A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Cats fall behind early as Louisville grabs upper hand with 5-2 win in Super Regional series opener

By Keith Taylor KyForward Senior Sports Writer LOUISVILLE — Louisville grabbed the upper hand in its three-game series against rival Kentucky with a 5-2 victory over the Wildcats Friday afternoon at Patterson Stadium. The Cardinals (51-10) take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series going into Saturday’s contest that will feature ace pitchers Sean Hjelle (Kentucky) and Louisville’s Brendan McKay....

Wildcats want to make more history in NCAA Super Regional series against rival Louisville

By Keith Taylor KyForward Senior Sports Editor Kentucky made history last weekend in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. In order to reach another milestone, the Wildcats will need to get past their biggest rival in the Super Regionals. Kentucky opens a best-of-three series at No. 7 Louisville Friday at Jim Patterson Stadium. A second game will be Saturday and a finale on Sunday, if necessary....

Ellis, second-ranked Cards on a roll as momentum builds down the stretch for NCAA postseason play

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — After practice Monday afternoon, Drew Ellis hit the links for a round of golf with a few of his University of Louisville baseball teammates, one of the ways he tries to relieve the pressure of being one of the top players on one of the best college teams in America. “I try to stay relaxed, stay as loose as possible and just have fun with...

Louisville All-American McKay bashes four home runs, drives in nine to key Cards past EKU

All-American Brendan McKay matched a school record with four home runs and finished with a career-best nine RBI to lead the No. 2 Louisville baseball team to a 14-4 road victory against Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday afternoon at Earle Combs Stadium. The four home runs for McKay equaled the school record total first achieved by Jim LaFountain against Western Kentucky on April 24, 1976. Tuesday’s...

UK records rare triple play, fends off late rally in 11-7 victory over instate rival Louisville

Playing in front of a record crowd, No. 10 Kentucky came out of the gates with a five-run first inning on the way to an 11-7 victory over No. 2 Louisville in the first of four games against Top 10 opponents this week at Cliff Hagan Stadium.   The Cats (26-12, 10-5 SEC) blitzed their in-state rival for 11 runs in the first four innings, igniting the Cliff Hagan record crowd of 4,018 fans. Five consecutive...

Challenging four-game stretch awaits Wildcats, starting with matchup against instate foe Louisville

Like almost everyone in his profession, Kentucky baseball coach Nick Mingione likes to take things one game at a time. But with four big home games coming up this week, even Mingione couldn’t help but look ahead.   “This week, in general, all four of our games are going to be against teams ranked in the top 10,” Mingione said. “After this weekend, I think it’s 23 of our 41 games will have...

Pitino feeling good about Cards heading into NCAA Championship play, cites play of Mango and Adel

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE–Forget Louisville’s early exit from the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. Never mind that the Cardinals dropped three of their last five games. None of that matters to coach Rick Pitino, who said Monday afternoon that he has seen his team make significant strides lately and is confident going into the NCAA Tournament Friday. UofL (24-8)...

Stakes high for Cards, Irish in finale as both teams eye double bye in next week’s ACC tourney

By Russ Brown KyForward Correspondent LOUISVILLE — Louisville’s basketball players hoped to be in contention for a share of their first Atlantic Coast Conference championship since joining the league three years ago when they meet Notre Dame Saturday afternoon. Instead, it’s the No. 19 Irish (23-7, 12-5) who will have a shot at tying North Carolina (13-4) for the title in the 2 p.m. regular...

Mitchell, Spalding combine for 43 points, No. 7 Cards rebound to spank Syracuse, 88-68

Donovan Mitchell made six 3-pointers for 25 points, Ray Spalding added 18 points with 11 rebounds and No. 7 Louisville shot 57 percent to pull away for an 88-68 victory over Syracuse on Sunday. Seeking a second-place tie with Florida State in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Cardinals rode a 14-4 run entering the break for a 15-point lead that grew to 23 early in the second half. That provided a...

