It was an impressive all-around showing for Louisville on Tuesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium as the Cardinals pounded out 15 hits at the plate and struck out 15 Kentucky batters in a 12-5 win over the Wildcats.
Louisville (29-7) scored five runs in the third and added six more in the fifth to put the game out of reach for the struggling Cats, who have now dropped six of their last eight.
Designated hitter Jeff Gardner went 4-for-4 with a home run, two doubles and four RBI to lead the offensive assault by the No. 8 Cardinals. Catcher Shane Crain went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI and left fielder Coco Johnson added two hits and three RBI.
Louisville used five pitchers, highlighted by Dace Kime's seven strikeouts in the middle innings, to earn a split of the season series with the Cats. Cody Ege (3-1) picked up the win for the Cards with 2.2 innings of one-run, two-hit relief work after starter Jared Ruxer was lifted in third inning with three runs surrendered to the Cats.
Freshman right-hander Kyle Cody (3-2) took the loss for Kentucky, allowing eight earned runs on nine hits and a walk over four innings of work. The UK defense faltered behind its bullpen, allowing four unearned runs to be added to the UofL lead.
Kentucky (24-12) had climbed to a No. 7 national ranking earlier this month following a 5-4 win over the Cards in Louisville, but have fallen on hard times.
Right fielder Kyle Barrett and first baseman A.J. Reed were the lone bright spots in the UK lineup, combining for five of the Cats' eight hits. Reed drove in three runs.
Six UK batters struck out two times in the game.
The road doesn't get any easier for the Cats this weekend as they travel to No. 14 South Carolina for a three-game series.
Cards ride big innings past Cats
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