–By Beau Kilpatrick
The No. 2 Louisville Cardinals baseball team finished the 2017 regular season this past weekend against Florida State. Florida State snapped Louisville’s 14-series win streak in conference play, but it wasn’t enough to knock the Cards out of first position in the ACC.
Louisville clinched the ACC Atlantic division last week against Clemson. They were tied with the leader of the ACC Coastal division, North Carolina, for the overall No. 1 seed. Coach McDonnell’s squad prevailed. With a little help from the rain gods, cancelling the final game, they remained on top of the ACC with a conference record of 23-6.
The Cardinals finished the regular season on a downward slope, losing their final three games of the season, with an overall record of 46-9. D1Baseball.com ranks the Cardinals No. 2 in the nation behind Oregon State and ahead of ACC foe, the No. 3 UNC Tarheels. In-State rival Kentucky is sixth in the nation and may square off against the Cards for another battle in the post-season.
The top 25: https://d1baseball.com/category/rankings/
This team needs regroup and get back to the Cardinal baseball that we all know. Coach McDonnell saw his squad lose uncharacteristically in the final week of the regular season. The Cardinals are littered with All-Americans, yet they produced eight errors in the final three games, which led to their defeat.
The ACC tournament begins Tuesday, May 23, at Louisville Slugger Field. The Cardinals will have a huge “home field” advantage playing in downtown Louisville. However, if they don’t clean up the mistakes that have plagued them at the end of the season, their glory at Slugger Field may be short lived. The ACC is packed with talent. Five of the 12 teams in the ACC tournament are ranked in the top-25, which should make for some exciting ball games.
The full schedule here.
After the ACC tournament finishes, the road to the College World Series will begin. The first round will be held across the nation June 2-5. The NCAA Super Regional round will be June 9-12. Finally, the College World Series will make its annual visit to Omaha June 17-28.
Louisville is guaranteed to play two games in the ACC tournament and two in the path to the CWS, anything else will have to be earned. Coach McDonnell has won his conference 8-10 years that he has been at U of L. He has also taken his club to the College World Series three times and is looking for his fourth in ten seasons.
The full baseball history of the Louisville Cardinals.
The Cardinals definitely have the pedigree of players and coaches it takes to win a national championship and hopefully this is the year that McDonnell and his team can bring home the title. Brendan McKay is predicted to go as the first or second pick in the MLB draft, leading the ACC in strikeouts and crushing opponents when batting. Drew Ellis is leading the team with a .387 batting average and 16 homeruns. Logan Taylor has stolen 20 bases with Josh Stowers following with 19. These are just to name a few. The rest of the players are All-Americans in their own right.
With any luck, the No. 2 Cardinals will prevail this upcoming week at Louisville Slugger field in the ACC tournament and refocus for their run towards the College World Series to fight for the national title.