Atmosphere different this year as Cards begin potential drive toward high seed in NCAA tournament

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE–Heading into the final week of the regular season, the atmosphere couldn’t be more different than at this time last year for the University of Louisville basketball team. So much more is at stake. So much more fun to experience. As the 2016 season was winding down, the Cardinals may as well have been planning where they were going to spend...

Cats take four-day break to celebrate Christmas with family and friends following loss to Cards

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer Following Kentucky’s 73-70 loss at Louisville earlier this week, Kentucky’s players and coaches returned to campus and went their separate ways for Christmas break. The Wildcats (10-2) will return to practice Monday but until then the players plan on enjoying time away from the hardwood. Kentucky guard De’Aaron Fox said the break is what the Cats...

Snider steals the show from UK’s guards as Cards snap losing streak to Cats

By Russ Brown KyForward Correspondent As Quentin Snider made his way to the middle of the University of Louisville basketball locker room, a teammate handed him a Santa Claus hat to wear for the benefit of the TV cameras and he unhesitatingly put it on. How appropriate, because Snider definitely played the role of jolly St. Nick for the Cardinals, delivering an exciting 73-70 victory over Kentucky...

More than just another game, Kentucky-Louisville rivalry more meaningful to Hawkins, Willis

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer No one understands the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry more than Dominique Hawkins. “It means a little more to me since I’m from the state,” the Kentucky senior guard said Tuesday. “I guess guys that are new here or from different states don’t really know about the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry but it’s going to be a great game (Wednesday).” Kentucky...

Cards seek successful bounce-back against UK after disappointing loss at Houston

By Russ Brown KyForward Correspondent LOUISVILLE — Coming off the most embarrassing performance by a Bobby Petrino team during his two Louisville eras, the most important question facing UofL’s football players as they prepare for Saturday’s Governor’s Cup regular-season finale at noon (ESPN) in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium is this: How will the No. 11 Cardinals (9-2) react...

Keith Taylor: UK closing the gap against rival Louisville, seeks series breakthrough

Kentucky has closed the gap in its rivalry with Louisville during the past two seasons but has failed to seal the deal in its bid to become bowl eligible in the regular-season finale both times. The Wildcats wasted no time building a lead against the Cardinals last year and held a 21-0 advantage after the first quarter and led 24-7 at the half. Despite the fast start, Louisville rallied and scored...

Cards relieved to escape Duke’s upset bid, but rest of season may not be a cakewalk

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — On second thought … After Louisville’s football team drubbed Florida State, then came from ahead to lose a winnable game at Clemson, prevailing conventional wisdom — including in this space — was that, after their frontloaded schedule, the No. 7 Cardinals would breeze through their remaining pedestrian Atlantic Coast Conference opponents. However,...

Louisville seeking fast start going into high-stakes ACC showdown at Clemson

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — Bobby Petrino acknowledges that his University of Louisville football team got off to what he termed “a shaky start” against Marshall last Saturday night, with quarterback Lamar Jackson misfiring early and being bottled up as a runner as the heavily-favored Cardinals led just 7-0 after the first quarter. True, they recovered nicely and...

Louisville women to play South Carolina in Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge

In the summer of 2014 and 2015, Louisville coach Jeff Walz and South Carolina coach Dawn Staley helped guide USA Basketball to consecutive gold medals. The two will see each other again this fall – from opposite sidelines – when the Cardinals and Gamecocks headline the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge on Nov. 27 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. ...

After shocking loss, McDonnell vows U of L’s ‘monster’ baseball program will rebound in ’17

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — Louisville’s 2017 baseball opener is eight months away. It may take that long for the Cardinals who are returning to get over their second straight crushing defeat in the NCAA Super Regional. The scars may still be fresh after ace closer Zack Burdi surrendered a two-out, two-strike grand slam home run in the bottom of the seventh inning...

Favored, loaded Cards seeking a better ending this time in NCAA Super Regional tourney

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — As with virtually all coaches, the University of Louisville’s Dan McDonnell prefers his players live in the moment and not dwell on the past. One of his favorite mantras is, “So what. What’s next?” Apparently, however, that message hasn’t come through to his current crop of Cardinals as loud and clear as McDonnell...