Virginia rallied for two runs in the ninth inning to claim a 2-1 series-clinching win over the No. 20 Louisville baseball team on Sunday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.
The Cavaliers (24-17, 9-12 ACC) scored both runs on two-out hits to complete their first series victory against the Cardinals (26-13, 10-11 ACC). All three games of the weekend were one-run contests as Virginia garnered wins of 5-4 and 2-1 on the final two days after Louisville won Friday’s opener by a 5-4 margin.
Andy Weber started Sunday’s ninth inning rally with a one-out single off Cardinals starter Bobby Miller. Later in the inning, Alex Tappen drove Weber home for the tying run on a two-out, two-strike double to center field against Louisville lefty Reid Detmers. Brendan Rivoli followed with a RBI single to right center on a 3-1 offering from Detmers scoring Tappen for the game-winning run.
The Cardinals threatened in the bottom of the ninth as Justin Lavey singled through the left side off Bennett Sousa, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Zeke Pinkham and stole third. However, Lavey was stranded at third after a groundball out ended the game.
Miller did not figure into the decision despite a dominant start as the freshman righthander allowed just one run on four hits with five strikeouts in a career-best 8.1 innings. Sousa earned the win for the Cavaliers and moved to 4-4 on the season after registering one strikeout and allowing just one hit in 1.2 innings of relief. Detmers took the loss and dropped to 2-1 on the season.
Louisville opened the scoring in Sunday’s finale with a run in the third inning on Devin Mann’s two-out RBI single. Tyler Fitzgerald reached base on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on a single to right field by Jake Snider before scoring on Mann’s single up the middle.
However, that was all the scoring the Cardinals could muster on Sunday as the home side stranded 11 runners on base, including at least one in each of the last eight innings. Lavey finished 3-for-4 at the plate with a double, while Danny Oriente extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games with a 2-for-2 performance. Fitzgerald pushed his career-long hitting streak to 12 games with his single in the seventh.
Up next, No. 20 Louisville will continue its homestand with a visit from Western Kentucky on Tuesday at 6 p.m., ET at Jim Patterson Stadium.
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