Louisville Claims Rubber Match vs. Virginia

The Cardinals earn their fifth ACC series win so far this season.
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(Photo of Louisville Players: William Caudill via University of Louisville Athletics)

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W: Luke Smith (3-2), L: Nate Savino (1-2)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - With the series all knotted up, the No. 2 Louisville baseball program came away victorious in the third and final game of their road series at Virginia, winning 7-2 on Sunday at Disharoon Park.

The Cardinals (22-11, 14-6 ACC) have now won four of their six series' against the Cavaliers (17-17, 9-15 ACC) since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference, and are 11-8 all-time against the Hoos. Louisville is now 5-1 in their three-game conference series' this season.

The early goings of the game was primarily a pitcher's duel between Louisville right-hander Luke Smith (7.0 IP, 6 K, 7 H, 0 BB, 2 ER) and Virginia left-hander Nate Savino, as the first run of the game was not scored until a fourth inning - an RBI double from third baseman Lucas Dunn (2-4, RBI, 2B).

Then in the fifth inning, the Cardinals' bats exploded and the Cavaliers; defense imploded. Outfielder Trey Leonard (2-5, HR, 2 RBI, 3B, 2 R) launched a two-run homer run, infielder Alex Binelas (2-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2B, BB, 3 R) struck an RBI double, then he and infielder Tim Borden II (1-3, R) scored on throwing errors by UVA.

While Louisville was taking advantage of the opportunities at the plate, Smith was doing so on the mound. While he was unable to record a shutout due to a two-run homer in the eighth, he still posted his first quality start since Mar. 1, 2020 vs. Western Michigan.

Down the stretch, Binelas added a solo home run in the seventh, and catcher Henry Davis (1-4, RBI, BB, R) added an RBI single in the ninth for some insurance. Left-handed reliever Cam Robinson (1.0 IP, 0 K, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 ER) pitched a scoreless eighth, as did fellow lefty Garrett Schmeltz (1.0 IP, 1 K, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 ER) in the ninth.

Next up for Louisville, they'll head to Kentucky for part two of the Battle of the Bluegrass. First pitch is slated for Tuesday, Apr. 20 at 5:00pm EST, and will be televised on ESPNU & broadcast on 93.9 The Ville.

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