LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville had every reason to pack it in and say it just wasn't our weekend. The Cardinals had already lost 16-11 to visiting Miami in a game suspended Friday and completed early Saturday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium. They then gave up six runs in the top of the first to start the regularly scheduled game. But this is a resilient bunch.
They fell behind Kentucky 5-1 Tuesday in Lexington and came back to win 18-6. Saturday, they didn't allow a run after that first-inning six-spot and chipped away offensively for a 9-6 victory and another series win.
"I'm super proud of this group," said head coach Dan McDonnell. "We talk about our toughness. We brag about our toughness. We challenge them. Toughness is something that has to show up every day."
"It shows our maturity and growth from last year in my opinion," said First Baseman Logan Wyatt. "We were kinda young last year and I think from what you're seeing now we're kinda growing up as a team and it's shown."
It was a stunning steal of home by Wyatt in the fifth inning that keyed the Cardinal comeback. Known for his big bat and not his speed, Wyatt confirmed that it was a straight steal of home and not a missed squeeze bunt. He was originally ruled out but the call was overturned after umpires checked the replay, getting U of L within a run of the Hurricanes at 6-5.
"It was a steal of home," said the 6'4" 230 pound Junior from North Bullitt High School. "He gave me the green light and I was like 'Oh my gosh'. My heart started racing a little bit and I was like 'I guess we're gonna do it', so I went and snuck in there."
"It just show our aggressiveness and I just try to get these kids to believe in themselves, play with no fear, have fun," said McDonnell. "If it works out, great. If it doesn't I mean, hey we're not just gonna sit back and hope to win and hope somebody hands it to us. You gotta go get it and I thought we did that today."
Nick Bennett recovered from his tough first inning to last four and two-thirds innings. Michael McAvenue (2-0) got the victory with three shutout innings.
The Cardinals (31-9, 15-6 ACC) have now won 19 of 24 home series' in the ACC since joining the league in 2015. They play at Cincinnati Tuesday at 6:00 pm.
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