Fresh off a weekend series sweep against No.15 Notre Dame over the weekend, Louisville (22-5) will host rival Kentucky (21-6) on Tuesday night.
"It's such a big game for our fans, for our administration and for the entire state," said U of L skipper Dan McDonnell on Monday. "We try to get our kids to embrace it and we never down play it."
The Cardinals swept the series against the Wildcats in 2012, outscoring Kentucky 22-2 in the two wins, both coming while UK was ranked No.1 in the country.
"I would never say that it's just another game," said U of L junior center fielder Adam Engel. "This is one of those games that you try not to look ahead to."
Freshman right-hander Kyle Funkhouser will get the start on Tuesday night.
"I'm really excited," said the product of Chicago. "They are a really good team, so this will be a good experience.
The Cardinals enter the game ranked among the nation's leaders in multiple categories. The pitching staff ERA of 2.09 is 6th best in the nation and the team's .307 batting average ranked 22nd in the NCAA. The Cardinals also rank 3rd in the nation with 3.04 stolen bases per outing.
Louisville trails in the all-time series 58-34-1. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00p.m.