No. 2 Louisville Rallies in Sixth Inning for Midweek Sweep
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The second-ranked Louisville Cardinals plated four runs in the sixth inning to erase a one-run Kentucky lead, pacing the Cardinals to a 5-2 win over the Wildcats, on a perfect Wednesday night in front of a season-high 3,044 at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (26-21) fell in the second of the two-game midweek series, as UofL rallied from a 2-1 hole with four runs in the sixth inning to take a lead it would not surrender. Louisville swept the home-and-home midweek series after claiming a 2-1 win over the Wildcats in 10 innings in the Derby City last week.
The finale of the regular-season series on Wednesday lasted three hours and 42 minutes, saw the teams go a combined 2-for-28 with runners in scoring position, strand 23 runners and commit five errors.
UK freshman starter Zach Logue worked two shutout innings on a strict pitch count, allowing two hits and no walks, striking out one. Lefty Dylan Dwyer took over to start the third inning, working 3.1 innings, allowing five hits and two runs, striking out three. Andrew Nelson (2-4) suffered the loss, allowing three runs in the sixth for the go-ahead tallies, getting one out. Brad Schaenzer worked 1.1 shutout innings, walking one and striking out two. Righty Bo Wilson took over to start the eighth, working a shutout inning before allowing a hit to leadoff the ninth.
The Wildcats collected six hits in the game, paced by doubles from Thomas Bernal, Dorian Hairston and Evan White, with Bernal charting two hits. UK also got hits from JaVon Shelby -- who drew a pair of walks -- and Greg Fettes.
Louisville (38-11) starter Kade McClure worked over three innings, allowing four hits and two runs, walking three and striking out two. He was replaced with the bases loaded and no outs in the fourth inning by Sean Leland. Leland minimized the damage by allowing just two runs to score, escaping the frame. Jake Sparger (1-0) started the fifth inning, working 2.1 shutout, one-hit innings, walking one. Lefty Butch Baird and righty Brandon Alphin combined to escape the seventh inning. Robert Strader worked the eighth and Zack Burdi earned his seventh save of the year with a perfect ninth.
Kentucky will return to action on Friday, hosting Georgia in the final home weekend of the year at Cliff Hagan Stadium. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m.
The Cardinals took the lead following a pitching change to start the third, as Mike White ripped a double down the rightfield line to leadoff the frame, scoring on Nick Solak's two-strike single up the middle. Corey Ray replaced Solak on a fielder's choice then stole second base for the second time in the first three innings.
Kentucky rallied in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Bernal painted a double down the leftfield line to leadoff and Fettes fought off a 3-2 pitch with a single to leftfield. Connor Heady then drew a walk to load the bases and after a strikeout, White hung a sacrifice fly to leftfield, with the leftfielder dropping the ball for an error, allowing everyone to advance a base and Bernal to score the tying run. After the second out, Shelby drew a full-count walk to force in Fettes and give UK a one-run lead.
Louisville took the lead in the sixth inning, as Zach Lucas led off with a double down the line. After a strikeout, Will Smith reached on a fielder's choice in the hole, with UK trying to get Lucas out at third as the lead runners. After a pitching change and the second out, Nelson issued a pair of walks, with Mike White's bases-loaded walk scoring a run. UK then committed an error that allowed two runs to score and Mike White to motor to third base with two outs, ending the outing for Nelson. After the pitching change, Mike White scored on a wild pitch from third base.