No. 2 Louisville entered Tuesday's meeting at No. 10 Kentucky enjoying a six-game win streak against the rivals, but a large early deficit proved to much for the Cardinals to extend it to seven straight. The host Wildcats used a high-scoring first inning to fuel a 11-7 win - it's first in the series since the 2014 regular season.
Louisville starter Shane Hummel struggled from first pitch, only lasting one out before being lifted. The senior gave up five runs on five hits, while also walking one, as the host Wildcats jumped out to a quick sizeable lead.
The struggles didn't stop there, as what appeared to be a routine double-play squeezed through the legs of Devin Mann that sparked a four-run inning, capped by a two-run home run from the bat of Conner Heady to give the hosts a 9-0 advantage after three innings.
Kentucky plated two more in the fourth, including one due to a Rabon Martin wild pitch, to hold a seemingly insurmountable 11-0 lead.
The visiting Cardinals finally put something on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth when Logan Taylor connected for a two-out double to drive in Devin Mann and Colin Lyman, who both reached base via a walk.
Trailing 11-2, the Cardinals rallied for five runs in the sixth. Highlighted by a three-run home run by Drew Ellis, U of L trimmed to deficit to 11-7 when Colin Lyman scored on a throwing error and Josh Stowers reaching home on a Tyler Fitzgerald ground out.
Louisville couldn't rally any closer, as both pitching staffs held each other in check over the final three innings.
Kentucky out-hit the Cardinals 14-7.
Louisville committed three errors in the loss.
"Against a good team you can't give them extra outs," U of L head coach Dan McDonnell said. "When you give a team four and five outs in an inning they are going to make you pay and they made us pay tonight."
The game attracted a Cliff Hagan Stadium record crowd of 4,018.
The Cardinals, who drop to 31-5 on the season, return to Jim Patterson Stadium this weekend where they'll host Duke for a three-game series.
"We all take the responsibility that we have a great practice and we get ready to play Duke," McDonnell said. "If anything, you try to learn in these losses that you have to play good against good teams, otherwise it could get ugly. We've been fortunate. We've done that to a lot of teams this year and now we know what it feels like for someone to do it to us."