After splitting a pair of games on Friday and Saturday, Louisville and North Carolina State squared off in a rubber match at Jim Patterson Stadium that had major ACC Atlantic Division implications.
The Wolfpack started off the same way they left off Saturday: scorching hot. After the top of the 1st inning, they held a commanding 5-0 lead after hitting three home runs in their first inning of work.
It did not take long for the Cards to respond, scoring four runs in the home half of the 1st inning. Levi Usher and Isaac Humphrey both drove in two runs apiece to bring Louisville within one.
North Carolina State later added another run in the top of the 4th inning to extend the lead, 6-4.
Then Dalton Rushing happened. In the bottom of the 4th inning, Rushing hit an absolute nuke to right field, his 12th home run of the season, scoring Jack Payton to tie the game.
Things seemed to quiet down in the middle innings until Tommy White came to the plate in the top of the 7th. White, the freshman phenom for North Carolina State, had already accounted for three home runs in the series. With an 0-2 count, Alex Galvan left a ball out over the plate and White demolished his 4th home run of the series and 18th of the year.
White and Payton appeared to have words as White crossed home plate, but things were just starting to heat up.
In the bottom of the 8th and Louisville trailing 7-6, Payton came to bat with the bases loaded, lacing a ground rule double down the left field line to give the Cards a 8-7 lead.
Usher, Logan Beard, and Ben Bianco would each add an RBI of their own to give Louisville a 11-7 lead, which would hold as the final score.
The Cards pitching staff gave up 26 runs, including 11 home runs, over the weekend, but fortunately the offense was able to breakthrough with 32 of their own to claim the series.
With the win, Louisville was able to keep pace with Notre Dame in the Atlantic Division, both tied at 11-7 apiece in conference play, but the Cards hold the edge due to sweeping the Irish earlier this season.
You can catch the next four games as Jim Patterson Stadium as WKU comes to town on Tuesday with the first pitch scheduled for 6:00 PM. Louisville won a lopsided game, 16-6, over the Hilltoppers a few weeks ago in Bowling Green.
The Cards will host Clemson next weekend, who have been hot as of late. At just 6-11 in conference play, the Tigers have won their last two series against Wake Forest and Florida State.