LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Dan McDonnell challenged his Cardinals before Tuesday night's game against Vanderbilt that from here on out, they needed to play like it was post-season time.  His Cards responded with a strong all-around effort and a 12th consecutive victory, 6-2 over 25th-ranked Vanderbilt in the Battle for the Barrel.

Josh Stowers was the hitting star with a three-run homer in the 2nd highlighting his 2-for-4, 4 rbi night.  Devin Hairston also had a couple of hits and scored a run while Devin Mann and Colin Lyman each scored a run.  Lyman also provided a highlight-reel diving catch in the fifth.

"Before the game, I said 'guys we've got 8 regular season games left against 8 NCAA opponents'," said McDonnell.  "These teams are all playing in the NCAA's.  That leads into the ACC tournament and that leads into the postseason.  So the reality is from here on out we gotta play.  There's no excuse, you can't show up slow.  You can't fall behind and think you're gonna swing your way back into it.  Man, we gotta play from the 1st inning and I thought our focus was great, our energy was great and it showed."

That's a good win because Vandy's a regional team and that could be a team we see in the postseason," said Stowers.  "Going to Clemson we're gonna have the same mentality and everything will handle itself."

2nd-ranked Louisville (43-6, 20-4) travels to Clemson for a three-game series with the 7th-ranked Tigers beginning Friday at 6:30 pm.    

Copyright 2017 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.