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Louisville snaps losing streak, blanks No. 15 Kentucky in Lexington

Death. Taxes. Louisville beating Kentucky in baseball.

Photo by Karthik Kalvakuri (Louisville Athletics)

After a difficult 0-4 week, Louisville (27-13, 8-10 ACC) could not have responded any better, shutting out No. 15 Kentucky (30-10, 11-7 SEC) in Lexington on Tuesday night in front of 5,292 fans, the regular season single game attendance record for the Cats.

The Cards are 14-3 in the last 17 games against their in-state rival. Seems good.

It was a bullpen day for Coach McDonnell and his club, who stuck to the script and executed it to perfection. Evan Webster (W, 2-2) tossed the first two innings, allowing just one hit and picking up two strikeouts along the way.

He also got a little help from his friend, Isaac Humphrey, in the top of the 1st.

Kade Grundy (2 IP, H, 2 K) and Kaleb Corbett (2 IP, H, K) finished off the next four innings, keeping the Wildcats offense, who averages 8 runs a game, very quiet.

Patrick Forbes, who has seen his role increase as of late, entered in the 7th inning and sat Kentucky down in order, thanks to a 6-4-3 double play by Gavin Kilen and Logan Beard up the middle.

Check out the guy just to the right of Forbes. He was really feeling himself tonight:

Forbes, the 2022 Mr. Baseball recipient, was the fourth pitcher of the game for Louisville, all of which played high school baseball in Kentucky. Pretty cool moment for each of them to respond against their biggest rival.

Fellow freshman, Kayden Campbell, took over on the mound in the 8th inning and found himself in a little trouble after a HBP and walk. Campbell would then sit down the Wildcats 2-3-4 batters in order to get out of the jam.

Tate Kuehner threw a clean 1-2-3, 9th inning, to preserve the 7-0 victory.

As much heat as the Louisville bullpen took over the weekend, they deserve all the credit in the world for their performance Tuesday evening. That is a loaded offense that managed just four hits. Hopefully the momentum can carry over to Miami this weekend.

Logan Beard (3-4, 2B, RBI, R) led the Cards with three hits while Jack Payton (2-5, HR, 2 RBI, R), Brandon Anderson (2-5, 2 R), and Isaac Humphrey (2-3, RBI, 2 R) each chipped in with multi-hit games.

Payton, back in the starting lineup for the second consecutive game, belted his 9th home run of the season in the 2nd inning to start the rout.

Kilen, who has a knack for using the left side of the field, has been on the wrong end of some bad luck lately. It seems like he has hit this exact same ball multiple times, but it has found leather more than it has found grass. In the top of the 8th inning, he placed the ball right in between to defenders, scoring two insurance runs to put the game out of reach.

My favorite moment of the night was the lone pitch Tyeler Hawkins saw. As a senior from Lexington, Hawkins made a pinch-hit appearance in the top of the 9th inning, crushing a ball over the left field wall. What a homecoming and likely the final pitch he will ever see in his hometown. Cool moment.

Louisville batters that played high school baseball in Kentucky combined for 7 hits, a home run, 2 doubles, and 4 runs. Pitchers combined for 7 innings, 4 hits, 5 strikeouts, and most importantly, 0 runs. If you aren’t aware, recruiting this state matters.

The Week Ahead

The schedule for the rest of the week is slightly different than typical series. Louisville will host No. 16 Miami at Jim Patterson Stadium, with the series beginning on Thursday instead of Friday. The schedule is as follows:

Thursday @ 7:00 PM (ACC Network)

Friday @ 6:00 PM (ACC Network Extra)

Saturday @ 1:00PM (ACC Network Extra)

Time to start another winning streak.