Baseball Falls To No. 22 Louisville, 3-1
CHARLESTON, S.C. It was the Justin McClanahan show for Louisville on Friday. McClanahan homered, doubled and drove in three runs to lead the Cardinals past NC State 3-1 at the Charleston Firefighter Memorial Challenge at Riley Park in Charleston, S.C.
McClanahan went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs. The rest of the UL lineup went 2-for-29 and was relatively punchless, but the Wolfpack managed just four hits against Louisville senior Zack Pitts. The preseason Big East pitcher of the year, Pitts (2-0) worked seven innings and allowed just one run, on a Drew Martin sacrifice fly, on four hits. He walked one and struck out six.
The Cardinals needed just such a performance from Pitts because Wolfpack starter Eric Surkamp (1-1) was outstanding as well, allowing three runs on three hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out eight, one shy of tying his career high. McClanahan’s two-out two-run home run in the first inning staked Pitts and Louisville to a 2-0 lead, but Surkamp was masterful from there, retiring 11 in a row and 14 of 15 before Chris Dominguez singled with two out in the sixth and scored on McClanahan’s double to left-center. Kyle Rutter and Jimmy Gilheeney pitched the final 3 1/3 innings without allowing further damage, but with Pitts on the mound, three runs was damage enough.
NC State got a leadoff single from Dallas Poulk in the bottom of the first to extend his hitting streak to 21 games, but he was erased on an inning-ending double play. Tommy Foschi drew a two-out walk in the third, but was standed. Ryan Pond reached on a one-out error in the fourth, but could not advance.
The Wolfpack got its lone run in the fifth when Marcus Jones and Domonique Rodgers led off with back-to-back singles, putting runners on the corners with none out. Martin flied to the left-field corner to score Jones, but Pitts retired Foschi and Poulk to get out of the inning.
Jeremy Synan led off the bottom of the seventh with a single up the middle, but Pitts retired Jones, Rodgers and Martin without allowing another ball to be hit out of the infield.
NC State returns to action at the Charleston Firefighter Memorial Challenge on Saturday, taking on North Carolina A&T at 11 a.m. The game will be broadcast live on WKNC (88.1 FM).