CHARLESTON, S.C. — Louisville rallied against West Virginia’s bullpen with a two-run eighth before Jeff Gardner’s walk-off homer against Corey Walter in the 10th won it for the Cardinals 7-6 in Friday afternoon’s season opener.
Ryan McBroom homered and drove in three runs and Max Nogay added solo shot for West Virginia, which led 5-1 early, outhit Louisville 10-8 and came close to launching the Homewood Suites Tournament with an upset of its former Big East rival Louisville. Coming off a CWS appearance, the Cardinals began the season ranked No. 13 by USA Today, No. 14 by NCBWA, No. 20 by Baseball America and No. 8 by Collegiate Baseball.
The Mountaineers play two more games at the tournament this weekend.
Left-hander Harrison Musgrave, named to the Golden Spikes watch list earlier Friday, fanned seven and allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Despite allowing two homers—half of his season total from 2013—Musgrave left with a 5-4 lead that became a two-run cushion in the seventh when Bill Fleming doubled with two outs and McBroom singled through the left side.
But Louisville tied the game at 6-6 in the eighth against West Virginia’s Paul Pascal on back-to-back RBI doubles by Gardner and Danny Rosenbaum. The Cardinals had the potential winning run at third base in the bottom of the ninth before Joby Lapscowitz relieved Pascal and coaxed a groundout to force extras.
After WVU standed two runners in the top of the 10th, Walter came on in the bottom half and yielded a one-out solo shot to Gardner, who led Louisville with nine homers last season.
The Mountaineers reached Louisville left-hander Joe Filomeno for five runs in four innings,
Taylor Munden opened the game with a first-pitch leadoff single and scored on Jacob Rice’s two-out hit.
Third baseman Justin Fox’s RBI singled scored Trevor Simms in the second inning, before Louisville’s Danny Rosenbaum hit a solo homer off Musgrave to make it 2-1.
McBroom answered with a two-run blast to left field in the third inning and Nogay made it 5-1 in the fourth with a line-drive off the left-field foul pole.
The Cardinals used Munden’s throwing error to produce an unearned run in the fifth before Grant Kay touched Musgrave for a two-run homer in the fifth to narrow the lead to 5-4.
Freshman Jake Sparger pitched five innings on one-run relief for Louisville, while Nick Burdi (1-0) earned the win by pitching a scoreless 10th.
The Mountaineers will face Delaware on Saturday at 6 p.m., when junior right-hander Sean Carley is scheduled to make his West Virginia debut.