For a team that entered a must-win weekend in Charlottesville, Louisville (29-20, 9-16 ACC) found themselves on the wrong side of a lopsided affair against a Virginia (39-11, 14-11 ACC) team that was 2-7 in their previous 9 conference games.
Ryan Hawks (L, 5-3) allowed 5 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks in the 4 innings he worked on Friday evening. All 5 runs surrendered by Hawks were by the way of the long ball, a three-run home run in the 1st inning, following by a two-run shot in the 3rd. He has consistently been the Cardinals Friday night starter but has not recorded a win since April 6th against Boston College.
Kade Grundy, the former mid-week starter, replaced Hawks but was unable to get out of the 5th inning. The Cavaliers tattooed Grundy (.2 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, BB) for 7 runs (6 earned), including another three-run blast, extending the lead to 12-0 before the inning came to an end. All 7 runs in the inning occurred with 2 outs.
Ben Wiegman (1.1 IP, 2 H, ER, BB) and Will Koger (2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 2 K) finished the game on the mound for the Cards.
Defensively, Louisville had a few uncharacteristic mishaps from their outfielders. With a chance to get out of the never-ending 5th inning, Eddie King Jr. attempted to corral a ball on the warning track, but it popped off his glove and fell to the ground. Later in the game, a routine fly ball was hit to Isaac Humphrey in right field. He appeared to lose it in the sun, and it landed about 15 feet behind him as the Cavaliers were off to the races.
At the plate, Louisville managed 9 hits, 7 of which came in the 7th and 9th innings, the only two frames that they scored. Haven Mangrum (2-2, 2B, 2 RBI, R) entered the game for JT Benson and was the only player in the lineup with multiple hits. Mangrum laced a double down the left field line in the top of the 9th inning, scoring both Tucker Biven and Christian Knapczyk.
It was good to see them show some life in the later innings, but Virginia raced out to a 13-0 lead before Louisville notched their first run. At that point, the damage was done.
The Cards will attempt to even the series tomorrow at 4:00 PM on the ACC Network. Carson Liggett (7-0, 2.31 ERA) will take the mound against Connelly Early (9-1, 2.83 ERA).
Opportunities are dwindling for Louisville as they are currently 13th in the ACC standings, which would disqualify them from the ACC Tournament.