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A season-high crowd of 3,563 was kept calm as the UK baseball team lost to No. 19 Louisville 12-0 at Cliff Hagan Stadium Tuesday.
The Cats (30-4, 9-3 SEC) struggled all night. The team with the second-best batting average in the country mustered up a season-low four hits, all but one of which were singles.
And the pitching didn’t help either. Five pitchers gave up 17 hits, allowing runs on a walk and wild pitch in the eighth inning.
“We didn’t do anything up to our standards,” UK head coach Gary Henderson said. “It was a miserable night for us. It’s important to remember how this felt.”
UK starting pitcher A.J. Reed entered the game 4-0 with a 2.42 ERA, but the Cardinals jumped on him right out of the gate. They scored three runs in the first inning and two in the third before Reed was pulled after giving up nine hits in 2.2 innings.
Louisville starting pitcher Jared Ruxer allowed only one hit in the first four innings, leaving the game after 6+ innings.
Ruxer allowed no runs and three hits with six strikeouts. He retired 18 of the 22 batters he faced.
“All the credit in the world goes to Louisville,” junior catcher Luke Maile said. “The kid that started for them was outstanding; one of the toughest guys we’ve faced all year.”
Subsequently, the No. 1 ranked Cats struggled to amount any semblance of a rally. They had a man on second with two outs in the sixth, but Reed flew out to the warning track, his second such shortcoming of the game.
“We haven’t had a game like this yet this year,” Reed said. “We were really pumped up playing against Louisville, but it was just one of those games. It’s a learning experience.”
Louisville (24-9, 7-2 Big East) hit the ball hard all game long. They finished the game with five extra base hits, not including the two singles off the short, 310-foot right field wall.
“Hopefully we make the most out of a loss like this,” Maile said. “We’ll get back and play good baseball on Friday.”
The Cats will try to get it back Friday night when they travel to Fayetteville, Ark. to take on the No. 9 Arkansas Razorbacks. First pitch in game one is scheduled for 7:35 p.m.