On a chilly night at Jim Patterson Stadium, #8 Louisville (13-0) held off #13 North Carolina (7-6) with a dramatic 5-4 win on Friday.
Despite allowing two early runs in the second, Louisville took the lead in the sixth with and held off multiple rallies by the Tar Heels to open ACC play with a victory. Logan Wyatt led the way with a 2-for-3 performance, driving in three RBI in the sixth and scoring the go-ahead run in the eighth on a wild pitch by UNC’s Cooper Criswell.
UNC struck first with two runs in the second inning. Dylan Enwiller and Ike Freeman each brought in a run with RBI singles, but Adam Wolf righted the ship enough to get a decent outing against the Tar Heels. Wolf finished with six complete innings, striking out seven and allowing the two runs on five hits.
Logan Wyatt (2-for-3) and Josh Stowers (2-for-3) were the only Louisville batters with multiple hits in the lineup. Wyatt drove in three RBI with his bases-clearing triple in the sixth inning, and added a double to his total today. Jake Snider also added a hit with an RBI single in the seventh, and Tyler Fitzgerald also recorded a double on his only hit.
After the pair of UNC runs in the second, Louisville could not capitalize on opportunities in the early innings. Tyler Fitzgerald had a double in the third inning, but couldn’t make it home as Snider’s fly ball closed the inning. Logan Wyatt also had a double in the fourth inning but could not get home.
However, Wyatt would later come up big for Louisville. The Cards finally got on the board in the sixth inning with his RBI triple, clearing the loaded bases and charging up the crowd. UNC tied it in the top of the seventh with a bases-loaded walk from Michael Busch, but Louisville’s Michael Kirian got a crucial strikeout to close the inning and escape a bases-loaded jam.
In their half of the seventh, Louisville took the lead again with an RBI single from Jake Snider. They had the bases-loaded with one out in the inning, but a 5-4-3 double play ended a huge opportunity for Louisville to add insurance runs.
UNC responded by tying the game again on the very first pitch in the top of the eighth. Brandon Mortarano drilled a home run to left field off of Austin Conway. Despite allowing the homer, Conway earned the win with a strikeout and retiring the other three batters he faced in the eighth.
A wild pitch from the Tar Heels, though, gave Louisville the lead for good in the ninth. Sam Bordner earned his fifth save of the season with a shutout ninth inning, though it wasn’t without its own dramatics. An error allowed Kyle Datres to reach second, and advanced to third. But a flyout from pinch-hitter Clemente Inclan closed the game, with the tying run 90 feet away from home. The shutout appearance marked Bordner’s 28th in his last 29 showings.
Louisville and UNC will meet again tomorrow at 1 p.m.