Fast Start Powers Louisville Past Georgia Tech in ACC Opener

The Cardinals move to 7-0 in ACC openers since joining the league.
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(Photo of Louisville Players: William Caudill via University of Louisville Athletics)

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W: Michael Kirian (2-0), L: Brant Hurter (1-1)

ATLANTA - Hoping to rebound from their upset loss at home to Morehead State earlier in the week, the No. 1 Louisville baseball program put their foot on the gas in their Atlantic Coast Conference opener, holding off a late rally from No. 10 Georgia Tech to win 13-6 on Friday at Russ Chandler Stadium in downtown Atlanta, Ga.

Ten of the Cardinals' runs came in the game's first four innings and seven in the first two, with Louisville sending all batters to the plate in both the second inning for five runs and fourth inning for three runs. They improve to 7-2 on the season, and move to 7-0 all-time in ACC openers. The Yellow Jackets fall to 6-3 and 3-1 in the ACC.

Seven batters in the starting lineup collected a base hit, including eight of the thirteen total. Outfielder Luke Brown (2-4, 2 RBI, BB, R), catcher Henry Davis (2-4, HR, 2 RBI, R) and outfielder Trey Leonard (2-2, HR, 2 RBI, R) had multi-hit days, with outfielder Cam Masterman (1-2, 2 RBI, 2 BB, R) and shortstop Christian Knapczyk (1-3, 2 RBI, 2B, BB, R) joining them in driving in multiple runs.

Not to be outdone, left-hander Michael Kirian (6.0 IP, 3 K, 4 H, 0 BB, 1 ER) had a stellar performance in his second start of the season. He retired 18 of the 22 batters he faced, including 14 of the first 15, with the lone earned run being a solo home run in the second.

But once Kirian's day was done, the Yellow Jackets jumped on the pitching change. Left-hander Evan Webster (1.0 IP, 0 K, 5 H, 1 BB, 5 ER) gave up five earned runs between the seventh and eighth innings, and right-hander Seamus Barrett (0.0 IP, 0 K, 0 H, 2 BB, 0 ER) was pulled without recording an out.

Once right-hander Kaleb Corbett (2.0 IP, 2 K, 2 H, BB, 0 ER) came in, he was able to stop the bleeding and bounce back with a couple solid outings of relief work. A pair of late inning home runs from Davis & Leonard also gave the Cards some breathing room by game's end.

Next up for Louisville, they'll continue their three-game weekend series against Georgia Tech with Game 2. First pitch is slated for Saturday, Mar. 6 at 2:00pm EST, and will be televised on ACC Network Extra & broadcast on 93.9 The Ville.

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