Louisville Falls to Kentucky in Battle of the Bluegrass (2024)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Hosting Kentucky for the home leg of the Battle of the Bluegrass, the Louisville baseball program could not keep pace with their arch rival's offensive show-of-force, dropping the midweek matchup 17-13 on Tuesday at Jim Patterson Stadium.

The loss snaps a three-game win streak in the rivalry series for the Cardinals (21-15), handing them their first home loss to the No. 3 Wildcats (31-5) since an 11-7 decision back on Apr. 6, 2021.

As the final score would indicate, Louisville's pitching and defense struggled immensely against Kentucky's hitters. They gave up15 earned runs or 15 hits and four home runs, while also committing four defensive errors.

The ineptitude at the mound ruined a handful of good performances from the plate. Gavin Kilen (4-5, 2 RBI) had a four-hit night; Isaac Humphrey (3-4, 2 RBI, 2B, HR, SF), Alex Alicea (3-5, 2 RBI, 2B) and Luke Napleton (3-4, RBI, 2B) collected three base hits; plus Ryan McCoy (2-4, 3 RBI, 2B) drove in three runs. Humphrey and J.T. Benson (1-5, HR, RBI, BB) both hit home runs as well.

Kentucky was quick to strike, hitting a home off of starting pitcher Colton Hartman (1.0 IP, 1 K, 2 BB, 2 H, 3 ER) just three pitches into the game. Louisville responded with a pair of solo homers in the bottom of the frame, with Benson and Humphrey going yard.

After that, the Wildcats flipped into cruise control, scoring nine answered runs over the next two innings. Dan Snyder (1.2 IP, 3 BB, 3 H, 3 ER) took to the mound after Hartman allowed the first two batters of the second to reach base, then a throwing error, an RBI double and an RBI single would scratch across four runs.

The floodgates opened up in the top of the third, with the Cardinals allowing five more runs. After Snyder gave up two-run double, Jared Lessman (0.1 IP, 1 BB, 3 H, 2 ER) came in to replace him, and then allowed a two-run double of his own and an RBI single.

Down by eight runs through 2.5 innings, Louisville began to claw their way out of the early hole they had dug themselves in. In the bottom of the third, Kilen and McCoy each had RBI singles, with Kilen driving in one and McCoy driving in two.

After Kaleb Corbett (1.2 IP, 3 K, 2 BB, 4 H, 5 ER) pitched a scoreless top of the fourth for the first zero for Louisville of the game, the Cardinals took advantage in the bottom of the inning. Humphrey hit a sacrifice fly, while Kilen struck again for an RBI single to get UofL within three runs.

However, that would be as close as they would get to completing the comeback attempt. In the fifth, UK blew the game wide open again, hitting two- and three-run homers off of Corbett. An inning later, Justin West (0.2 IP, 2 K, 1 BB, 2 H, 2 ER) would allow a two-run bomb himself to put the game in run-rule range.

That being said, Louisville was determined to stave off the run-rule. In the bottom of the sixth, they plated a trio of runs, with Napleton hitting a two-RBI single and McCoy doubling a run home.

The Cardinals' bullpen gave them a chance to keep that momentum going, with Kade Grundy (0.2 IP, 2 K, 1 BB, 1 H) and Ty Starke (2.0 IP, 3 K) combining to pitch scoreless seventh and eighth innings. Alicea and Eddie King Jr. (0-2, RBI) took advantage of this in the eighth, with the former driving in a pair on a double and latter grounding out for an RBI.

Will Koger (1.0 IP, 2 K) tossed a scoreless ninth to give Louisville one last chance to mount a comeback, but they were unable to produce the offense needed,

Next up for Louisville, they'll hit the road for a three-game weekend series at Miami. First pitch of game one is slated for Friday, Apr. 19 at 7:00 p.m. EST, and will be televised on ACC Network Extra and broadcast on 93.9 The Ville.

(Photo of Dylan Hoy: Jared Anderson - Louisville Report)

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Louisville Falls to Kentucky in Battle of the Bluegrass (2024)


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