The 5th-ranked Louisville baseball team topped No. 7 Vanderbilt 8-5 Tuesday night in Nashville, marking the third straight year that the visiting team has won the annual Battle of the Barrel rivalry game.
Sophomore Kade McClure became just the second pitcher in Division-I to win his 10th game in 2016 by striking out eight batters in just five innings while allowing two runs on three hits. McClure, who was making his 11th midweek start of the season, improved to 10-0.
The Cards looked like they were going to run away with the game early on, jumping out to a 5-0 lead thanks in large part to Drew Ellis' three-run home run in the top of the 2nd. Ellis, a redshirt freshman, hit the first home run of his college career on in Louisville's last game on Sunday against North Carolina. U of L added to that lead two innings later when Danny Rosenbaum swatted his seventh big fly of the season.
U of L kept playing long ball in the 7th inning when Nick Solak crushed a two-run home run to make the score 7-2. The junior captain, who leads the team with a .402 average, finished the day 3-for-4 at the dish.
A late Vandy rally was quashed by Cardinal closer Zack Burdi, who worked two perfect innings to pick up the 16th save of his college career.
In addition to this being Louisville's 18th straight win over a non-ACC opponent, the Cardinals' triumph over the seventh-ranked Commodores also served as an enormous boost to their case for being a national seed when the NCAA Tournament brackets are released in a little over three weeks.
It's good to have the barrel back where it belongs.