Weather delays continue to plague the Cavaliers wherever they go. For the fourth-straight game, first pitch was postponed, this time for almost five hours, and Virginia's series-opening game at Louisville did not start until around 9pm. In the bottom of the second, the game was put on pause again for nearly another hour due to a lightning delay.
The weather did not stand in the way of UVA starter Brian Gursky, who pitched on both sides of the delay and still managed to strike out a career-high 10 batters. Unfortunately for Gursky and the Cavaliers, Louisville starter Jared Poland was even better, giving up just one run on only two hits through seven innings pitched and striking out eight batters along the way. Behind Poland's outstanding performance, Louisville kept Virginia's offense at bay and the Cardinals took a 4-1 victory from a game 1 that did not end until 12:31am on Friday morning.
The Cardinals gave Gursky some trouble early as Dalton Rushing hit an RBI single to center field and Jack Payton followed that up with a single to score Rushing and give Louisville an early 2-0 lead. Play was stopped in the bottom of the second due to nearby lightning. When the game resumed, Gursky returned to the mound and surrendered a run on a fielder's choice ground out to make it 3-0.
Five of the first six outs Gursky recorded came on strikeouts. He retired the side in order in the third and got himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth. In the fifth inning, Gursky gave up back to back base hits to start the inning and allowed one of those runners to score on a sacrifice fly, but otherwise did a superb job limiting the damage and stranding two runners on base.
Louisville would not manage another run in the game as the combined efforts of Alex Greene and Will Geerdes kept the Cards off the board for the remaining three innings. The pitching staff kept the UVA offense within striking distance, but the bats simply never woke up. The Cavaliers scored just one run in the top of the sixth inning. Jimmy Sullivan drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a single from Griff O'Ferrall, moved to third on a bunt, and came home on a sacrifice fly from Alex Tappen.
Jared Poland went seven innings and had the Virginia hitters guessing the entire time. He was finally lifted in the eighth inning in favor of Michael Prosecky, who allowed only two hits and zero runs as he worked through the final two innings to pick up his 10th save of the seasons and secure Louisville's victory in game 1. UVA had only four hits in the entire game.
Virginia (37-14, 16-12 ACC) will look to even the series in game 2, which is set to begin at 4pm on Friday at Jim Patterson Stadium. The game will be televised on the ACC Network.
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