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No. 11 Louisville tops No. 2 Vanderbilt in annual “Battle of the Barrel” game

Alex Binelas’ hit a ball that is still traveling.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Louisville vs Vanderbilt Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

After being swept in a weekend series for the first time in a decade, the Louisville baseball team bounced back in just about the most positive way imaginable.

The Cards scored four runs in the home half of the fifth inning to pave the way for a 7-2 win over No. 2 Vanderbilt in the annual Battle of the Barrel rivalry game between the two powerhouse programs. The meeting was the first between the teams since the Commodores eliminated U of L from the 2019 College World Series on its way to winning the national title.

Tuesday night’s biggest highlight came from the bat of Cardinal star Alex Binelas, whose towering two-run home run in the fifth put U of L ahead 6-1. It also may have resulted in some unexpected repair work for an innocent train trying to pass quietly behind the stadium.

Binelas’ blast came just two batters after Luke Brown had driven in a pair of runs with a base hit up the middle. Brown finished the night 2-for-4 with a double, those two RBI and a run scored.

Cardinal starter Carter Lohman allowed just one earned run over four innings to pick up the win for the home team. Relievers Evan Webster and Tate Kuehner then came on to work over an inning without allowing any damage to be done.

With the win, Louisville improved to 5-4 against Vanderbilt since the official inception of the “Battle of the Barrel” series. The Cardinals also broke a 641-641 tie with the Commodores for the most overall wins in college baseball since U of L hired Dan McDonnell in 2007.

Louisville returns to the diamond for a three-game set with Duke. First pitch at Jim Patterson on Friday is set for 6 p.m.