Hard to believe, but it is that time of year again: it’s college baseball season! And in 2012, the Cards have big expectations. They are ranked in several preseason polls, and are ranked as high as 15th to start this season. In Coach Dan McDonnell’s first 5 seasons with the Cards, they have missed the postseason only once, and that was last year, after going 32-29 on the season. So after their first disappointing season in 5 years, why are expectations so high? Well, UofL has 19 letterwinners returning, so there is experience coming back. Also, the Cards signed a recruiting class that the Collegiate Baseball newspaper ranked 11th in the country.
The strength of the Cards this season should be their pitching staff. Justin Amlung, a junior from Louisville (St. X), was named the Big East Preseason Pitcher of the Year. Last season, he went 10-2 with a 2.31 ERA and 80 strikeouts. Another local pitcher is Jeff Thompson. He is a 6’6 sophomore that went to Floyd Central high school in Indiana. After a good summer, he was named the Top Prospect in the New England Collegiate Baseball League.
Also returning will be senior outfielder Stewart Ijames. He was named to the Preseason All-Big East team for the 2012 season. He has been a steady producer his whole career for the Cards. In 2008, he was a Freshman All-American for Louisville Slugger and for Ping! Baseball. He was also Third Team All-Big East. He missed the 2009 season with a shoulder injury. In 2010, he moved up to Second Team All-Big East and made the All-Big East Tournament Team. Last year, he was named Second Team All-Big East again. He enters the 2012 season with a career batting average of .304, and has 33 homeruns and 147 RBI.
It is always fun to cheer on a Louisville team that has local players on it. On a team with 35 players on the roster, the Cards have a lot of talent from the area. There are 13 players from the state of Kentucky, 6 of those from Louisville. Senior Travis Tingle and freshman Zach Lucas went to Butler high school; as we said, Justin Amlung went to St. X; junior Curtis McCombs and freshman Sutton Whiting (Boomer’s brother) went to Ballard high school; and sophomore Jeff Gardner went to Whitfield Academy.
To hear the Cards on the radio this season, tune in to 1570 AM. They will broadcast 38 regular season games and all post-season games. You can also subscribe to CardsTV on UofLSports.com. For more information, click here.
There are plenty of good reasons to go check out Louisville baseball this season. Cost of admission can not be an excuse, because it is FREE to get into games! That is a huge deal, especially with a nationally ranked that expects to make another deep post-season run. The only game that will charge admission is the Kentucky game on April 24, which will be $10 for reserved seating.
All home games on Fridays will be called Budweiser Buck Night. Draft beer and small Pepsi products will be sold for just $1. So get your weekend started right with a good time at UofL baseball!
Tuesdays will be Buckhead Mountain Grill Dollar Dog Day. Every Tuesday home game, fans can purchase hot dogs for $1 each. There is a limit of 2 hot dogs per visit, and it is while supplies last, so get there early and eat up because these could run out! Also on certain Tuesdays (March 13, March 20, and April 24), the first fans through the gates will get a specially designed Louisville Baseball t-shirt for free!
Sundays will be Dr. Bizer’s Vision World Family Fun Day. Kids can run the bases after the game, select players will sign autographs on the field, and there will be inflatable jumpies. a “Family Four-Pack” will be available at the concession stand where families can get 4 hot dogs, 4 12 oz. drinks, and a tub of popcorn for just $20!
For more promotions as well as game-by-game promotions, be sure to check out UofL’s Baseball website here.
The Louisville Cardinals will begin their season on Friday February 17 in Clearwater, FL. They are facing Minnesota in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge. The game starts at 10:00 A.M. They then head to St. Petersburg, FL on Saturday and Sunday for games against Illinois and Michigan State. The home opener for the Cards will be Wednesday February 22 against Eastern Kentucky at 3:00. We have the full schedule here on our CSZ site.
So be sure to check out the 15th ranked Cardinal baseball team this season. Go Cards!