College Roundup: Wildcats Clobber Cardinals

How the Top 25 Fared
(1) Oregon State: off
(2) Louisville: lost, 11-7, at (14) Kentucky
(3) North Carolina: lost, 5-2, vs. Liberty
(4) Texas Tech: won, 6-4, vs. New Mexico State
(5) Clemson: off
(6) Arizona: off
(7) Texas Christian: off
(8) Cal State Fullerton: lost, 11-6, at San Diego
(9) Louisiana State: won, 10-4, vs. Lamar
(10) Auburn: won, 15-7, at Kennesaw State
(11) Mississippi State: lost, 5-2, at South Alabama
(12) Long Beach State: lost, 2-1, at UCLA in 11 innings
(13) Virginia: won, 13-2, vs. Longwood
(14) Kentucky: won, 11-7, vs. (2) Louisville
(15) Florida: won, 2-1, vs. North Florida
(16) Arkansas: won, 16-7, vs. Memphis
(17) Wake Forest: lost, 6-1, vs. Charlotte
(18) Michigan: won, 12-4, vs. Michigan State
(19) Oklahoma: lost, 16-10, at Dallas Baptist
(20) Southern Mississippi: won, 16-8, vs. Nicholls State
(21) West Virginia: won, 8-4, at Marshall
(22) St. John’s: won, 13-5, vs. New York Tech
(23) Texas A&M: lost, 3-2, at Texas-Arlington
(24) Houston: lost, 5-4, vs. Sam Houston State
(25) Oregon: off

After six straight losses to rival Louisville, Kentucky finally got some revenge on Tuesday night.

Playing in front of a record crowd of 4,018 fans at Cliff Hagan Stadium, the Wildcats pounded Louisville starter Shane Hummel for five runs in the first inning, knocking him out of the game with just one out in the inning. They went on to score 11 runs in the first four innings, tallying 14 hits overall, to defeat No. 2 Louisville, 11-7.

Shortstop Connor Heady homered, and third baseman Tyler Marshall—a Louisville native—tallied three hits and drove in two.

But the Wildcats didn’t just shine at the plate. In the second inning, they combined for a rare 7-2-6 triple play. Left fielder Zack Reks caught a fly ball, threw home to catch Brendan McKay, who had tagged from third, and then Kentucky catcher Troy Squires fired to third base to get the runner who tried to advance from second.

Louisville fell to 31-5 with the loss, snapping a six-game winning streak. Kentucky, which ranks seventh in the RPI on WarrenNolan.com, improved to 26-12 and started off a difficult week on the right foot. The Wildcats will host No. 9 LSU this weekend in a key SEC series.

“I loved the energy our team came out (with),” Kentucky coach Nick Mingione told ukathletics.com. “We talked about a rematch. You get the chance to face the same guy, you’ve got a rematch and you don’t get that all the time in sports. I loved the way we came out swinging.”

Around the country, Tuesday brought bad luck to much of the Top 25, as eight ranked teams lost.

Most notably, Liberty defeated No. 3 North Carolina on the road, scoring four runs with two outs in the eighth to shock the Tar Heels in a 5-2 win. The game marked a reunion of sorts as first-year Liberty coach Scott Jackson returned to UNC for the first time after being an assistant coach on the Tar Heel staff for the past eight seasons.

The No. 3 Tar Heels were the highest-ranked team the Flames have defeated in program history. With the win, their RPI shot up 17 points to No. 63, and with a 21-14 overall record (and just a one-game deficit in the Big South standings), the Flames are in the NCAA tournament picture.

San Diego, South Alabama, Charlotte and Sam Houston all improved their tournament outlook with wins against Top 25 opponents, as well.

In Los Angeles, UCLA continued its recent surge, pushing above .500 (17-16) with a 2-1, 11-inning win against No. 12 Long Beach State. Talented freshman Michael Toglia homered for the second straight game in support of starter Justin Hooper (5 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 5 K), and second baseman Chase Strumpf drove in the game-winning run with a walk-off sac fly.

UCLA is still on the outside looking in with its No. 68 RPI and 17-16 record, but the Bruins will have an opportunity to bolster their resume as they host No. 1 Oregon State this weekend.

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