By Derek DeBurger

As the average weeks pile up, the prospects of a return to the NCAA Tournament fall further out of the picture. With just a couple of weeks left in the season, the Cardinals have entered due-or-die time to make a mark on the season.


In the second of two-weekday games against the WKU Hilltoppers this season, the Cards had vengeance on the mind. After giving up a run in the top of the first inning, Louisville scored a program-record 13 runs in the first inning. The first eight batters to step up to the plate for the Cards scored.

The game looked over after the Cards jumped out to a 12-run lead, but the Hilltoppers stuck around. With three runs in the third inning and constant runners on base, WKU held far more momentum than they should have. They scored a run in the top of the sixth inning to cut the lead to eight. With the run-rule, and even the game, now in doubt the Cards needed to put some runs up on the board to secure the victory. In the bottom of the sixth Dylan Hoy did just that–a two-RBI single brought the lead back up to 10, later scoring an extra insurance run of his own.

With the run rule back in play, Louisville closed out the seventh inning to get a 16-5 victory.

The score doesn’t reflect it, but Louisville barely held on to control of the game. The Hilltoppers were constantly getting runners into scoring position, they just couldn’t capitalize when it mattered most. This is ultimately a good win for Louisville, no matter how shaky it looked.


Louisville’s weekend series was against the No. 5 Clemson Tigers who are coming off of a 15-inning weekday loss to Georgia.

After two scoreless innings, Louisville scored off of an Isaac Humphrey triple in the third inning. In the top of the fourth inning, Clemson scored four runs to take the lead, including a steal of home plate off of a throwing error. Clemson held a 1-4 lead.

The Cards exploded offensively, scoring 10 runs in the bottom of the fourth. None of the hits were greater than a double, so the Cards took advantage of the Tigers on the mound throughout the entire lineup. Over the second half of the game Louisville gave up runs here and there, and before you knew it the lead was down to just three going into the ninth inning.

Louisville just needed three outs without giving up three or more runs to take the first game of the series. Instead, the Cards gave up four runs to go into the bottom of the ninth down one run. Louisville had three batters up and three batters down.

Ultimately, the Cards lost 11-12.


Louisville got out to a fairly even start in game two, giving up a run in the first inning to the Tigers but matching it with their own in the third inning. Clemson took the lead with a three-run inning in the fourth. The Cards scored a run in the fifth inning, but it was again matched in the sixth inning.

Down three runs, Louisville took the next two innings to score five (including three homers) and take their first lead of the game. Clemson scored one final run in the ninth inning, but it was too little too late.

The Cards would win 7-6.


With a chance to take the series in a rubber game, Louisville was about as non-competitive from the start as it gets. Clemson scored 13 runs in the first four innings to Louisville’s two. After Louisville scored five runs between the fifth and sixth innings, Clemson iced the game in the seventh inning with four more runs of their own and Louisville had no match.

Louisville lost 7-17 in seven innings via run rule and lost the series 1-2.

Searching for Success

Louisville has made consistent strides in recent weeks, improving upon what was already a top-10 offense. The problem is the middle of the bullpen cannot be relied on. There have been strong individual performances, but nothing consistent from any one pitcher let alone the whole group. Louisville’s offense has the ability to carry them to the postseason, but it’s a lot to ask.

While Louisville’s schedule does remain tough, it is somewhat lighter than it has been the past month or so. The Cards have a chance to rack up some wins and improve their RPI and conference standing in hopes of a resume the selection committee likes, but the first thing the Cards need to do is win, plain and simple.

Louisville advances to 25-18 on the year and falls to 10-11 in the ACC.

Photo Courtesy // Chris Carter, U of L Athletics