The Louisville baseball team kicked off what it hopes winds up being a lengthy and successful 2016 postseason with a 9-5 win over Wake Forest in their opening game of the ACC Tournament Wednesday night in Durham.
Kade McClure struck out a career-high 11 hitters over six innings to pick up the victory. That win moved him to 12-0 on the season, the best record in the country. The sophomore righty also became just the second Louisville pitcher ever to win 12 games in a season.
After falling behind 2-0 early, U of L seized control of the game in the middle innings with three home runs including a three-run blast by catcher Will Smith that made the score 6-2. One batter later, Nick Solak belted a 403-foot home run over the bull ("Well, he really hit the sh-t outta that one, didn't he?") beyond the left field wall. Those long balls came one inning after Blake Tiberi put the Cards ahead 3-2 with a two-run shot.
Nick Solak just absolutely smoked one over the bull. Louisville is simply on a different level.— NC State K Crew (@NCStateKCrew) May 26, 2016
After Wake Forest cut the U of L lead to 8-5, Smith added an insurance run in the 8th with a solo home run to almost the same spot in left center where his first blast left the yard. That was all the ammo needed for Zack Burdi, who had little issue recording the game's final three outs.
Burdi fans 2 in 9th, Louisville beats Wake 9-5. Burdi sat 98-99, serious tilt on 85-88 slider. Which, as I’ve said before, is ridiculous.— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) May 26, 2016
Here's an updated look at how the tournament stands after two days of play.
2016 ACC BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
May 24-29 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Durham, N.C.
Tuesday, May 24
#10 Wake Forest 4, #7 Duke 3
#9 Georgia Tech 6, #8 Boston College 0
Wednesday, May 25
#4 Florida State 7, #5 NC State 3
#1 Miami 4, #9 Georgia Tech 0
#2 Louisville 9, #10 Wake Forest 5
Thursday, May 26
#3 Virginia vs. #6 Clemson, 11 a.m. (RSN)
#4 Florida State vs. #9 Georgia Tech, 3 p.m. (RSN)
#1 Miami vs. #5 NC State, 7 p.m. (RSN)
Friday, May 27
#2 Louisville vs. #6 Clemson, 11 a.m. (RSN)
#3 Virginia vs. #10 Wake Forest, 3 p.m. (RSN)
#5 NC State vs. #9 Georgia Tech, 7 p.m. (RSN)
Saturday, May 28
#6 Clemson vs. #10 Wake Forest, 11 a.m. (RSN)
#1 Miami vs. #4 Florida State, 3 p.m. (RSN)
#2 Louisville vs. #3 Virginia, 7 p.m. (RSN)
Sunday, May 29
ACC Championship, Noon (ESPN2)
The Cards now get a day off before returning to the park on Friday to take on Clemson at 11 a.m. You can watch every pitch locally on Fox Sports South, or listen on 93.9 The Ville.
Here are your highlights from Wednesday, including Solak's moon shot:
I have so many more Bull Durham references to make before this week ends.