Brendan McKay and Lincoln Henzman combined for a one-hit shutout as the No. 2 Louisville baseball team opened its series at Notre Dame with a 2-0 win on Friday night at Frank Eck Stadium.
With the victory, the Cardinals improved to 40-6 on the season and reached 40 wins faster than any team in school history. The 2010, 2013 and 2016 teams each achieved their 40th wins in their 50th games respectively. Louisville’s 2017 team, which has won nine straight games overall, is the nation’s first 40-game winner while maintaining the top spot in the ACC Atlantic Division with an 18-4 conference record.
McKay surrendered only an infield single with eight strikeouts and four walks in eight scoreless innings on Friday night to improve to 7-3 on the season and 28-10 in his collegiate career. This week’s outing marked the second time in four starts the junior lefthander has allowed just one hit in eight shutout innings after achieving the feat in a victory at Georgia Tech on April 13. Through 11 starts and 75.0 innings pitched this season, McKay has a 1.92 ERA and 103 strikeouts while opposing batters are hitting just .160 overall.
Henzman capped Louisville’s ninth shutout of the season by striking out all three batters he faced in the ninth inning for his 14th save of the season and the 17th of his career. Among the nation’s leaders in saves this season, the junior righthander also has a 2-0 record with a 1.33 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 27.0 innings and 19 total appearances. Friday’s performance marked the fourth time this season the Cardinals pitching staff has combined for a one-hitter.
On a night dominated by pitching, the Louisville offense was paced by its middle infielders as second baseman Devin Mann and shortstop Devin Hairston drove in both runs. Mann hit a solo home run in the fifth inning and Hairston added a RBI single in the eighth inning to provide the necessary offense in the victory.
Mann delivered his fifth home run of the season when the sophomore infielder connected on a 2-1 offering from Brad Bass sending it over the right field wall for the 1-0 advantage in the fifth. Hairston chipped in with a two-out RBI single to right field to score Tyler Fitzgerald for the second and final run of the game in the eighth.
The No. 2 Cardinals and Fighting Irish will continue their series on Saturday at 4:05 p.m., ET, while the weekend finale is set for Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
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Assistant Sports Information Director