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Louisville baseball drops rubber match at Ole Miss

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Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since the AAC days at UCF in 2014, the Cardinals have dropped a road series.  While we are never too thrilled about losing any game, this weekend was a big learning experience for a lineup that is trying to gel together and build for bigger things later in the season.  Playing in front of raucous crowds of close to 10,000 the past two afternoons is not something that our program is used to in the February portion of the schedule.  Ole Miss is a formidable ball club and by all accounts from college baseball analysts will be moving into the Top 20 range in the major polls this week.

The biggest positive that we can take out of the Ole Miss series is the bullpen pitching.  In today's contest starter Drew Harrington had a bumpy outing surrendering four earned runs in 5.1 innings.  However, sophomore Lincoln Henzman came in to strike out two Rebel batters in a perfect 1.2 innings of relief, and Zack Burdi struck out a batter in a five pitch perfect inning of relief.  Paired with the complete game, three hit shutout on Saturday by Brendon McKay, and  the relievers of Friday night not allowing a  run in four innings we can hold out a reasonable amount of optimism for the pitching staff.

Corey Ray continued his dinger parade of 2016 going yard in the first at bat of the game accounting for his fourth homer in the first seven games.  The only other Cardinal run of Sunday afternoon also came in the first inning off of a Danny Rosenbaum RBI groundout.  Nick Solak reached base in all three of his plate appearances with two hits and a walk, and Blake Tiberi went two for four on the afternoon.  The Cards have put up at least nine hits in every game this season, with the only real issue being getting opportune hits with runners on in late game situations this weekend.

The 5-2 Cardinals will begin a 10-game homestead on 3:00 Tuesday vs Morehead State, before a three game series against Princeton begins Friday at 3:00 at Jim Patterson Stadium.  Admission is free to all games this weekend with $2 beers at the left field concession for every game, and dollar beers Friday afternoon.  Time to regroup and get back to the winning ways: Go Cards, Beat Everyone!