Jim Patterson Stadium was so packed Tuesday that the University of Louisville reportedly had to close the gates for the first time ever, with a record crowd of 6,210 people on hand for the game against Kentucky.
The outfield berm was a sea of red with a smattering of blue sprinkles, extending all the way past the children’s playground to the backup screen in center field. Evidence aplenty that another expansion is needed. The only question is when the official announcement will be forthcoming.
UofL and UK fans in close proximity for more than four hours, with few hints of the animus that exists between the fan bases. Could have been because Louisville was so convincing early, jumping out to a 5-0 lead after three innings and would hold UK scoreless through eight innings.
It wasn’t supposed to be that easy and it wasn’t. When the Wildcats rallied in the top of the ninth, many of their partisans had already departed. They would score three runs courtesy of three hits, a walk and three runs off of Louisville reliever Rabon Martin.
Fortunately, right hander Lincoln Henzman lived up his closer billing, shutting down the Wildcats for the 5-3 victory and his eighth save of the season. The win gave the Cardinals their sixth straight win over Kentucky over the last four seasons.
Drew Ellis and Devin Hairston wielding the big bats again. Ellis, with two hits, broke the ice with a two-run double in the first inning. Hairston, who had three hits, would drive in two more runs in the second inning.
Right hander Shane Hummel would get credit for his third win without a loss. But give tons of credit to freshman lefty Adam Elliott from St. X who would shut down Kentucky with runners on second and third in the fourth inning. He would limit them to two hits over the next two innings.
The win improved UofL’s record to 25-3. Kentucky is 21-9.