Welcome back to another edition of Around the Bases, where we cover Louisville Baseball from base to base, foul post to foul post.
After finishing off Wright State last Wednesday to reach a 10-game winning streak, the Cardinals dropped two of three in last weekend’s series at Miami (FL) with scores of 4-8 and 3-6 before winning 4-3 on Sunday to avoid a sweep. After dropping the series and falling to #8 in the Baseball America Top 25, they bounced back to win their first midweek road game against Purdue 9-4 on Wednesday.
After going 2-2 in their last four games, the Cardinals return home to face defending national champion Virginia, one of four top 25 matchups in the ACC this weekend. The Cardinals follow that up with a Tuesday game at Western Kentucky, one of the best .
The Batting Order
- Always a first for everything. With losing two of three at Miami, this was the Cardinals first ever ACC regular season series loss. The Cardinals went 25-5 last season in conference play while clinching a regular season conference championship.
- Another test for Louisville. The Cardinals will host defending national champions Virginia this weekend, followed by a Tuesday road trip to face Western Kentucky.
- Kyle Funkhouser: After notching four strikeouts in Friday’s loss at Miami (FL), Kyle Funkhouser now holds the all-time strikeouts record at Louisville. Funkhouser is still looking for a win to tie Justin Marks’ career school record of 29.
- Kade McClure: With a solid six-inning performance in Wednesday’s win over Purdue, McClure has been one of the hotter pitchers for Louisville baseball as of late. The sophomore is currently 5-0 in six appearances with a 2.0 ERA, and has only allowed 12 hits and six walks while striking out 23.
- Nick Solak: Solak has also been one of the best players for Louisville so far this season, leading the entire ACC in batting average (.461) as well as leading the team in runs scored (28), doubles (8), and third in RBIs (15).
- A Heavyweight Schedule: With Clemson reaching the top 25 polls in Baseball America, the Cardinals now have four potential weekend series against a top 25 opponent. The Cardinals also have a May 10th showdown with Vanderbilt, and the only two teams to beat Louisville are #4 Miami and now #7 Ole Miss.
- About Virginia and WKU: Virginia enters the weekend series with a 16-6 record, winning nine of their last 11. The Cavaliers are also #9 in the Baseball America Top 25, and are looking for revenge after being swept in last season’s series in Charlottesville. WKU is currently 11-9, but has a notable 14-6 win v. Kentucky and a 6-0 win at Tennessee. The Hilltoppers will have a weekend series v. Middle Tennessee State before hosting Louisville on Tuesday.
- Players to Watch (UVA and WKU): Adam Haseley (UVA) and Steven Kraft (WKU). Haseley is a two-way player in a similar mold of Brendan McKay, and he’s definitely one of the best two-way players in the nation. Haseley currently leads the Cavaliers in batting average (.407), doubles (10) and triples (3) while also holding a 5-0 record pitching and a 1.75 ERA. WKU has a very potent offense, and Kraft is one of their leaders with a .329 batting average and currently leading the team in doubles (7) and walks (17).
- How to Watch: All of the games will be broadcast on 93.9 The Ville throughout the weekend, as well as the Tuesday game at WKU. The UVA series will also air on ESPN3, with start times set for 6 p.m. on Friday, and 1 p.m. on Saturday and on Easter with free admission throughout the weekend. The Tuesday night game at WKU will start at around 7 p.m.