Louisville baseball is ACC Atlantic Division champion

Assistant AD Mark Jurich presents the ACC Atlantic Division hardware to Louisville Coach Dan McDonnell.
Assistant AD Mark Jurich presents the ACC Atlantic Division hardware to Louisville Coach Dan McDonnell.

The University of Louisville baseball team had a night to think about the crushing loss to Florida State on Friday, after some serious deliberation finally deciding that FSU might be human after all, coming out ready to play on Saturday.

With Brendan McKay throwing no-hit baseball for six and a third innings, Louisville would shut the Seminoles down 7-0. The win gives UofL the conference championship in the ACC’s Atlantic Division and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming conference tournament. Florida State had won the division eight straight years.

McKay, a candidate for the college baseball’s Golden Spikes Award, bringing the calming presence that was sorely needed at Jim Patterson Stadium, allowing only four base runners. No drama in his game, very much under control when he was lifted after walking a batter in the seventh inning.

So close to making history, a no-hitter very much a possiblity. Coach Dan McDonnell pulling him, knowing there could be much bigger games ahead.

Freshman reliever Lincoln Henzman the right person to preserve McKay’s masterpiece. Striking out three and allowing one hit in 2.2 innings scoreless relief. Carving a special place for himself in the future rotation, proving himself against a good-hitting FSU team. No sweat calling him in from the bullpen.

The Cardinals established control of Saturday’s game early with a four-run second inning. Danny Rosenbaum started things for Louisville with a RBI single to left to score senior Zach Lucas. Colby Fitch followed by sending an 0-1 offering down the left field line for a run-scoring double plating senior Mike White and Rosenbaum. Fitch scored the final run of the inning on a RBI sacrifice fly to right by freshman Devin Hairston.

Coach Dan McDonnell would award the game shirt to Rosenbaum for two hits, including a sixth inning home run and two runs batted in. Rosenbaum would also deprive an FSU batter of a double after informing the first base umpire that the runner had not touched first base.

Such a sweet win for the Cardinals and a crowd of 3,054 diehards who showed up at Jim Patterson Stadium the morning after an embarrassing meltdown, expecting a better showing from their team. They would be rewarded for their faithfulness by witnessing a milestone, Louisville claiming first place in its first year of Atlantic Coast Conference baseball.

Well done.

Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.