Danny Oriente’s two-RBI single in the bottom eighth punctuated a 2-for-3 day at the plate as Louisville (26-11) rallied to a 5-4 win over Virginia (22-17) in a back-and-forth tilt between both teams.
The win pushed Louisville’s current winning streak to six games, and Oriente extended his hit streak to 11 games. In that stretch, Oriente is batting .513 (20-for-39) with 18 RBIs, and his streak is tied for the longest of any Louisville batter this season.
Oriente got U of L on the scoreboard first with an RBI single in the fourth inning. Virginia answered with an RBI triple from Dustin Ortiz in the next inning down the right field line. Tyler Fitzgerald followed that up in the bottom fifth with a solo home run to left field, his third of the season.
The back-and-forth pace continued into the sixth inning with Virginia scoring two runs off as many RBI doubles. Andy Weber and Nate Elkhoff each punched them in the inning, giving the Cavaliers a 3-2 lead. Oriente came through again for the Cardinals in the bottom sixth, offering a sacrifice to right field that allowed Devin Mann to score a tying run from third. Virginia took the lead again with an RBI double from Justin Novak in the seventh, with Dustin Ortiz scoring the run.
In the bottom eighth, it would be Oriente again that gave Louisville a clutch hit. His two-RBI double gave the Cardinals the game-winning run in the inning, one that would be finished with Shay Smiddy’s save in the ninth to close the game.
Five of Virginia’s eight hits were of the extra-base variety; Andy Weber, Nate Elkhoff, Justin Novak and Dustin Ortiz all hit doubles in the game, with the latter also recording a triple. Derek Casey started at the mound for Virginia, threw 114 pitches and delivered eight strikeouts, allowing three runs on six hits in 6.2 innings of work.
Tyler Fitzgerald (2-for-4, RBI, HR) and Logan Wyatt (3-for-4, double) joined Oriente as the only Louisville batters with a multi-hit game. Josh Stowers and Justin Lavey also had hits in the game, the latter recording a double.
On the mound, Adam Wolf finished his usual Friday start with seven strikeouts and allowed four runs on seven hits, pitching 6.1 innings. Bryan Hoeing (4-1) was awarded the win, only allowing one hit in 1.2 innings pitched. Shay Smiddy recorded his first save of 2018 with a perfect ninth inning, striking out two of three batters he faced.
The Cards continue their series against the Cavaliers with games on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.