Around the Bases, March 9th 2016


Welcome to another weekly edition of Around the Bases, satisfying your hunger for more Louisville baseball. After a flawless 5-0 stretch this past week, the Cardinals have another five games at home to wrap up their 10-game home stand, including their first weekend conference series v. Notre Dame.

Pitching for Louisville

The Cardinals went a perfect 5-0 to extend their record to 10-2. The week began with a 9-5 victory over Morehead State, led by Blake Tiberi’s 3/3 performance at the plate with two RBI and a home-run by Colby Fitch in the fourth inning. Pitcher Kade McClure threw five scoreless innings and only allowed one hit in the performance.

Louisville had great pitching throughout the weekend series v. Princeton and on Tuesday v. Longwood. Senior pitcher Kyle Funkhouser matched a career-high in strikeouts with 12 in Friday’s 4-2 win over Princeton, while Brendan McKay added eight strikeouts of his own in a 9-1 victory on Saturday, and Drew Harrington added seven of his own in an 11-0 win on Sunday.

A five-run third inning led by Nick Solak (2/5, 2 RBI) and Devin Hairston (3/3, 2 SS, double, RBI) helped the Cardinals take a 10-1 victory over Longwood. Danny Rosenbaum also had a home-run in the seventh inning, while Louisville pitching only allowed one run and struck out eight batters.

The Batting Order

  1. Hitting with Precision: The Cardinals (10-2) have finished all 12 games this season with at least nine hits, nine of which have gone for 10 or more hits.
  2. Thievery: With ten stolen bases in the last three games, outfielder Corey Ray currently leads the NCAA in that category with 16. Ray also leads the team in home runs with five.
  3. Kyle Funkhouser Update: After striking out 12 in Friday’s win v. Princeton, Funkhouser now sits one win and three strikeouts behind Justin Marks for the career school record of wins and strikeouts. Funkhouser also needs 6.2 innings in his next start to take the career school record for innings pitched, held by Mike Shields.
  4. The Streak Continues: Third baseman Blake Tiberi has had a remarkable start to the season, hitting safely in all 12 games to start the season. The sophomore currently leads the team in batting average (.477) and multi-hit games (eight).
  5. The Home Stand Ends: Louisville will host another five games in a six-day period to finish their 10-game home stand, beginning with their first conference series v. Notre Dame. They will follow that up with weekday games v. Xavier (Tuesday) at 3 p.m. and Wright State at noon on Wednesday.
  6. About Notre Dame, Xavier and Wright State: Notre Dame enters the weekend series v. Louisville with a 6-5 record, coming off of a 2-2 showing at the USA Baseball-Irish classic last weekend and four of their six wins have come via walk-off. Xavier is currently 3-8 entering a weekend series at #5 Vanderbilt. Wright State is currently 6-5 with a win at Georgia and at #17 North Carolina State, and also beat Xavier 4-1 on Tuesday. Wright State has weekend games v. Dayton and a Saturday double-header v. Eastern Michigan before traveling to face Louisville on Wednesday.
  7. Players to Watch: OF Matt Vuerling (Notre Dame), Joe Gellenbeck (Xavier). The freshman from St. Louis, MO is having a solid start to his career at Notre Dame. Vuerling currently leads the team in batting average (.333), RBI (11) and slugging (.513), and also hit a walk-off home run in Sunday’s 5-4 win over Niagara. Gellenbeck was a key player in Xavier’s series sweep of USC Upstate last weekend, hitting 5/12 with three RBI and three walks. Gellenbeck is also leading the team in RBIs with six.
  8. More Players to Watch: Ryan Fucci/Mitch Roman/Sean Murphy (Wright State). Outfielder Ryan Fucci and infielder Mitch Roman are among four Preseason All-Horizon League players on Wright State’s roster, with Wright State being nominated as the Horizon League preseason favorite. Roman leads the team in batting average (.333) and stolen bases (12/12), while Fucci leads the Raiders in hits (16), walks (nine), and second in RBI (13). Catcher Sean Murphy was also named the Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year, and currently averages .259 at the plate while leading the team with four home runs.
  9. How to Watch/Listen: The Louisville/Notre Dame series will be televised on ESPN3 (3 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday), while the Xavier and Wright State games will be on CardsTV. The Notre Dame series and the Wright State game will have radio coverage on 93.9 The Ville through the weekend, while the Xavier game will be aired on  1450 AM WXVW

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