Home #7 Louisville knocks off #5 Virginia Tech, 7-1, in series opener on Friday

#7 Louisville knocks off #5 Virginia Tech, 7-1, in series opener on Friday

Chris Graham

virginia tech logoDespite sophomore right-hander Griffin Green setting a career high with eight strikeouts on Friday, No. 5 Virginia Tech was denied a series-opening victory against No. 7 Louisville as the Hokies succumbed to the Cardinals, 8-1, at English Field at Atlantic Union Bank Park.

Virginia Tech (34-11, 14-9 ACC) nearly erased its 2-1 deficit during the bottom of the seventh inning, introducing two leadoff base runners as Cade Hunter and Conor Hartigan both drew walks against tiring starter Jared Poland. After Lucas Donlon and Carson DeMartini had been unsuccessful in evening the score, Nick Biddison appeared to drop the game-tying RBI single into center field – had it not been for Levi Usher’s tumbling, inning-ending catch that squashed the Tech rally.

Green carved through Louisville (35-13-1, 16-8-1 ACC), holding the Cardinals to three hits and enduring a 29-minute rain delay during his five-and-one-third-inning outing. The Hokies’ weekend-opening arm bounced back after surrendering a home run to Isaac Humphrey during the top of the second inning, keeping the game deadlocked at 1-1 until a fluke sequence left him on the hook during the sixth inning.

With Chris Seng aboard at second base and one out, Green battled Humphrey to a full count, inducing the swinging strikeout on a ball that appeared to ricochet off Humphrey’s left leg and dart towards the third base dugout. While Green and Hunter’s appeals for a dead ball were ignored and the ball scurried away, Seng and Humphrey each took two bases on the wild pitch, presenting Louisville with its final lead.

DeMartini singled during each of his first two at-bats – the first of which plated Tech’s tying run during the second inning – finishing 2-for-3 from his home in the ninth spot of the Hokies’ lineup. Jack Hurley elevated his ACC-leading doubles count to 22 during the bottom of the third inning, finding open territory down the right field line two batters after the rain delay had ended.

Louisville rallied for six runs across the final two innings. Seng and Humphrey hit back-to-back RBI doubles off Graham Firoved during the eighth inning before the Cardinals did Brady Kirtner in for four ninth-inning runs.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].