-3 on April 2 at Jim Patterson Stadium. First pitch on Tuesday night is scheduled for 6:00 p.m., ET.
|Stephen WilliamsAssistant Sports Information DirectorUniversity of Louisville Athletics|