Kentucky blows big lead at Louisville as Cardinals sweep season series over Wildcats

In the Bluegrass State's version of baseball civil war, one-time Kentucky commitment Devin Hairston delivered a ninth-inning RBI single to give Louisville a 7-6 walk-off win over the Wildcats and older brother Dorian Hairston on Tuesday night at Patterson Stadium.

No. 6 Louisville (30-7) battled back from a 5-1 deficit in the seventh inning to sweep the season series against No. 19 Kentucky (23-13) and win its fifth straight over the Cats. The Cardinals won last week's game in Lexington 9-6.

Kentucky's bullpen, which had been exceptional most of the season, suffered its first major collapse as Zach Pop, Justin Lewis, Sean Hjelle and Logan Salow (1-1) and Zach Strecker managed to cough up a four-run lead in the final three frames. Control issues loomed large as the Cats aided the Cards' comeback with five wild pitches from the seventh inning through the ninth. 

Salow walked Louisville's Colin Lyman to begin the ninth and Brendan McKay singled, setting up Hairston's bouncer up the middle to plate the decisive run.

The key hit for Louisville prior to Hairston's game-winner -- the Lexington native's third hit of the night -- was a two-run homer by star outfielder Corey Ray in the seventh inning to pull the Cards back within 5-4. UofL almost tied the game later in the inning, but UK's Marcus Carson soared over the fence in right field to rob Brendan McCay of a home run.

Anthony Kidston (1-0) picked up the win for the Cards, pitching around one hit in the ninth inning to hold UK scoreless.

The Cats wasted a strong starting effort by Zach Logue, who held the potent UofL offense to only one run on six hits through the first five innings. Evan White, Storm Wilson and Luke Becker each had two hits to lead UK at the plate, but the rest of the lineup accounted for only two hits combined.

Kentucky returns to action Thursday as it opens a three-game SEC series against Arkansas. Games will be played on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Cliff Hagan Stadium as opposed to the typical weekend format.

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