SID Garett Wall
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Sophomore Brendan McKay pitched seven dominant innings on the mound and added a pair of hits at the plate as the No. 5 Louisville baseball team opened its series at No. 17 North Carolina with a 6-0 win Friday night at Boshamer Stadium.
McKay finished with nine strikeouts and allowed just three hits and two walks in seven shutout innings as the Cardinals (37-9, 15-7 ACC) equaled the school record with their 10th shutout of the season matching the total from the 2010 season. The lefty from Darlington, Pennsylvania improved to 9-2 overall equaling his win total from last season while also registering eight or more strikeouts for the eighth time this season and the 15th time in his collegiate career.
Junior righthander Zack Burdi closed the game with two electric innings of relief retiring all six batters he faced, including four by strikeout for his sixth save of the season. A native of Downers Grove, Illinois, Burdi touched 100 mph on the stadium scoreboard during in the eighth inning, when he inherited two baserunners with no outs before sandwiching two strikeouts around a groundout to keep the shutout intact.
At the plate, McKay led a trio of Cardinals with a pair of hits finishing 2-for-3 with a double, one RBI and one run scored while reaching base for the 30th consecutive game. Junior second baseman Nick Solak was 2-of-4 and scored twice, while sophomore shortstop Devin Hairston added two hits. Sophomore third baseman Blake Tiberi chipped in with two RBI, including a solo home run as Louisville finished with a 10-4 hit advantage against Carolina (29-16, 9-13 ACC).
The Cardinals struck first on Friday night after senior outfielder Danny Rosenbaum drove McKay home with a RBI sacrifice fly to right field off Tar Heels starter Zac Gallen. McKay led off the inning with an infield single, moved to second on a single by Hairston before advancing to third on a bunt by Tiberi.
Louisville extended the advantage to 2-0 in the fourth inning when Solak scored on a RBI sacrifice fly to right center by Tiberi. Solak led off with an infield single and moved to third on a single to center by Hairston before scoring when Tiberi narrowly missed on a home run sending rightfielder Adam Pate to the wall in right center.
McKay pushed the lead to 3-0 in the seventh inning on a two-out RBI double to score Solak. The scoring chance started with a two-out single to left by Solak, who moved to third on a throwing error by Gallen on a pickoff attempt at first. McKay followed by lacing a double to two-bagger to right center for his 14th double of the season.
The Cardinals doubled their lead in the ninth connecting for three runs against the Carolina bullpen. Tiberi led off the inning with his seventh home run of the season sending the first pitch of the frame from Hunter Williams over the right field wall. Junior outfielder Logan Taylor added a RBI double to right center to score Rosenbaum and junior Will Smith closed the scoring with a RBI sacrifice fly to right to plate junior Colin Lyman.
The Cardinals and Tar Heels continue their series Saturday at 1 p.m., ET on the ACC’s Regional Sports Network as well as ESPN3. Click here to see the list of RSN affiliates for Saturday’s game.