The Cards continued their dominance against in-state foes, pushing their winning streak against Bluegrass State foes to 12 as U of L (22-2) downed Western Kentucky 11-1. U of L has not lost a game against an in-state foe since losing to WKU in 2015, and has won 53 of its last 56 games at home.
As usual, Brendan McKay shined during the game. McKay batted 3-of-4 at the plate with an RBI double in the seventh inning, and two runs scored. Ryan Summers had a stellar day as the nine-hole hitter, batting a flawless 3-for-3 with a run scored. Tyler Fitzgerald and Colin Lyman each scored two hits and an RBI, while Devin Hairston went 2-of-5 at the plate with two runs driven in.
Hairston led off with an RBI single in the first to score Colby Fitch, who hit a double earlier in the inning despite stumbling halfway between first and second. Hairston batted in two runs, each in the first and second inning. Fitch added an RBI groundout in the second inning to give U of L an early 3-0 lead. The Cards tallied 17 hits in the game, but stranded 13 runners throughout the game.
After failing to capitalize on several stranded runners early, Louisville pulled away with seven runs in their final four innings. Devin Mann offered an RBI sacrifice, while Tyler Fitzgerald followed it up with an RBI triple. Colin Lyman added a single in the sixth inning that would score Brendan McKay. U of L would finish their scoring with three runs scored in the seventh and two more in the eighth, highlighted by WKU’s five errors and three wild pitches that parlayed into Louisville runs.
Shane Hummel earned the win in his first start of 2017, continuing U of L’s recent experimenting at the mound for the weekday starter spot. The senior pitched through 3.1 innings, only allowing one run in the third inning after a leadoff triple from Colie Currie led to an eventual RBI groundout from Kevin Lambert. The bullpen pulled together to shutout the Hilltoppers, pitching 6.2 shutout innings with four strikeouts and two hits using six relievers.
Up next, the Cardinals return to the road to face #16 Virginia in their first series against a ranked opponent, with a home game against ranked Kentucky looming next week. WKU, now sitting at 9-17, will host #25 Southern Miss this weekend.