The University of Louisville received another excellent start by freshman Brendan McKay on the mound, but the No.8 Cardinals needed 18 innings and a home run by Corey Ray to finally dispatch No.22 Notre Dame 6-4 on Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore Corey Ray capped off a nice day at the plate when he connected for a solo home run lead to off the 18th inning to give the Cardinals (17-6, 7-1) a 5-4 lead in a game that would equal the school record for most innings in program history. Will Smith hit a two-out single to drive in the game's final run.
After filling more of a reliever role during the first month of the season, McKay made his second career start at at Frank Eck Stadium in South Bend, Ind. The western Pennsylvania native struck out 12 in 7 innings of work, while giving up three runs on three hits. Six different pitchers were called out of the bullpen, with freshman Sean Leland tossing two shutout innings to close the game and pick up his first career victory.
After falling behind 2-0 through four innings, the Cardinals received RBI singles by Sutton Whiting and Nick Solak in the top of the fifth to even the score. Notre Dame (15-6, 3-5) regained the lead in the sixth inning off a solo home run by Robert Youngdahl. The Cardinals evened the game again at 3-3 in the seventh when Whiting connected for a triple and then scored off a Solak single.
The teams remained knotted until the 14 inning, when each scored a run. Solak gave the Cardinals a brief lead after hitting a leadoff triple and then scoring on a wild pitch. The Irish responed with a pair of singles in the bottom of the inning.
Also working out of the bullpen were freshman Lincoln Henzman, sophomore lefty Robert Strader, sophomore righty Zack Burdi, sophomore righty Jake Sparger and lefty Butch Baird. For the season, the Louisville bullpen is 11-0 with a 1.88 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 96.0 innings.
The Cardinals out-hit the Irish 19-7 and played error-free ball for the sixth time this season.
Louisville, which has now six straight and eight of last nine outings, will attempt to secure its second straight ACC series sweep when the two meet on Sunday afternoon at 1:05pm.