By Beau Kilpatrick—
Baseball season is almost upon us. It’s one of the most wonderful times of the year where we enjoy sunshine, hot dogs with relish, peanuts, Cracker-Jacks, and the crack of the bat on a well-hit ball.
The No. 8 Louisville Cardinals baseball team will start their season two weeks from today on Friday, February 17 at 3 p.m. They will travel south to open their season with a three-day series against opponents on a neutral field in Clearwater, Florida. They will first challenge Alabama State University on Friday, Maryland on Saturday, and they will wrap up with Ball State that Sunday. This is sure to be a great opening weekend.
The Cards have won the regular season title seven of the last eight years, including their first two seasons in the ACC Atlantic. Since 2007 when coach Dan McDonnell took over the team, Louisville has made it to the College World Series three times in nine years.
The Cardinals have also made it to the Regional round three times, and the Super-Regional round three times; including last year’s 2016 season.
Louisville’s full baseball history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisville_Cardinals_baseball
McDonnell has been an incredible coach for U of L and this year’s team looks better than ever. They are slated No. 8 in the country and have a roster stacked with preseason All-American candidates. The only ACC team that begins the season ranked higher than Louisville is No. 2 Florida State University. McDonnell will have his hands full in the ACC this year as seven teams are in the top 25.
Brendan McKay is the most notable mention for First Team All-American. McKay is a triple-threat player; he is a starting pitcher, he plays first base, and his batting average is phenomenal. Last year, he achieved a .333 batting average and hit six homeruns. McKay also struck out 128 batters in 2016 while he was on the mound.
Kade McClure is another All-American pitcher returning for the Cardinals. He threw 77 strikeouts in 2016 and the righty is stronger and more focused than ever. McClure is a former classmate of mine and I can attest to his character off the field. He is one heck of a nice guy and I wish him the best of luck this season.
The third and final All-American returning this season is the junior shortstop Devin Hairston. Hairston had 45 RBIs and three homeruns in 2016. But it is his defense on the field that is sure to catch your attention. Hairston rarely lets balls get past him on the left side of the diamond.
Besides these three, Louisville will be returning a full roster of electric all-stars. A few players worth mentioning are: Drew Ellis at third base, pitcher Lincoln Henzman, outfielders Logan Taylor, Ryan Summers and Colin Lyman, and Colby Fitch behind the plate. These players did not make the All-American team but they all have the potential to receive All-American accolades later in the season.
The full roster and schedule: http://www.gocards.com/documents/2017/1/22//2017_Louisville_Baseball_Quick_Facts_Packet.pdf?id=10895
Cardinal baseball is once again upon us and I am very excited for its return. However, many college baseball games are not televised unless it is a big matchup or tournament play. Most Louisville baseball games can be viewed on ESPN 3, via the ESPN app on your smart phone, tablet, or computer. Also, they are often broadcasted on the local radio station 93.9 The Ville (an ESPN affiliate).
As always, GO CARDS!!! #L1C4!!!