The Louisville Baseball Cardinals continued their dominant season by going 4-0 against Purdue and Georgia Tech this past week, and outscoring them 31-7. This now puts the number two team in the nation at 31-4 overall, and 15-3 in ACC play.
Louisville’s Bats Come Alive Against Purdue
The Cards opened of the week of play with a resounding 13-2 performance against the Purdue Boilermakers at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Shane Hummel got the start for Louisville, yet didn’t see all that many innings. He tossed 4 shutout innings while striking out 4 batters with 4 hits and only giving up 1 walk. After the fourth inning, Shay Smiddy, Rabon Martin, Brian Hoeing, Adam Elliott and Chandler Dale would each pitch 1 inning in succession. Altogether, the six pitcher struck out 9 batters while only giving up 4 walks and one earned run. Shane Hummel earned his 4th win on the season.
On the offensive side of the plate, the Cards provided some fireworks from start to finish. They used large momentum swings to plate multiple runners in 3 separate innings, including 4 runs in the first, 3 run in the third and 3 runs in the sixth. In fact, in the very first inning they were able to get through the entire starting batting order. Two-way star Brendan McKay knocked in a career high 5 RBIs, and everyone in the starting 9 notched at least 1 hit.
Out of the 15 batters for Louisville to enter the game, only Colby Fitch (0-4), Zeke Pinkham (0-0), Logan Wyatt (0-1) and Jake Snider (0-1) did not record a hit. Logan Taylor (2-6), Devin Hairston (2-5), Brendan McKay (2-2), and Ryan Summers (2-5) had multiple hits, while Brendan McKay (5 RBI), Devin Mann (2 RBI) and Justin Lavey (2 RBI) had multiple RBIs. McKay’s 5 RBIs for the game set a new career-best for him.
Brendan McKay Shuts Out Georgia Tech In Series Opener
Two-Way superstar Brendan McKay continued to build his case for the Golden Spikes Award as he kept the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets out of the run column for a 3-0 win.
The left handed pitcher tossed eight shutout inning while simultaneously only giving up one hit (RF Coleman Poje), two walks and striking out eight batters. In the ninth inning, closer Lincoln Henzman came in to do what he does best, and earned his 10th save of the season while also facing the minimum 3 batters in the final frame.
While their bats were alive against Purdue, comparatively speaking they were held relatively in check in the series opener. They did their most work in the third inning, when Devin Mann singled and Logan Taylor was able to get on base on a throwing error while Mann advanced all the way to third base. A Colby Fitch single brought home Mann and advanced Taylor to third, and a wild pitch allowed Taylor to score for the second run of the inning. Later in the fifth inning, a Drew Ellis RBI single plated Devin Hairston, and that would be the end of the run scoring for the Cardinals.
Only Colin Lyman (0-3) and Josh Stowers (0-4) failed to record a hit for Louisville, while Devin Hairston (3-4) and Brendan McKay (2-4) recorded multiple hits. McKay’s shutout performance dropped his ERA to 1.19 on the season.
Strong Performances On The Mound & At The Plate Clinch Series Against GT
A 3-5 day at the plate by Colby Fitch and a strong outing by pitcher Kade McClure helped Louisville dominate Georgia Tech, 10-1.
Starting pitcher Kade McClure provided another solid pitching performance, as he only gave up 4 hits, 3 walks and 1 earned run in six innings of work while also striking out 7. Relievers Adam Elliot and Riley Thompson combined for 2 hits and 4 strikeouts in three shutout innings to close the game. Kade McClure earned his 4th win to move to 4-1 on the season.
After getting down 1-0 in the second inning, the Cards went through their entire batting order in the 4th inning and never looked back. After Colby Fitch and Devin Hairston got on base, a Brendan McKay fielder’s choice and throwing error by GT plated Fitch, and with McKay and Hairston on 1st and 2nd, a Colin Lyman double plated them both. After Josh Stowers reached base on another throwing error and Devin Mann singled to load the bases, a Logan Taylor walk plated Lyman to put the Cards up 4-1 by the end of the 4th inning.
The very next inning saw similar prowess at the plate, as Louisville was able to get everyone but Colby Fitch to bat in the inning. After a Hairston single, McKay single, and Stowers walk loaded the bases, Devin Mann and Tyler Fitzgerald hit back to back RBI singles that plated all three. The only remaining offense would be a Colby Fitch home run (6) in the sixth inning, and a 2 RBI single by Drew Ellis in the 7th.
The only starter to not record a hit was Josh Stowers (0-2), while Colby Fitch (3-5, HR), Devin Hairston (2-4), Brendan McKay (2-5) and Devin Mann (2-5) recorded muliple hits for the Cardinals.
Late Game Heroics Help Louisville Power By For Sweep of GT
Down 2 runs in the ninth, Louisville knocked in 3 and then shut the door as they defeated Georgia Tech, 5-4.
On the mound for the final game of the series was Nick Bennett, and it was exactly his sharpest game. In his 4 innings of work, he gave up 6 hits and 3 runs while only striking out 4 batters. Reliever Sam Bordner would be inserted into the 5th inning where he would temporarily stop the bleeding. After getting in a 1 out jam with two runners on base in the seventh inning, Coach Mac decided to give him the hook and put in Adam Wolf, where he was able to work out of the jam. After only giving up 1 run in the eighth inning and with the team in front after a crucial 9th inning stand, Lincoln Henzman tossed in the final frame and earned his 11th save for the season.
Runs were bookended for the Cardinals, as they only found pay-dirt in the second and ninth innings. In the second inning, a leadoff walk by Brendan McKay and then a 2-run blast by Drew Ellis put the Cards up early. However, going into the ninth inning, they were down 4-2 and had one last chance to claw back. Two-Way superstar Brendan McKay got the ninth started, by leading off and driving in his 7th HR of the season. After Drew Ellis walked, Colin Lyman was HBP, and Mann reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases, Ryan Summers got on base on a fielder’s choice that had Lyman out at 2nd and plated Tyler Fitzgerald (pinch running for Ellis) to tie the game at 4-4. Next at bat, Josh Stowers hit a long sacrifice fly that plated Colin Lyman to put the Cards up for good, 5-4.
The only batters to record a hit for the Cards were Colby Fitch (1-4), Brendan McKay (1-2, RBI), and Drew Ellis (1-2, 2 RBI), and both McKay and Ellis also walked twice. These individual efforts as well as good late game plate discipline made up for the lack of runs in the middle innings.