#7 Louisville (48-16) had 18 hits and averaged .439 at the plate, as their offense rolled to a 14-1 win over #10 East Carolina (47-17).
Before Louisville had an offensive burst in the middle portion of the game, Louisville had to overcome a slow start, as ECU starting pitcher Jake Agnos was looking every bit like the American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year. Agnos struck out four of the first nine batters he faced in three perfect innings to start the game.
But when the fourth inning started, Louisville’s offense went on a rampage against the ECU pitching staff. Back-to-back doubles by Tyler Fitzgerald and Logan Wyatt brought in the first run of the game for the Cardinals, giving them the early 1-0 lead. Louisville would load the bases in short order, then clear them on a three-RBI double by Danny Oriente that quadrupled their lead.
The day would be over for Agnos after the fourth inning concluded, but Louisville’s offense stayed hot in the fifth inning. The Cardinals tallied five runs in a huge fifth inning that effectively put the game out of reach. Tyler Fitzgerald brought in the first run of the fifth with an RBI single. Jake Snider, who is coming off winning the Most Outstanding Player of the Louisville Regional last weekend, brought in two more runs on an RBI double. Drew Campbell would bring in another run on a fielder’s choice, and Justin Lavey’s RBI single pushed Louisville’s lead to 9-0.
ECU finally got their first run of the game in the sixth inning, as Spencer Brickhouse hit his 14th home run of the season to right field. But Louisville had three more runs in the bottom of the sixth to respond. Alex Binelas was responsible for two of those runs, mashing an RBI triple and scoring another run after a wild pitch by ECU. Henry Davis’s RBI groundout had Louisville sitting with a comfortable 12-1 lead after six innings.
Louisville would score two more runs in the seventh inning, as Alex Binelas had an RBI double, and Jake Snider offered a sacrifice flyout that brought home Logan Wyatt.
While Louisville was dominating on offense, pitcher Reid Detmers bounced back from last week’s performance to deliver a much needed gem. Detmers had some runners on with two outs in a few innings, but retired the next batter immediately afterwards to thwart any sort of ECU momentum. The sophomore finished with seven innings pitched, allowing just one earned run on five hits and throwing six strikeouts. Detmers now extends his single-season strikeouts record to 162, and his 12th win of the season now ties him with 2016’s trio (Drew Harrington, Kade McClure, and Brendan McKay) for the second-most in a single season.
Garrett Schmeltz was the only reliever Louisville used in the game, and he threw two shutout innings to close game one out.
Seven of nine Louisville batters in the starting lineup recorded multiple hits in the game. Tyler Fitzgerald had a career-high four hits and two RBIs, one of those hits going for his 15th double of the season. Six different batters (Fitzgerald, Logan Wyatt, Alex Binelas, Jake Snider, Danny Oriente, Drew Campbell) had a double, and Alex Binelas had the only triple of the game. Both of Binelas’ hits in his 2-for-4 outing resulted in extra-base hits. Jake Snider and Danny Oriente each had three RBIs, with Fitzgerald and Binelas each having two.
Altogether, the first six batters in the Louisville lineup (Lucas Dunn, Logan Wyatt, Tyler Fitzgerald, Alex Binelas, Jake Snider, Danny Oriente) went 14-for-25 against ECU, batting .560.
ECU had seven hits in the game, with Spencer Brickhouse being the only Pirate batter with multiple hits. Brickhouse finished 2-for-4 with ECU’s lone RBI, coming on his 14th home run of the season. Alec Burleson had a double in his 1-for-2 showing.
The Pirates used seven pitchers in the first game, as their rotation just wasn’t able to find a groove against a white-hot Louisville offense. Jake Agnos threw the first four innings of the game, allowing four earned runs on five hits and striking out five.
Louisville and ECU meet again in game two of the Super Regionals on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 ET, with 93.9 The Ville and ESPNU carrying the game. In each of Louisville’s four prior College World Series trips, they won game one of their Super Regional.