Recap: Louisville opens Conference play with series win at Wake

Riding an eight-game winning streak heading into the start of ACC play, the Louisville baseball team got conference play started with a road series win at Wake Forest. Here’s a recap of the Cardinals’ games against the Deacons.

Game 1: Detmers dominant once more in victory

Reid Detmers had another sensational outing on Friday, throwing 15 strikeouts during six shutout innings of work in Louisville’s 4-1 win over Wake Forest.

The 15 K’s by Detmers is a new season high for him, and the second-highest in his college career. He also had just four hits and two walks allowed in his six inning outing.

While Detmers was holding Wake Forest’s offense down, Louisville’s offense was able to jump to a 4-0 lead by the time he departed. Three runs by Louisville in the second came on RBI base hits from Justin Lavey and Jared Poland, with Ben Metzinger bringing another RBI on a fielder’s choice. Danny Oriente’s RBI single in the seventh inning pushed U of L’s lead to 4-0 before Louisville’s bullpen came in to close the game out.

Wake Forest’s only run came in the bottom of the seventh on a Louisville error. Michael Turconi legged out a single, but a throwing error allowed him to advance to second and bring Derek Crum home.

Other than the lone run in the seventh inning, Louisville’s win was highlighted by another solid outing on the mound. In addition to the 15-strikeout showing by Detmers, Adam Elliott and Michael Kirian only allowed one run in the final three innings. Kirian closed the game out with his sixth save of the season, throwing a shutout ninth with two strikeouts. Louisville finished the game with 18 strikeouts as a team.

Levi Usher went 2-for-4 with a double, the only Louisville batter to have a multi-hit game. Justin Lavey and Jared Poland each had an RBI with 1-for-3 and 1-for-4 outings, respectively.

Wake Forest’s lone run came from leadoff hitter Michael Turconi, who finished 1-for-4. Chris Lanzilli (1-for-3, BB) and Bobby Seymour (2-for-4) also chipped in with base hits, as the top four of Wake Forest’s batting order had four of the five Deacon hits. Starting pitcher Ryan Cusick allowed three runs (two earned) in the loss, but did strikeout 11 Louisville batters in his five innings of work.

Game 2: Simoneit slams walk-off for Wake Forest

Louisville rallied from a 2-1 deficit to tie it in the ninth inning, but a walk-off homer by William Simoneit was the difference as Wake Forest pulled out the 3-2 victory.

Saturday’s game was one that saw both teams combine for 28 strikeouts in a defensive battle, with Wake Forest getting a career day from starter Jared Shuster.

Louisville jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first on a sacrifice flyout by Danny Oriente. Wake Forest wouldn’t answer until the sixth inning, when Chris Lanzilli hit a two-run homer to left center and gave the Deacons a 2-1 lead.

Levi Usher tied the game for Louisville in the top of the ninth inning with an RBI single that scored Chris Seng. But after Evan Webster retired Pierce Bennett for the first out in the bottom of the frame, William Simoneit drilled the winning homer past left field to even the series at 1-1.

Wake Forest’s pitchers were able to record 17 strikeouts against the Cardinals, with starter Jared Shuster accounting for 13 of them. Shuster went 7.1 innings with just one earned run allowed on four hits, in addition to his career-high 13 K’s. Despite Shane Smith allowing the tying run in the ninth, he was credited with the win, throwing three strikeouts in the inning with a hit and walk allowed.

Louisville was able to get 11 strikeouts in the contest, nine of which came from starter Bobby Miller. The junior righty finished his 6.2 innings of work with two runs allowed on three hits, walking four batters.

Wake Forest’s runs all came on home runs down the stretch from their top hitters, Chris Lanzilli (2-for-4, 2B, HR, two RBI) and William Simoneit (2-for-4, HR, RBI). Michael Turconi also went 2-for-3 in the contest, as those three batters contributed for all of Wake Forest’s hits and RBIs.

Levi Usher was once again the leading hitter for Louisville, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Ben Metzinger and Luke Brown both went 1-for-4 each, with Metzinger’s lone hit as a double, and Brown stealing two bases in the game.

Game 3: Louisville takes rubber match in blowout win

The rubber match between Louisville and Wake Forest would not be as close as games one and two. The Cardinals ran out to an 11-0 lead after five innings — including scoring seven in the fifth — en route to a 16-4 blowout win over the Demon Deacons.

Louisville got started with two runs in both the second and third innings. Justin Lavey’s RBI single in the second gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead, while Zach Britton and Levi Usher both had RBI doubles in the third to double it up to 4-0.

A seven-spot in the fifth would give Louisville the cushion they needed to cruise to victory. Britton and Usher chipped in with RBI base hits once again, while Henry Davis’s RBI single brought in two more runs. After a 6-4-3 double play with no outs plated another Louisville run, Jared Poland belted a two-run homer for the last runs of the inning. Louisville exited the top of the fifth with a commanding 11-0 lead.

Wake Forest did get a run back in the bottom of the sixth with D.J. Poteet’s solo home run, but Louisville added three runs in the top of the seventh. A solo home run from Henry Davis, and a two-RBI double from Andrew Benefield extended Louisville’s lead to 14-1.

The Deacons did get two runs coming out of the stretch on a bases-loaded walk and sac fly, cutting Louisville’s lead down to 14-3. But the Cardinals added one more run in the top of the eighth on another double play with no outs on, extending it out to 15-3.

Chris Lanzilli would hit his second home run of the weekend in the bottom of the eighth for Wake Forest. In the ninth, Louisville would add another run on Cam Masterman’s RBI double.

The win marked the third time in the last five games that Louisville was able to score 16 runs. The Cardinals did so on 18 hits, led by Levi Usher (3-for-5, two RBI, double) and Henry Davis (2-for-4, three RBI, HR). Both of Zach Britton’s hits in his 2-for-5 outing went for doubles, as the junior becomes the first Louisville player to have ten doubles this season. Of the 18 hits, eight went for extra base hits; six doubles (Britton 2, Brown, Benefield, Masterman, and Usher with one each) and two home runs (Henry Davis and Jared Poland) were accounted for in the effort.

Luke Smith earned another win in an efficient outing from the mound, completing 6.1 innings of work with three earned runs and five hits allowed. Glenn Albanese closed the game out in the final 2.2 innings, allowing one earned run and striking out five batters. Louisville recorded ten strikeouts as a team, and through their first 15 games, has had double-digit punchouts in 11 of them.

Chris Lanzilli and D.J. Poteet both hit home runs for Wake Forest, with Poteet finishing 2-for-2 at the plate. Michael Turconi went 2-for-5 on Sunday, joining Poteet as the only Wake batters with a multi-hit game.

Louisville now returns home on Tuesday, as they host Chicago State for a two-game series at Jim Patterson Stadium. Game one of the series starts at 3:00 ET.


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