Kentucky Baseball Splits Season Series with Louisville
LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the third time in the past four regular seasons in which they’ve played, Kentucky and Louisville settled nothing on the diamond. The No. 3 Cardinals secured a 12-5 victory on Tuesday night at Kentucky Proud Park, once again ensuring a split of the home-and-home series.
A crowd of 1,730 fans packed the ballpark on a glorious spring evening only to see the Cardinals grab a 5-0 lead in the first inning. The Wildcats (22-12) were not able to recover despite settling down over the second half of the contest, although freshmen pitchers Wyatt Hudepohl and Austin Strickland produced a bright spot with scoreless innings.
Like 2017 and 2018, the two in-state rivals battled to a draw in the regular season, although it is the first time each has won on the other’s home field in those splits. The evening wasn’t all bad for the Cats, as both catchers – Coltyn Kessler and Alonzo Rubalcaba – continued to produce at the plate. The duo combined to reach base safely the first six times they came to the plate, including two hits by each. Rubalcaba also twice was hit by a pitch.
Austin Schultz also homered for the Cats, the fourth time he has gone deep in the past six games. He launched a frozen rope into the UK bullpen in left field in the sixth and now has 15 extra-base hits on the season. He later added an RBI single and has two or more hits in exactly half of the Cats’ games this season.
UK returns to Southeastern Conference action this weekend in a critical series vs. Alabama, which arrives with the same 7-8 record in league play as the Cats. Friday night’s opener is set for 6:30 p.m. ET on the SEC Network Plus.
Top 1st – Bowman singled on the first pitch of game. Davis was hit by a pitch. Binelas reached on an infield single. Leonard was hit by a pitch, scoring Bowman. Dunn walked, Davis scored. Rushing doubled to LF, scoring Binelas and Leonard. Dunn scored on a groundout. Louisville 5, UK 0.
Top 2nd – Bowman and Usher walked. Both moved up on a balk and scored on a single by Binelas. Louisville 7, UK 0.
Top 3rd – Rushing singled and Brown followed with a bunt single. Rushing moved to third on a fly out and scored on Bowman’s single to RF, Brown to third. Brown scored on a groundout. Louisville 9, UK 0.
Top 4th – Rushing hit a two-run home run to CF. Louisville 11, UK 0.
Bottom 4th – John Rhodes walked, advanced to third on Alonzo Rubalcaba’s single and scored on a SAC fly by Drew Grace. Louisville 11, UK 1.
Bottom 5th – T.J. Collett and Oraj Anu walked. Coltyn Kessler singled to RF to load the bases. Collett scored on a double play ball. Louisville 11, UK 2.
Bottom 6th – Austin Schultz homered to LF. Louisville 11, UK 3.
Top 7th – Davis doubled down the LF line and scored on a Binelas single to RF. Louisville 12, UK 3.
Bottom 7th – Ryan Ritter singled, Rubalcaba was hit by a pitch and Drew Grace walked. Schultz singled, Ritter scored. Collett hit a SAC fly, Rubalcaba scored. Louisville 12, UK 5.
- UK is 22-12 overall, 7-8 in SEC play.
- The Cats are 17-7 at home this season.
- UK is 89-30 vs. non-conference opponents under head coach Nick Mingione.
- The Cats are 69-13 in non-conference home games.
- The Cats are 2-6 vs. ranked opponents this season, with seven of the games coming on the road.
Junior IF/OF Austin Schultz went 2-for-5 with a run, two RBI and a home run.
- Schultz has reached base safely in 86 of 94 career games.
- Schultz has homered in four of his past six games.
- Schultz has 17 multi-hit efforts in 34 games this season.
- Schultz has had two or more hits in four of the past six games.
- Senior 1B T.J. Collett had a SAC fly to drive in a run and now has 136 RBI for his career.
- Collett ranks 12th on UK’s all-time list and sits four behind UK Athletics Hall of Famer inductee Sawyer Carroll (2007-08) for 11th.
- Senior C Coltyn Kessler went 2-for-4 with a walk.
- Kessler has reached safely in 21 of his past 22 games.
- Kessler now has 10 multi-hit games this season and 22 in his career.
- Junior C Alonzo Rubalcaba went 2-for-2 with a run and two HBP.
- Rubalcaba had his second consecutive multi-hit game since returning from injury.