LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Sophomore outfielder Corey Ray had a monster day going 3-for-5 with four RBIs, four stolen bases, and one run scored, and freshman utility star Brendan McKay picked up his fourth win of the year, as the Louisville Cardinals (20-7, 10-1 ACC) defeated Georgia Tech (17-9, 5-6 ACC) by the score of 8-3 in game two of a three game set Saturday at Jim Patterson Stadium.
“I just let the game come to me,” Ray stated. “You can’t press too much, we work on stolen bases so much I think everyone on the team knows when to steal and when not to steal, coach just lets us go. I’ve just been letting the ball come to me, I had a couple of swings in there that were kind of big, but I think the biggest thing for me is not to try to do too much.”
McKay handled business on the mound over 7.0 innings pitched striking out seven GT batters, while scattering four hits and allowing just two walks and three runs, as the Cardinals picked up their twentieth win of the season behind superb coaching from head coach Dan McDonnell.
“He’s doing great,” said McDonnell about McKay’s progression. “He is starting on the weekend, and he’s hitting in the five-hole, there will be frustrations along the way, little tough patches here and there, we just don’t want him to feel like he has to carry the team on his back. Some days it looks like that the way he pitches and the way he swings it.”
Louisville scored early posting three runs in both the first and second innings. An RBI single by Ray started things off in the first followed by a two-RBI double by freshman Colby Fitch. The second inning saw another single by Ray, this time a two-RBI shot. Two batters later, sophomore Nick Solak scored on a wild pitch.
Georgia Tech answered back in the third inning plating two runs of their own off a wild pitch, and an RBI single from senior Daniel Spingola pinning the score at 6-2.
“It would be foolish on our part to think that there is going to be a let down on their end tomorrow,” McDonnell said about Georgia Tech. “They have way too much tradition, they are too consistent, they are too talented, they’ve got too much pride, they are definitely going to come out with a chip on their shoulder.”
U of L tacked on another run in the fifth frame off an RBI single from Solak, while the seventh inning saw runs from each team when Tech senior infielder Thomas Smith brought home senior A.J. Murray on a sac fly. Louisville then scored the final run of the game when Ray singled to left field scoring Solak.
Georgia Techs sophomore LHP Ben Parr was credited for the loss, as the Yellow Jackets sent six different pitchers to the mound on the day.
Louisville’s freshman RHP Sean Leland shined, as he provided two innings of shutout relief registering two strikeouts and giving up zero hits and zero walks.
The two teams will conclude the series tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. ET at Jim Patterson Stadium.