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Louisville Takes Opener of Top 10 Series at Virginia Tech

The Cardinals got a strong outing from their pitching staff, and clutch hitting down the stretch.
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W: Jared Poland (4-3), L: Griffin Green (7-2), S: Tate Kuehner (2)

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Embarking on their final road trip of the regular season, the Louisville baseball program kicked off their crucial top 10 series against Virginia Tech on the right side of the win column, claiming the series opener 8-1 Friday at English Field

The No. 5 Cardinals (35-13-1, 16-8-1 ACC) extend their winning streak over the No. 7 Hokies (34-11, 14-9 ACC) to seven in a row, winning every matchup since joining the ACC. They also move to 10-5 this season over ranked teams, and have won 11 of their last 14 games.

Starter Jared Poland (6.1 IP, 2 K, 2 BB, 6 H, 1 ER) was able to rebound from his rough start against Wake Forest last week, as the staff ace put up his sixth quality start of the year. Conversely, Louisville's hitters largely struggled against VT starter Griffin Green, striking out eight times in 5.1 innings.

The teams traded individual runs in the second inning, with Louisville's Isaac Humphrey (3-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2B) launching a 401-foot solo home run in the top of the frame, and Virginia Tech's Carson DeMartini striking an RBI single in the bottom.

Following three scoreless frames from both sides, Louisville struck again in the sixth. With Chris Seng (1-1, RBI, 2B, BB) pinch running and on second base, Humphrey struck out but reached base on a dropped strike three wild pitch, allowing Seng to plate the tie-breaking run.

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In the late stages, the Cardinals added some big insurance runs. Both Seng and Humphrey struck RBI doubles in the eighth inning, then Louisville put up a four-spot in the ninth. Dalton Rushing (1-4, HR, RBI, BB) smashed a towering solo home run for his fourth straight game with a homer, Logan Beard (0-4, RBI, BB) drew a bases loaded walk, and Brandon Anderson (1-4, 2 RBI) collected a two-run single.

After Poland's quality start, Tate Kuehner (2.2 IP, 2 K, 1 H) was tasked with pitching behind him. With the offense compounding Louisville's lead, it allowed them to save some bullpen arms, and have Kuehner close out the game for the save.

Next up for Louisville, they'll continue their weekend series at Virginia Tech with game two. First pitch is slated for Saturday, Apr. 30 at 1:00 p.m. EST, and will be televised on the ACC Network and broadcast on 93.9 The Ville.

(Photo of Jack Payton: Jared Anderson - State of Louisville)

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