By Beau Kilpatrick—
The No. 8 Louisville baseball team just wrapped up a three-day opening weekend. The Cards performed up to the pre-season expectations, winning three consecutive games in the Clearwater, Florida opening tournament.
Coach Dan McDonnell had his team prepared and it showed. Louisville scored 27 total runs against formidable opponents this weekend. This opening weekend showed fans that U of L is once again aiming to make a run towards the College World Series in Omaha this year.
Louisville dominated Alabama State Friday in a 7-0 shutout. All-American pitcher/first baseman Brendan McKay started the season on the mound for the Cards. McKay struck out nine batters in six innings. McKay is more than a fantastic pitcher and infielder; he is a beast at the plate. He added a homerun and two RBIs against Alabama State.
Catcher Colby Fitch hit a two-run homer to add to the lead. Devin Hairston and Logan Taylor also recorded RBIs in the Cards dominating performance.
UL vs. ASU stats: http://www.gocards.com/boxscore.aspx?path=baseball&id=13743
U of L challenged No. 22 Maryland on day two of the weekend. Pitcher Kade McClure got the start for Louisville but allowed four runs early in the game. Lincoln Henzmen and Jake Sparger saved McClure from the loss. The Cardinals beat Maryland 10-7 on Saturday.
Colby Fitch produced more offense on day two. He set the pace with a triple, one run, and an RBI. Logan Taylor added two runs, while Devon Hairston and Josh Stowers each added a run.
More stats against Maryland: http://www.gocards.com/boxscore.aspx?path=baseball&id=13744
Day three of the Clearwater tournament ended with Louisville knocking off Ball State 10-4. Freshman pitcher Michael McAvene threw the heat for the Cards. This was McAvene’s debut as a Louisville pitcher. He pitched three and a half innings before being relieved by senior Shane Hummel, who was credited with the win.
Brendan McKay again proved why he is an All-American. McKay hit his second homer in 2017 against Ball State, this one was good for two runs. McKay also recorded three RBIs Sunday. Devin Mann scored two runs and added an RBI. Logan Taylor and Drew Ellis each contributed an RBI, with Ellis getting to home once and Taylor rounding the bases twice.
This weekend was quite impressive for coach McDonnell’s team. If the Cardinals can keep up this impressive work, they will go deep into the CWS.
Louisville’s next eight games will be home games at Jim Patterson Stadium. Eastern Kentucky University will come to Louisville to challenge the Cards on Wednesday, February 22 at 3 p.m. The game can be seen on the ACC Network Extra, ESPN 3 (online), or you can listen in on local radio 93.9 The Ville.
Full Schedule: http://www.gocards.com/schedule.aspx?path=baseball&
This year is sure to be exciting in the realm of NCAA baseball and the Louisville Cardinals usually dazzle audiences nationwide with their exciting brand of ball. Make sure to tune in this season and make a trip to Jim Patterson Stadium to witness the greatness as the Cardinals charge towards the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.
As always, GO CARDS!!! #L1C4!!!