Chris Mack with the first pitch

New University of Louisville Basketball Coach Chris Mack was on hand to throw out the first pitch for the University of Louisville-Western Kentucky baseball game Wednesday at Jim Patterson Field. Mack conferred with Athletic Director Vince Tyra and Baseball Coach Dan McDonnell beforehand. Tyra was behind the plate for the first pitch.

UofL won, 5-4, in a game that went three-and-a-half hours in damp, sub-50-degree weather. It was Louisville’s fifth straight win over WKU, improving UofL’s advantage to 72-69 in a series that dates back to 1924.

Oriente hitting streak continues, Louisville nips Virginia

Danny Oriente creating a niche for himself with an 11-game hitting streak for the Louisville baseball team.

Danny Oriente was pretty much an unknown quantity for University of Louisville baseball fans coming into this season. The UofL sophomore missed almost all last season after being injured on the opening weekend.

Not unknown to Coach Dan McDonnell, of course, who won a heated recruited battle for the highly-touted Illinois all-stater. The 5-foot-11 sophomore has been on fire lately as the designated hitter, living up to his coach’s expectations 

Oriente has hit safely in 11 straight games, with 20 hits in 39 at bats for a hefty 512 batting average in those 11 games. He has raised his average to 347 overall, second only to Logan Wyatt at 352.

He answered the call three times in Friday’s first game against Virginia with two hits in three at-bats while driving in four runs. It was his double in the bottom of the eighth, driving in Wyatt and Josh Stowers, that was the deciding blow in a 5-4 win over the visiting Cavaliers.

Another nice performance by starting pitcher Adam Wolf, who gave up four runs and seven hits during seven innings. The win, however, went to Bryan Hoeing (4-1) and the save to Shay Smiddy, his first this season.

Louisville makes it look almost too easy in win over Kentucky

Minimum suspense, almost too easy.

Rivalry games between the universities of Louisville and Kentucky are almost always go down to the wire. Not on Tuesday, not with UofL coasting to an easy 8-2 decision over the visiting Wildcats in front of 3,806 at Jim Patterson Stadium.

Kentucky was ranked sixth in the nation in one poll, having lost eight of their last 11 games against the Cardinals, including all four games last season. Highly motivated, but mostly frustrated in this one.

Oh, there was some drama, with UK right hander Jimmy Ramsey, a 6-foot-7  freshman, throwing a ball at Devin Mann’s head, striking him in the neck, in the bottom of the sixth. Disbelief from everyone, one of those moments when chaos could have erupted. Mann glaring at Ramsey, catching his breath, thinking about it, making the right decision, and taking the base without incident.

Louisville putting up two runs in the fourth inning, four in the fifth, and two more in the sixth for all of its eight runs. The big hit a two-run blast by Jake Snider in the decisive fifth inning. Snider would win up with three hits, two runs and two runs batted in. No bad for the son of Eric Snider, the hitting coach.

Another clutch performance by Danny Oriente, the designated hitter, coming through with two hits, including a double and a single, and two runs batted. First baseman Logan Wyatt kept under wraps by the Wildcats, reaching base four times, all on bases on balls.

UK could manage only three hits off of five Louisville pitchers, with starter Reid Detmers getting his second win. UofL had nine hits off of seven Kentucky hurlers.

The win improved UofL’s won-lost record to 25-11, and UK is now 25-12. Next up for the Cardinals is a three-game series against Virginia, with the first game at 6 p.m. on Friday.

Best team matches for University of Louisville

The 2018 University of Louisville football schedule will be among the most challenging ever, featuring both Alabama and Clemson, winners of college football’s national championship over the last two seasons. They will be among the favorites again at Betting Top 10.

Alabama, which is considered a 5-2 favorite by some to retain the title, will be UofL’s opening weekend opponent in a nationally televised game on Sept. 1.  Louisville won the last game between the two by 34-7 in the Fiesta Bowl in 1990. 

Clemson, at 6-1 odds to win the national title, will host Louisville in South Carolina on Oct. 1.  UofL has yet to beat Clemson in four tries.

Florida State, with 40-1 odds, will play Louisville at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on Sept. 29. The Cardinals have defeated the Seminoles in their last two meetings.

The Cardinals are in the process of a $63-million project that will enclose the north end zone of the stadium, which is set for the opening game of the 2018 campaign against Indiana State. It consists of 10,000 new seats, with 1,000 club seats, 70 premium boxes, and 12 exclusive field level suites that will increase the capacity to approximately 65,000.

Louisville opens its fifth season in the ACC on the road on Sept. 22 at Virginia and continues league play with consecutive home games: Sept. 29 versus Florida State and a Friday game versus Georgia Tech on Oct. 5 – the first meeting between the schools.

Following the two-game home stand, the Cardinals hit the road for three of the next four contests, beginning with a trip to Boston College on Oct. 13, looking for a third straight win at Alumni Stadium.

Louisville opens its fifth season in the ACC on the road on Sept. 22 at Virginia and continues league play with consecutive home games: Sept. 29 versus Florida State and a Friday game versus Georgia Tech on Oct. 5 – the first meeting between the schools.

After the first open week of the season, the Cardinals will host Wake Forest on Oct. 27 before traveling to Clemson Nov. 3 to face the 2016 national champions in Death Valley. The road stand continues with a trip to Syracuse on Nov. 9 for a nationally televised Friday night contest. The Cardinals have beaten the Orange on three-consecutive occasions after a 56-10 win last season.

The Cardinals close ACC play against NC State on Nov. 17 and end the year at home against Kentucky, with the series evened up at 15-15 after a 44-17 win in Lexington.

In all, Louisville faces nine teams that played in postseason bowls last season, including three schools that have accounted for six of the last seven national titles (Alabama, Clemson and Florida State).

Louisville fans loving Friday night spring football

The north end zone expansion awaits the addition of 5,000 to 6,000 new red seats.

As fate would have it, the University of Louisville’s spring football game would be on a perfect Friday night, one of the few the city has experienced this year with temperatures hovering in the upper seventies. A steady light breeze as a bonus.

An enthusiastic crowd that was every bit of the estimated 17,200 on hand despite the short notice of the game being rescheduled from Saturday afternoon to a day earlier. Should be a lesson in that for the planners, UofL people loving their football on Friday nights. Definitely better than noon on Saturdays, eh?

The south of the Green Lot was one huge party with UofL fraternities and sororities out en masse, sound systems going full blast. Impressive display of Greek life on display.

Many fans also got their first look at the stadium expansion, towering heavenward in the north end. Cardinal Stadium is indeed coming full circle, and the addition is going to be magnificent when people are circulating in the new VIP lounges and all the extra red seats.

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