Louisville takes series opener from UVA with late rally

virginia baseballDanny Oriente doubled in two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to help, Louisville (26-11, 10-9 ACC) prevail, 5-4 over Virginia (22-17, 7-12 ACC) in the opening game of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series at Jim Patterson Stadium.

The eventual game-winning double was Oriente’s second hit of the night. The Cardinal designated hitter drove in four of the team’s five runs.

The back-and-forth affair saw four lead changes and the game was tied on two different occasions. Louisville erased a pair of one-run deficits to earn their sixth-straight victory.

Cavalier starting pitcher Derek Casey (Mechanicsville, Va.) produced his sixth quality start of the season by pitching 6.2 innings and allowing three earned runs. He fanned eight batters to up his season total to 82. Of his six quality starts this season, three have come in ACC play and he’s now pitched into the seventh inning in six of his last seven starts.

Getting his first start since March 23, freshman Devin Ortiz (Nutley, N.J.) went 2-for-3 with a double, triple and an RBI. He scored the go-ahead run on Justin Novak’s (Tokyo, Japan) RBI double in the top of the seventh, putting Virginia up 4-3.

The Cavaliers took their first lead of the day on run-scoring doubles by Andy Weber (Aurora, Ohio) and Nate Eikhoff (Bristow, Va.) in the top of the sixth. The double for Weber was his 16th of the season, the second-highest total in the ACC.

The pitching duel between Casey and Louisville starter Adam Wolf over the first four innings was in full effect. Casey struck the side in the top of first inning and didn’t surrender a hit until 10th batter of the game. Wolf retired the first nine batters in order and struck out five-straight batters between the second and third innings.

The Cavaliers and Cardinals will be back in action on Saturday (April 21) for game two. Virginia will send Daniel Lynch (Henrico, Va.) to the mound and he will be opposed by lefthander Nick Bennett. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the game will be carried live on ACC Network Extra.