In the 500th game at Jim Patterson Stadium, it seemed like a coincidence that Louisville would end up playing its rival, Kentucky, for such a milestone.
Louisville (23-6) fell behind early against the Wildcats, but used an 8-0 run from the third-to-sixth innings to earn an 8-3 win over Kentucky (16-13).
The first two innings went scoreless between the Cards and the ‘Cats, but the third inning got things started. Kentucky scored first on a two-RBI single by T.J. Collett, scoring Zeke Lewis and Coltyn Kessler. Louisville answered back with two RBI extra-base hits in the bottom of the third, coming on Ethan Stringer’s double and Jake Snider’s triple.
While Louisville’s bullpen held Kentucky’s offense to shutout innings in the mid-portions of the game, the Cardinals continued to pile on runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. Louisville got four runs in the fourth, led off by Zeke Pinkham’s RBI single. Ethan Stringer was hit by a pitch in a bases-loaded situation, allowing Alex Binelas to score another run. Jake Snider’s RBI single brought in two more runs, giving Louisville a definitive 6-2 lead.
After their breakout fourth inning, Louisville got an insurance run in each of the following two frames. Drew Campbell drove in an RBI double in the fifth, while a throwing error by Kentucky allowed Alex Binelas to reach first base, subsequently bringing in another run for the Cardinals. Louisville held an 8-2 lead after six innings.
T.J. Collett would bring in another run for Kentucky in the eighth inning, pounding an RBI single through the right side to close the deficit to 8-3. He drove in all three runs for Kentucky, and was the only Wildcats batter that had a multi-hit game. Austin Schultz (1-for-4), Breydon Daniel (1-for-4), and Coltyn Kessler (1-for-3) each had a double for the Wildcats.
Jake Snider was the MVP for Louisville in tonight’s latest chapter of their baseball rivalry against Kentucky. Snider finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs, including a triple. Zeke Pinkham (2-for-4, RBI) and Drew Campbell (2-for-3, RBI, double) also delivered quality at-bats from the 7-hole and 8-hole, respectively. Ethan Stringer was 1-for-1 with two RBIs. Louisville got their eight runs on seven hits, aided in part by three Kentucky errors.
Louisville’s pitching did their part against Kentucky as well. Four pitchers (starter Luke Smith, Adam Elliott, Bryan Hoeing, and Michael Kirian) combined for 12 strikeouts on the Wildcats. Elliott improved his record to 2-1, throwing two shutout innings with three strikeouts. This marks the 16th time that Louisville has thrown double-digit strikeouts this year. The Cards are 14-2 when they reach 10+ strikeouts as a team.
Louisville will look to carry its six game winning streak on the road this weekend, facing Clemson in a matchup of two top-25 teams in the ACC. The series begins on Friday at 6 p.m. EDT.