Early Home Run, Timely Defense Sink Kentucky
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville put on a sparkling defensive clinic, stalling Kentucky at nearly every threat in a 4-2 victory at Jim Patterson Stadium on Tuesday.
The Wildcats (21-16) paid dearly for their mistakes, allowing a first inning Cam Masterman home run on an elevated fastball and then yielding a two-out, two-run single in the third inning after loading the bases with a pair of walks and a hit by pitch. After closing the gap to 3-1, three walks in the seventh aided another Cardinals run.
The No. 13 Cardinals robbed Ryan Ritter, who had six RBI here last season, of a three-run home run in the second inning before perfectly executing a defensive shift to grab an out on a Chase Estep line drive, and later turned a double play on a chopper to third to erase a runner. Still, the Cats had the tying run on second base in the ninth after Daniel Harris IV has a RBI two-out double.
Kentucky will return to Southeastern Conference play this weekend against No. 19 Vanderbilt, the College World Series runners up in 2021.
- UK has scored in 280 of 283 games in coach Nick Mingione’s tenure.
- The Cats have scored in 43 consecutive games.
- UK is 16-6 in non-conference games this season and 107-36 in the Mingione era.
- UK is 45-of-50 on stolen base attempts this season.
- The UK pitchers have struck out 387 in 37 games.
Junior INF Chase Estep has reached base safely in 35 of 37 games this season.
- He has a hit in 29 of the last 35 games.
- Senior IF Jacob Plastiak went 2-for-3 with a SAC fly.
- He has 12 multi-hit games this season and 15 in his career.
- Sophomore IF Reuben Church has reached in nine straight games.
Kentucky will host No. 19 Vanderbilt on Friday. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m. ET on the SECN+. The radio call will be on the UK Sports Network.