PRESS RELEASE (Garett Wall)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Paced by the ninth quality start of the season from lefthander Drew Harrington, the sixth-ranked Louisville baseball team completed a doubleheader sweep of St. John’s with a 6-5 win on Friday night in the annual Patriotic Game at Jim Patterson Stadium.
A junior from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Harrington recovered from a difficult first inning to surrender three runs on six hits with four strikeouts in seven innings to earn the win and move to 9-1 on the season for the Cardinals (34-9). After allowing three runs on four hits in the opening frame, Harrington bounced back to produce his sixth straight quality start (three or fewer earned runs in at least six innings) and win for the ninth time in 11 outings this season. He finished Friday’s outing by retiring 14 of the final 15 batters he faced, including a stretch of 13 straight from the third inning through the seventh.
Righthander Zack Burdi, a junior from Downers Grove, Illinois, recorded the final four outs of the game, including two by strikeout, and allowed only an unearned run to close the game and earn his fifth save of the season. Earlier in the day, Louisville opened the weekend series with an 8-4 win in game one of the doubleheader.
Sophomore shortstop Devin Hairston was 2-for-4 with a double, one RBI and scored twice to pace the Louisville offense. Sophomore third baseman Blake Tiberi finished 2-for-4 with one RBI, one stolen base and one run scored, while junior catcher Will Smith added a pair of RBI sacrifice flies. Sophomore Brendan McKay singled to extend his career-best hitting streak to 17 games and also scored twice.
The Red Storm (21-18-1) thundered out of the gate in Friday’s second as Josh Shaw opened the scoring with a RBI groundout to send Alex Caruso home. Jesse Berardi added a RBI single to score Michael Donadio before scoring himself on a RBI triple from Robbie Knightes for the 3-0 lead.
After being held hitless through the first three innings, Louisville found its stride in the fourth inning tying the score with three runs on three hits against Red Storm righty Ryan McAuliffe. After leading off the inning with a single up the middle and moving to second on a walk to McKay, junior second baseman Nick Solak scored on a RBI ground-rule double down the left field line by Hairston. Tiberi followed with a RBI single to score McKay before Hairston was driven home on a RBI sacrifice fly to left by Smith.
The Cardinals gained their first lead of the game with a three-run sixth inning. After a trio of singles opened the inning and loaded the bases, Smith pushed Louisville ahead with RBI sacrifice fly to right field to score McKay. Senior first baseman Danny Rosenbaum followed with a RBI single to right to plate Hairston before a RBI bunt single by junior outfielder Colin Lyman scored Tiberi for the 6-3 advantage.
McAuliffe was charged with the loss for the Red Storm and dropped to 4-1 on the season after allowing six runs, all earned, on seven hits in five innings.
The Cardinals and Red Storm will look to complete their weekend series on Saturday at 1 p.m., ET and admission is free.