(University of Louisville Release) LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Lefthander Brendan McKay worked into the seventh inning without allowing a hit while Colby Fitch and Danny Rosenbaum combined for five hits and five RBI as No. 2 Louisville clinched the 2015 ACC Atlantic Division championship with Saturday afternoon's 7-0 victory over No. 7 Florida State at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Along with winning their fourth straight conference title, including each of the last three in difference leagues, the Cardinals (39-12, 22-4 ACC) also clinched the No. 1 seed in the ACC Championship on May 19-24 in Durham, N.C. Louisville will look to win its ninth straight ACC series and its 11th straight series overall in the deciding game against the Seminoles (37-15, 17-9 ACC) on Sunday at 1 p.m., ET.
McKay, a freshman from Darlington, Pa., continued his impressive rookie campaign on Saturday holding the powerful Seminoles without a hit in 6.1 innings of shutout work. He added six strikeouts and worked around four walks to improve to 8-1 on the season and lower his ERA to just 1.65. At the plate, McKay was 1-for-3 on Saturday improving his season average to .329 in 44 starts as a hitter.
Freshman righty Lincoln Henzman (Lexington, Ky.) followed McKay by striking out three and allowing one hit in 2.2 innings of scoreless relief as the Cardinals earned their seventh shutout of the season. Saturday also marked the 32nd time in 51 games this season Louisville has allowed two or fewer earned runs in a game.
At the plate, Fitch (Rocheport, Mo.) had the best performance of his brief collegiate career as the freshman was 3-for-4 with a double, three RBI setting career highs in both hits and runs driven in. A junior from Lafayette Hill, Pa., Rosenbaum connected for his first home run of the season while finishing 2-of-4 with two RBI and two runs scored at the plate. Sophomore Corey Ray (Chicago, Ill.) chipped in going 2-for-3 with a double and one RBI as the Cardinals finished with a 12-1 hit advantage over the Seminoles.
The Cardinals established control of Saturday's game early with a four-run second inning against Florida State righty Mike Compton. Rosenbaum started things for Louisville with a RBI single to left to score senior Zach Lucas (Louisville, Ky.). Fitch followed by sending an 0-1 offering down the left field line for a run-scoring double plating senior Mike White (East Orange, N.J.) and Rosenbaum. After advancing to third on a fielding error in left field by D.J. Stewart on the double, Fitch scored the final run of the inning on a RBI sacrifice fly to right by freshman Devin Hairston (Lexington, Ky.).
Louisville added to the advantage in the fourth inning on a two-out RBI single through the right side by Fitch to score White, who singled earlier in the inning and advanced to second with his 10th stolen base of the season before being driven home. Ray pushed the lead to 6-0 in the fifth with a RBI double down the left field line to score Whiting, who singled to start the inning.
The final run of the afternoon came in the sixth inning when Rosenbaum crushed a 1-0 pitch from reliever Ed Voyles sending it onto the berm beyond the left field wall for the final margin. Saturday's loss was charged to Compton, who dropped to 3-2 on the season after allowing six runs, including five earned, on seven hits in 4.1 innings.
Prior to Sunday's deciding third game in the series with the Seminoles, Louisville will honor its 2015 seniors with a ceremony at approximately 12:45 p.m., ET.