LEXINGTON, Ky. — The sixth-ranked Louisville Cardinals plated seven runs in the first five innings to build an early lead and post a 9-6 win over No. 9 Kentucky, on a gorgeous Wednesday night, in front of a season-high 3,511 at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (22-10) suffered the loss to the Cardinals, as UofL built an early lead with a run in the first and after UK committed a pair of errors on tailor-made double-play balls, scored three unearned runs in the third inning for an insurmountable lead. UofL added three in the fifth inning, with UK rallying with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the frame and added a run in the sixth.
The Wildcats mounted a rally in the eighth inning, plating three to cut the UofL lead to 7-6, with Dorian Hairston belting a two-out, two-run homer. The first two UofL hitters reached to open the ninth, scoring on a pinch-hit single from Colin Lyman for the final margin.
UK starter Zach Logue (1-1) worked a pre-determined three innings, allowing four hits and four runs – one earned – walking one and striking out three. Senior southpaw Dylan Dwyer took over in the fourth, working 1.1 innings, allowing one hit and three runs, walking two and striking out two. Bo Wilson came on and allowed a pair of hits in the fifth, before Brad Schaenzer entered in relief. Schaenzer got four outs, allowing just a single. Zach Pop took over with two outs in the sixth inning, working 1.1 perfect innings, striking out two. Lefty Logan Salow came on to start the eighth inning, working one inning and allowing a pair of runs to score. Justin Lewis got the final three outs.
Eight of nine Kentucky starters collected hits in the game, including Luke Becker, Riley Mahan, Gunnar McNeill, Troy Squires, Zack Reks and Storm Wilson collecting knocks. White, Becker and Mahan each had two-hit days. Hairston hit his third home run of the year, a two-out blast in the eighth inning.
Louisville (26-7) starter Kade McClure (7-0) earned his seventh win in as many starts. McClure worked six strong innings, allowing three runs – two earned, walking one and striking out five. UofL also used Sam Bordner and Adam Wolf in relief, before Zack Burdi took over the get the final four outs of the game for his fourth save of the year.
The Wildcats will return to action on Friday, traveling to face No. 4 Vanderbilt in a three-game series, starting on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The Cardinals opened the scoring in the top of the first inning, taking a 1-0 lead. Devin Mann drew a two-out, five-pitch walk, scoring on a double from Brendan McKay, lifted down the leftfield line.
In the top of the third inning, Louisville rallied to stretch its lead. Colby pitch was hit by a pitch to open the frame and after a strikeout, McKay chopped the ball to the right side, with it going as an error. Logue then got Hairston to chop into a grounder up the middle, with the ball also misplayed for an error, loading the bases with one out. Logue responded with a strikeout for the second out, but plunked Will Smith with a three-ball offering to force in Fitch. Drew Ellis then ripped a two-out, two-RBI single into shallow leftfield, scoring a pair and stretching the UofL lead to 4-0.
Louisville stretched its lead in the top of the fifth inning, starting with a one-out walk from Hairston, with Blake Tiberi following with a single and Smith loading the bases with a walk. Ellis then drove in the trio with a bases-clearing double to great Wilson into the game. Logan Taylor then reached on an infield single to bring in Schaenzer.
Kentucky got on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning, cutting the lead to 7-2. Becker led off with a double to centerfield, and Pompey singled with one out, with Becker scoring on a throwing error and Becker moving to second. Wilson then singled up the middle to score Pompey.
UK added a run in the bottom of the sixth inning, with Reks reaching on a one-out single and after a walk and infield single, scored on a wild pitch.
The Wildcats mounted a rally in the bottom of the eighth inning, with Becker singling with one out and Mahan followed with a single through the right side, taking second on the throw to third base. A passed ball scored Becker and allowed Mahan to take third with two outs. Hairston then smashed a two-out, two-run homer into the deck in right-centerfield, his third homer of the year.