Louisville wins ACC Atlantic Division title, evens series with Florida State
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Lefthander Brendan McKay worked into the seventh inning without allowing a hit while Colby Fitch and Danny Rosenbaum combined for five hits and five RBI as No. 2 Louisville clinched the 2015 ACC Atlantic Division championship with Saturday afternoon's 7-0 victory against No. 10 Florida State at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Along with winning their fourth consecutive conference title, including each of the last three in difference leagues, the Cardinals (39-12, 22-4 ACC) also clinched the No. 1 seed in the ACC championship on May 19-24 in Durham, North Carolina. Louisville will look to win its ninth consecutive ACC series and its 11th series in a row overall in the deciding game against the Seminoles (37-15, 17-9 ACC) on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
McKay continued his impressive rookie campaign on Saturday holding the powerful Seminoles without a hit in 6.1 innings of shutout work. He added six strikeouts and worked around four walks to improve to 8-1 on the season and lower his ERA to just 1.65. At the plate, McKay was 1-for-3 on Saturday improving his season average to .329 in 44 starts as a hitter.
Freshman righty Lincoln Henzmanfollowed McKay by striking out three and allowing one hit in 2.2 innings of scoreless relief as the Cardinals earned their seventh shutout of the season. Saturday also marked the 32nd time in 51 games this season Louisville has allowed two or fewer earned runs in a game.
At the plate, Fitch had the best performance of his brief collegiate career as the freshman was 3-for-4 with a double, three RBI setting career highs in both hits and runs driven in. Rosenbaum connected for his first home run of the season while finishing 2-of-4 with two RBI and two runs scored at the plate. Sophomore Corey Ray chipped in going 2-for-3 with a double and one RBI as the Cardinals finished with a 12-1 hit advantage against the Seminoles.
The Cardinals established control of Saturday's game early with a four-run second inning against Florida State righty Mike Compton. Rosenbaum started things for Louisville with a RBI single to left to score senior Zach Lucas. Fitch followed by sending an 0-1 offering down the left field line for a run-scoring double plating senior Mike White and Rosenbaum. After advancing to third on a fielding error in left field by D.J. Stewart on the double, Fitch scored the final run of the inning on a RBI sacrifice fly to right by freshman Devin Hairston.
Louisville added to the advantage in the fourth inning on a two-out RBI single through the right side by Fitch to score White, who singled earlier in the inning and advanced to second with his 10th stolen base of the season before being driven home. Ray pushed the lead to 6-0 in the fifth with a RBI double down the left field line to score Whiting, who singled to start the inning.
The final run of the afternoon came in the sixth inning when Rosenbaum crushed a 1-0 pitch from reliever Ed Voyles sending it onto the berm beyond the left field wall for the final margin. Saturday's loss was charged to Compton, who dropped to 3-2 on the season after allowing six runs, including five earned, on seven hits in 4.1 innings.