Despite the loss, it was Kentucky who got on the board first. After starting pitchers Lee Smith (LOU) and Mason Hazlewood (UK) exchanged perfect second innings the Cats got to Lee in the top of the third.
With the bases loaded and two men out T.J. Collett came through with a two-run single earning his 29th and 30th RBI’s on the season while putting Kentucky up 2-0 early.
However, it would not take long for the Cardinals to fight back.
With one man out Coltyn Kessler made a throwing error. Thus instead of having two men out and no one on the Cats were faced with a runner on first with one out. The Cardinals were able to cash in as Ethan Stringer ripped an RBI double and Jake Snider hit a run-scoring triple to tie the game at two.
In the fourth Louisville seized control. Kentucky first basemen Dalton Reed made an error and Cardinal third baseman Alex Binelas drew a walk to lead off the inning and end Hazlewood’s day after just 3+ innings of work.
With Cole Ayers on the mound out of the bullpen, the Cardinals were able to take a 3-2 lead thanks to an RBI single by Zeke Pinkham. Later in the inning, the Cats went to trusted reliever Cole Daniels.
Unfortunately for Kentucky it wasn’t Daniels day. He hit Stringer to force in a fourth run and served up a two-run single to Snider with two men out as Louisville took a 6-4 lead.
With the score 8-2 in the top of the 8th inning, Collet was able to hit another RBI single to cut the Cardinal lead to 8-3. However, it would be far too little and far too late as the Cardinals took the first of two games this season between the two rivals.
The Cats and Cards will meet again on April 16th at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington.
However, there’s plenty of baseball to be played before that for the Wildcats as they will travel west to take on the Missouri Tigers this weekend as they continue their eight-game road trip.
To watch the Cats take on the Tigers tune into SEC+.