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Louisville keeps the barrel, tops Vanderbilt for 12th straight win

U of L’s victory snaps a three-year streak of the visiting team winning the annual rivalry game.

The barrel will remain in the Derby City for another 12 months.

Thanks to four RBI from red-hot Josh Stowers, second-ranked Louisville took care of No. 25 Vanderbilt 6-2 in the annual “Battle of the Barrel” rivalry game at Jim Patterson Stadium Tuesday night. The visiting team had won the game in each of the past three seasons.

The Cards jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the home half of the second inning when Stowers connected on a three-run home run, his third of the year. That would prove to be all the offense necessary for a group of U of L pitchers who held the Commodores to two runs on seven hits. Starter Rabon Martin (4-0) picked up the victory after allowing one earned run over four innings of work.

Tuesday night’s win stretches Louisville’s winning streak to 12. In order for that to continue, the Cards will have to take care of business this weekend in a monster road series against No. 8 Clemson. U of L (43-6, 20-4) currently leads the Tigers by four games in the Atlantic Division standings, and could lock up their third straight title with a series win.

For the moment, however, Louisville is content to have just handed its chief baseball rival (sorry, Cats) another defeat. It’s good to know the barrel will be where it belongs for another year.