Game one of the highly-anticipated super regional series between Louisville and Kentucky went just about as well as it possibly could have for the Cardinals.
U of L’s pitching combination of starter Kade McClure and relievers Adam Wolf and Lincoln Henzman combined to allow just seven Kentucky hits in a 5-2 Cardinal victory. The trio had a shutout working until Henzman’s first pitch of the ninth inning was taken over the right field fence by UK’s Evan White. Things then got a little dicey after Henzman allowed two more hits before striking out pinch-hitter TJ Collett to end the game.
A Jim Patterson Stadium record crowd of 6,235 was there to take in the action.
Louisville struck first in the home half of the opening inning. Leadoff man Logan Taylor kicked things off with a double down the left field line, and was then singled in by Devin Mann two hitters later. Mann scored after an odd sequence in which Kentucky catcher Kole Cottam was called for catcher’s interference after his mitt hit Drew Ellis’ bat. The ball was put into play, and Cardinal coach Dan McDonnell elected to choose the result of the play, which was a run-scoring groundout to short.
The Cardinals then seized complete control of the game in the fifth, when Drew Ellis busted out of his postseason slump with a 3-run moonshot to left.
The Cards then kept the Wildcat bats at bey until the stressful top of the ninth.
Other highlights from Friday afternoon include ...
Usually have to hit it out to hit it over Colin Lyman's head. pic.twitter.com/muh5SSRYk4— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) June 9, 2017
Don't act like you wouldn't be doing the same thing if you had that body. pic.twitter.com/4fjcqtZvvs— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) June 9, 2017
Few things scream success like that outfit in public at 1 p.m. on a Friday.
Saturday’s game two will feature both squads throwing the ace of their staff. For Louisville, it’ll be Baseball America’s National Player of the Year Brendan McKay (9-3, 2.31 ERA). For Kentucky, it’ll be SEC Pitcher of the Year Sean Hjelle (11-3, 3.75 ERA). First pitch is once again slated for noon.
One down, one to go.