Colby Fitch connected for a pair of home runs while Brendan McKay’s eighth inning homer pushed the No. 2 Louisville baseball team ahead for good in Friday night’s 5-2 series-opening win over No. 16 Virginia at Davenport Field.
With the score tied at 2-2, McKay led off the eighth with a towering shot over the right field wall on a 2-0 pitch from Chesdin Harrington to give the Cardinals (23-2, 9-1 ACC) a lead they would not surrender. The home run for McKay, who was 2-for-4 on the night to lift his batting average to .438, was the second of Louisville’s three four-baggers in the game as Fitch had a solo shot in the third inning and added a two-run bomb in the ninth to put the game out of reach. Fitch, who has a team-leading six home runs this season, reached base in four of his five plate appearances Friday adding a walk and hit-by-pitch.
On the mound, sophomore lefthander Adam Wolf registered his first career victory after allowing only an unearned run in one inning of relief in a game where first pitch was delayed three hours for rain. Junior righty Lincoln Henzman closed the contest, which ended at 12:21 a.m., ET, with 1.1 innings of shutout relief for his sixth save of the season. McKay provided Louisville with yet another quality start allowing just one earned run on six hits with two strikeouts in six innings.
The Cardinals struck first as Fitch led off the top of the third by powering a 1-0 offering from righty Noah Murdock over the right field wall for his 10th career home run. The Cavaliers answered with a run in the bottom of the inning as Ernie Clement scored on a RBI groundout by Jake McCarthy to even the score at 1-1.
Louisville regained the lead in the sixth inning when senior Colin Lyman scored from third on a RBI sacrifice fly by Devin Mann. Lyman tripled to center field before Mann sent a 1-1 pitch into left field allowing Lyman to score without a throw home. An error by the Cardinals in the seventh inning led to an unearned run as Nate Eikhoff scored on a RBI groundout by Adam Haseley to even the score at 2-2.
That set the stage for the Cardinals to score three runs in the final two innings on the home runs from McKay and Fitch. The solo home run in the eighth inning for McKay was his fifth of the season and the 15th of his career. Fitch became the first Louisville player to hit two home runs in a game since Danny Rosenbaum had a pair of blasts against Ohio State in the NCAA Regional win on June 4, 2016.
The Cardinals and Cavaliers will continue their series on Saturday at 4 p.m., while the weekend finale is set for Sunday at 1 p.m.
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Assistant Sports Information Director