By Sam Draut–
The University of Louisville baseball team defeated ninth-ranked Kentucky 9-6 in Lexington on Wednesday night.
Week day warrior: Coach Dan McDonnell set his weekend rotation before the season started and has stuck to it, meaning sophomore pitcher Kade McClure is the Cardinals de-facto weekday starter. He has pitched well in the role, and put together a gutsy performance against Kentucky after struggling in his start last season against the in-state rival. McClure pitched six innings, giving up seven hits and three runs (two earned) while striking out five batters. McClure worked out of several jams in the middle innings to improve to 7-0.
Shaky save: McDonnell brought in closer Zack Burdi for a four-out save in the eighth inning with a runner on third with two outs. Kentucky center fielder Dorian Hairston blasted a two-run home run off of Burdi, closing the Louisville lead to one run. Burdi closed out the eighth inning after the home-run and pitched a scoreless ninth after giving up a leadoff double.
Clearing the bases: With the bases loaded in the fifth inning, Drew Ellis cleared the bases with a double to left-center field. The extra base hit plated three runs, giving the freshman a new career-high of five RBI and Louisville a 7-0 lead.
Big inning: The Cardinals scored three runs in the top of the third inning, but manufactured the big inning on one hit , two hit batsmen and two errors on Kentucky infielders. Colby Fitch was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and with one out, Brendan McKay reached first on an error. Following McKay, Devin Hairston reached on another infield error to load the bases. Will Smith was hit by a pitch to scored Fitch. The final two runs were scored on a bloop single by Drew Ellis, giving Louisville a 4-0 lead.
Score first: Leadoff hitter Corey Ray hit a single on the first pitch of the game, but was picked off by left-handed Zach Logue. Devin Mann drew a walk and then scored on Brendan McKay’s opposite field double, giving Louisville a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
Photo by Wade Morgen / The Louisville Cardinal