Welcome to the newly titled Around the Bases, where I cover your weekly fix for Louisville baseball. After a disappointing setback at Ole Miss, the Cardinals will look to regain some momentum today v. Morehead State at 3:00 p.m., beginning a 10-game home stretch.
Pitching for the Cards
After starting the season 4-0 with a fiery performance versus SIU-Edwardsville and Eastern Kentucky, the Cards suffered their first setback last weekend at Ole Miss. The Cards lost the series in Oxford with a 6-5 loss on Friday, 4-0 win on Saturday and a 4-2 loss on Sunday. The Cardinals enter today’s game versus Morehead State with a #4/5 ranking and a 5-2 record, beginning a 10-game home stretch.
The Batting Order
- Pitcher of the Month: Brendan McKay was named Pitcher of the Month in February for his 2-0 start to the season. McKay pitched a complete game shutout in Saturday’s win at now #13 Ole Miss, allowing only three hits while striking out eight batters. McKay was also named ACC Pitcher of the Week off of Saturday’s performance.
- Rematch: Today’s game against Morehead State is a rematch of an NCAA Regional contest from last season, where the Cardinals defeated the Eagles 7-2 at Jim Patterson Stadium.
- Kyle Funkhouser Nearing School Records: Though it wasn’t a pretty start for pitcher Kyle Funkhouser last weekend at Ole Miss, the senior is reaching school records in various categories. His next start will tie Brian Bentley for third all-time in career starts (44), while Funkhouser currently needs two wins to tie the all-time wins record (29), 15 strikeouts for the all-time record (305), and pitch 13.1 innings for the career innings record (309.1).
- Slight decline: After losing their first regular-season series since Arkansas State in February 2015 to Ole Miss, the Cardinals dropped to #4 in the Baseball America Top 25. Louisville was also ranked fourth in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Top 25, while they were ranked fifth in the NCBWA, D1Baseball and Perfect Game Top 25 polls.
- The Home Stand Begins: As mentioned, the Cardinals begin a 10-game home stretch today with a 3:00 game v. Morehead State, followed by a weekend series v. Princeton and Tuesday v. Longwood.
- All of the Sports:
UofL remains the only school with men’s basketball (#11), women’s basketball (#7) & baseball (#5) in the top 15 of AP and d1baseball polls.
— Kelly Dickey (@RealCardGame) February 29, 2016
- About Morehead State, Princeton and Longwood: Morehead State enters today’s game with a 6-2 record, with their lone losses a 7-5 defeat at #18 North Carolina State last week and 6-5 to Nebraska-Omaha last Saturday. Longwood is currently 3-4, with two wins over Wagner last weekend and a 10-9 victory over VCU last night. The Lancers have a 4 p.m. game v. VMI today and a weekend series v. Fairleigh Dickinson before traveling to Louisville on March 8th. The Princeton Tigers will make their season debut this weekend at Louisville.
- Players to Watch (Princeton and Longwood): IF Danny Hoy (Princeton) and 1B Connar Bastaich (Longwood). Hoy is the most notable returning hitter on this year’s Princeton team. Hoy averaged .311 batting in 35 starts last season, leading the team in doubles (13) and home runs (6). Bastiach is a preseason All Big South first-team player who led the team in hits (69), multi-hit games (20), and finished second in batting average (.312) last season. Bastiach also hit a home-run in Saturday’s win v. Wagner, and is currently tied for the team lead in runs (6).
- How to Watch: All games will be televised on CardsTV. Today’s game v. Morehead State, Friday v. Princeton, and on Tuesday v. Longwood will all start at 3 p.m. with radio coverage on 1450 AM WXVW. Saturday and Sunday’s game v. Princeton at 1:00 p.m. and noon, respectively, will have radio coverage on 93.9 The Ville.