Tonight’s game was brutal. For four hours and 12 minutes, in front of the second-largest crowd in UK history, Kentucky got clobbered 18-6 by the seventh-ranked Louisville Cardinals.
To say this game was a marathon is an understatement. If it were a sprint, Kentucky would’ve been in great shape as the Cats jumped out to a 5-1 lead after two, and the long ball fueled their early lead.
In the bottom of the first Ryan Shinn clobbered a ball that almost hit the Louisville team bus at an estimated 412 ft. to center field, to put Kentucky up 1-0 with one out in the first.
B3 | UK 5, UL 3 pic.twitter.com/IDJ9KIq9Lt
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) April 16, 2019
In the bottom half of the second inning, after TJ Collett got hit by a pitch to start the inning, Breydon Daniel took Luke Smith deep into the Cardinals bullpen to give Kentucky a 3-1 lead. In a night FILLED with lows, one glaring bright spot was Breydon Daniel. He fell just a single shy of the cycle.
On the next pitch, Ryan Johnson got his first career hit with a standup double, followed by a Zeke Lewis single to put runners on the corners with one out for Austin Schultz. Schultz would get walked to extend his on-base streak to 27 games to load the bases. Ryan Shinn would strike out on three pitches, but Coltyn Kessler would walk to extend Kentucky’s lead to 4-1, and on the next pitch Zeke Lewis would score on a wild pitch to make it 5-1 after two.
Then Louisville took over.
In the next half inning, Louisville responded with two runs of their own. A triple by Fitzgerald scored Snider; then a sac-groundout would store Fitzgerald from third. That would signal the end of the day for Dillion Marsh who went two and two-thirds innings. He gave up six hits and three runs in that short amount of time.
Grant Macciocchi came in to start the fourth, and Louisville was all over him. With two outs and runners on the corners, Lucas Dunn knocked in two runs on a double to tie it up at five. On the next pitch, Jake Snider knocked in Dunn to give Louisville a 6-5 lead.
Trip Lockhart came on to start the fifth inning for the Cats, and his relief appearance wasn’t spectacular either. He started the inning giving up two singles, then Alex Binelas hit a single up the middle to score Wyatt on third base. After an errant throw on a pickoff throw, Lockhart’s day was done, and Alex Degen came in to mop up his mess with one out in the fifth.
Unfortunately, the first batter Degen faced singled to center field to score Binelas who was on third after the pickoff error to make it 8-5 Louisville. One out later, Drew Campbell who took Degen deep to right field for a two-run shot to make it 10-5.
The disastrous fifth was the end of Degen’s day as well, with Braxton Cottongame, being the sixth pitcher for Kentucky came on in the sixth. Louisville still didn’t let up scoring two more in the sixth to make it 12-5.
Kentucky would get their sixth run after when Louisville traded a run for an out when Ryan Johnson knocked in Breydon Daniel from third to make it 12-6 Louisville.
Louisville added four more in the seventh and two more in the eighth to make it 18-6.
By the end of it, Kentucky threw an astounding ten pitchers throughout nine innings. Those pitchers collectively gave up 23 hits, walked eight batters, and gave up ten earned runs. However, the defense behind them was not much better as the Cats gifted the Cards with four errors.
Kentucky will be back in action Thursday against the number 22nd ranked team in America, the Tennesee Volunteers. First pitch at KPP will be at 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network+.
Rebuilding season, beat the Vols.
Go Cats. @BrentW_KSR