Following a split in Saturday's doubleheader, No. 11 Louisville (10-5, 2-1) and No. 10 Miami (10-6, 1-2) returned to Jim Patterson Stadium for a series deciding third game on Sunday afternoon. In what started as a contest that appeared to be headed towards a third consecutive high-scoring affair, with each team scoring four runs during the first three innings, resulted in a nail-biter that left the teams knotted until the bottom of the ninth inning.
After giving up a first inning run, the Cardinals responded with a two-out rally in the bottom of the first frame. Corey Ray broke out out of four game hitting slump with the game's first hit. Brendan McKay followed with a single to put Cardinals on the corners for senior Zach Lucas. Lucas connected for a single to left side, driving in both runners to give Louisville an early 2-1 advantage.
Aided by an error with two out by second baseman Devin Hairston, his first of the season, Miami plated three in the top of the fourth. Again, the Cardinals responded quickly when Nick Solak opened U of L's turn in the third with a double. The next three batters - Ray, McKay and Lucas - each drew walks, bringing Solak home. Ray scored on a fielders choice to even the score at 4-4.
Both teams remained scoreless until the ninth inning when McKay continued his stellar freshman season. After starting at first base, McKay was called to the mound in the eighth inning and pitched like a veteran. He allowed no hits during his two innings of work and when a leadoff walk to the start the ninth reached third base with just one out, McKay displayed great composure, striking out the next two Hurricane batters to set up walk-off win opportunity.
The great night for McKay continued in the bottom of the ninth. Colby Fitch reached on a fielding error, Sutton Whiting drew a walk and an intential pass was given to Corey Ray to load the bases with one out. McKay upped his season average to a team best .464 when he worked the count to his favor and drove in the game winning run with a walk-off single to center, giving him his second win of the season.
Up next for Louisville is a two-game set against nationally-ranked Ole Miss at Patterson Stadium. The Cardinals continue ACC play this weekend when Boston College visits for a three game series.