By Beau Kilpatrick—
In the midst of basketball, conference tournaments, Selection Sunday, and filling out brackets, the Louisville baseball team became the No. 1 team in the country. This is the first time in school history that U of L has reached the zenith of the baseball rankings. The Cardinals are the only undefeated (15-0) team remaining in division one baseball.
Check out the Top 25 in division one baseball.
The Cardinals opened ACC play over the weekend when they hosted the Pitt Panthers at Jim Patterson Stadium. Louisville began the series ranked No. 4 in the nation and the easy sweep of Pitt only elevated them past perennial powerhouses like Florida, TCU, and Florida State.
Brendan McKay took the mound in game one against the Panthers and unleashed a fury that batters have nightmares about. McKay set a new career high with 15 strikeouts in seven innings. Lincoln Henzeman closed out the final two innings of the game one for the Cards.
Louisville won the first game 3-0. Catcher Colby Fitch scored on a sacrifice fly. Devin Mann scored on a Drew Ellis single and Ellis scored on a Colin Lyman single.
Game two offered much more scoring with Louisville clinching the series with an 8-2 victory. Kade McClure pitched the first six innings for the Cards and received the win. Adam Wolf gave up two runs in relief and Shane Hummel sealed the win.
Colby Fitch hit a two-run homer in the eighth to put the lead out of reach from the Pitt Panthers. Six different Cardinals scored on Saturday. Including, Fitch, McKay, Taylor, Stowers, Fitzgerald, and Lyman.
The third game of the series on Sunday didn’t really matter in terms of conference play as Louisville had already won the series. This allowed freshman pitcher Nick Bennett to get some experience on the mound. Bennett collected his second win, giving up only two hits in six innings.
Louisville won Sunday 3-1 and remained undefeated with 15 total wins. Devin Mann, Brendan McKay, and Colin Lyman all scored on RBI singles.
Louisville’s schedule will get harder as the season progresses and they reach the meat of their ACC conference play. So far, their opening weekend has posed the largest challenge, which they handled with ease.
U of L’s full baseball schedule.
The Cards will host Xavier on Wednesday, March 15 at noon. They will follow this game with another ACC series at home against Boston College. Louisville’s first true road games of the season will come next week when they travel to Cincinnati for a midweek game, followed by a weekend series at North Carolina State.
The Louisville Cardinals are the best team in the country. They are playing on a level that many teams aspire to, but only few ever achieve. If Louisville can keep the momentum going, they have a legitimate chance of going deep into the College World Series.
As always, GO CARDS!!! #L1C4!!!