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Kentucky baseball splits season series with Louisville

The Wildcats fell 12-5 to the No. 3 Cardinals on Tuesday at Kentucky Proud Park
The Wildcats fell 12-5 to the No. 3 Cardinals on Tuesday at Kentucky Proud Park
The Wildcats fell 12-5 to the No. 3 Cardinals on Tuesday at Kentucky Proud Park(UK Athletics)
Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 10:02 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the third time in the past four regular seasons in which they’ve played, Kentucky and Louisville settled nothing on the diamond. The No. 3 Cardinals secured a 12-5 victory on Tuesday night at Kentucky Proud Park, once again ensuring a split of the home-and-home series.

A crowd of 1,730 fans packed the ballpark on a glorious spring evening only to see the Cardinals grab a 5-0 lead in the first inning. The Wildcats (22-12) were not able to recover despite settling down over the second half of the contest, although freshmen pitchers Wyatt Hudepohl and Austin Strickland produced a bright spot with scoreless innings.

Like 2017 and 2018, the two in-state rivals battled to a draw in the regular season, although it is the first time each has won on the other’s home field in those splits. The evening wasn’t all bad for the Cats, as both catchers – Coltyn Kessler and Alonzo Rubalcaba – continued to produce at the plate. The duo combined to reach base safely the first six times they came to the plate, including two hits by each. Rubalcaba also twice was hit by a pitch.

Austin Schultz also homered for the Cats, the fourth time he has gone deep in the past six games. He launched a frozen rope into the UK bullpen in left field in the sixth and now has 15 extra-base hits on the season. He later added an RBI single and has two or more hits in exactly half of the Cats’ games this season.

UK returns to Southeastern Conference action this weekend in a critical series vs. Alabama, which arrives with the same 7-8 record in league play as the Cats. Friday night’s opener is set for 6:30 p.m. ET on the SEC Network Plus.