Stowers, Detmers Lead No. 24 Louisville in Victorious ACC Opener
Stowers goes 3-for-4 with a homer and six RBIs; Detmers pitches into the sixth for his fourth win
DURHAM, N.C. - Josh Stowers homered and drove in six runs for the second straight game while Reid Detmers pitched effectively into the sixth inning as the No. 24 Louisville baseball team opened the 2018 ACC Championship with a 10-2 win over Wake Forest on Wednesday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Stowers finished 3-for-4 at the plate adding a double and a triple to go with his three-run homer for the Cardinals (41-16), who won their opening game of the ACC Championship for the fourth straight season. No. 5 seeded Louisville will face 10th-ranked and No. 4 seeded Duke in the Pool D finale on Friday at 11 a.m., ET with the winner advancing to Saturday's semifinal round at the ACC Championship.
Four days after achieving a career high with his six RBIs in a win against Notre Dame in the regular season finale on May 19, Stowers matched that total against the Demon Deacons (25-31). Having reached base safely in 40 consecutive games, the junior outfielder has also hit safely in 10 straight games, including seven consecutive outings with two or more hits. In his last 29 games, Stowers has a .430 batting average (43-for-100) with six home runs, 37 RBIs and 38 runs scored, including three runs on Wednesday. Overall, the Westchester, Illinois native has a .344 batting average with 55 RBIs, 12 doubles and 63 runs scored in 55 starts this season.
Detmers paced the way for the Cardinals on the mound as the freshman allowed just one earned run on four hits with five strikeouts in 5.2 innings to earn the win and move to 4-1 on the season. In his last five starts, the lefthander has a 3-0 record with a 2.57 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 28.0 innings. Junior righty Bryan Hoeing followed Detmers by surrendering only an unearned run on one hit with four strikeouts in 2.1 innings, while sophomore Michael McAvene pitched a scoreless ninth inning to close the game.
Along with the big day for Stowers, the Cardinals also had contributions offensively from Logan Wyatt and Tyler Fitzgerald. Wyatt was 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs scored and one RBI, while Fitzgerald finished 2-for-5 with a stolen base and a run scored. Jake Snider singled, walked, stole a base and scored once.
The Demon Deacons broke through for the first run of the day in the third inning when Logan Harvey scored from third as Jake Mueller rolled into a double play. Wake Forest loaded the bases with no outs but Detmers got the 6-4-3 double play and a strikeout to end the inning.
The Cardinals gained their first lead of the game in the fourth inning on the three-run bomb to left field by Stowers. Devin Mann started the inning with a double off the wall in left center and Wyatt walked before Stowers crushed the first offering from Colin Peluse over the Durham Bulls sign atop the left field wall for a 3-1 advantage.
Louisville added to its cushion with a pair of runs in the sixth inning. Stowers led off with a double down the left field line and moved to third on a fly out to right before scoring on a successful squeeze bunt off the bat of Drew Campbell, who also reached base on the play on a fielding error by the Demon Deacons. Campbell stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch by Tyler Witt before scoring on a passed ball.
Wake Forest cut the margin to 5-2 in the top of the eighth inning after a throwing error by the Cardinals allowed Mueller to score. Louisville answered in the bottom of the frame with five runs to end any hopes of a late rally by the Demon Deacons. Wyatt connected on a bases loaded RBI single to right field to plate Fitzgerald for the first run before Stowers delivered a bases clearing triple for the 9-2 lead. Stowers scored from third on a wild pitch for the final run of the game.
Friday's Louisville-Duke matchup will be televised through the ACCs Regional Sports Network, while 93.9 The Ville in Louisville will have radio coverage. The Blue Devils will play their Pool D opener against Wake Forest on Thursday at 11 a.m.