PRESS RELEASE (Garrett Wall)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Corey Ray blasted two home runs and Brendan McKay had a pair of RBI doubles at the plate while winning for the eighth time on the mound as the No. 6 Louisville baseball team earned an 8-4 victory over St. John’s in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Ray connected for solo home runs in the third and fifth innings to highlight a 3-for-4 performance at the plate in the first meeting between the Cardinals (33-9) and Red Storm (21-17-1) since 2013. The junior from Chicago has 13 home runs on the season and 25 in his collegiate career. Friday’s performance marked the second time this season a Louisville player has hit two home runs in a game after Will Smith did it against Eastern Kentucky on Feb. 23.
McKay, a sophomore from Darlington, Pennsylvania, was 2-for-4 overall and scored once to go with his two run-scoring doubles. McKay extended his career-best hitting streak to 16 games and has reached base safely in 26 straight games. On the mound, he allowed just one run while scattering eight hits and had three strikeouts in 6.1 innings to improve to 8-2 on the season.
Senior first baseman Danny Rosenbaum was 2-of-4 with a home run and two RBI, while sophomore shortstop Devin Hairston singled and drove in two runs for Louisville. Junior second baseman Nick Solak made his first start since March 25, when he suffered a bone bruise on his right hand, and was 2-for-3 with a double and scored twice.
Louisville opened the scoring in the second inning after sophomore third baseman Blake Tiberi doubled to right field before scoring on a two-out single to right by Rosenbaum. The Cardinals added to the lead with a trio of runs in the third inning. Ray started it with his first home run of the game sending a solo shot off the scoreboard in right center. McKay added a RBI double to plate Solak before scoring on a RBI single to center by Hairston.
The Red Storm plated their first run of the game in the fourth inning when John Valente singled, advanced to third on a single by Jesse Berardi and scored on a RBI groundball off the bat of Robbie Knightes.
The Cardinals answered with two runs in the fifth inning to extend the lead to 6-1. Ray led off the inning by sending a 3-1 offering from Kevin Torres over the trees beyond the right field wall for his second home run of the day. Later in the inning, Hairston drove redshirt freshman Drew Ellis home with a RBI groundout.
Louisville extended the lead to 7-1 in the seventh inning on a two-out RBI double by McKay to score Solak, who doubled down the left field line moments earlier. St. John’s cut into the margin with three unearned runs in the eighth inning after Gui Gingras connected for a RBI single and Josh Shaw added a two-run single.
The Cardinals closed the scoring in the eighth inning when Rosenbaum sent a 1-1 pitch from Turner French to the top of the berm down the left field line for his 11th career home run. Torres took the loss for St. John’s and dropped to 2-1 on the season after allowing six runs, including five earned, on seven hits in five innings.
Following Friday’s doubleheader, the Cardinals and Red Storm will look to complete the weekend series on Saturday at 1 p.m., ET and admission is free.
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