Around the Bases, April 6th 2016

20160402_143610Welcome back to Around the Bases, which has not been rained out today.

Last weekend was business as usual for Louisville, as the Cardinals swept the Hokies. With wins of 8-4 (Fri.), 13-0 (Sat.) and 9-3 (Sun.), the Cardinals have a six-game winning streak heading into another big weekend at Florida State. Florida State currently holds a two-game lead over Louisville in the ACC Atlantic Division, and a series win could be big in clinching back-to-back division titles for the Cardinals.

Today’s game at Kentucky, however, has been postponed due to rain, and is rescheduled for April 13th. Before the April 13th encounter with rival Kentucky, Louisville will host Western Kentucky on Tuesday for Cancer Awareness Night.

The Batting Order

  1. Offensive Explosion: In their six-game winning streak, the Cardinals have outscored their opponents 73-11. Sunday’s 13-0 win over the Hokies gave the Cardinals their 11th win with 10+ runs, and their 3rd shutout win with 10+ runs in the last five games.
  2. Will Smith: Among the hottest hitters for the Cardinals is catcher Will Smith. While Colby Fitch has had some stellar performances as of late, Smith isn’t too far behind with an 8-11 performance at the plate in his last three games with six RBIs and runs each. Smith also leads the ACC in denying stolen bases with 10.
  3. Kyle Funkhouser: With a win on Monday, Kyle Funkhouser has now tied the school record for career wins with 29. Funkhouser already holds the records for career strikeouts, innings pitched and starts, in addition to the single-season record for wins (13 in 2014).
  4. Top 25 record: Entering this weekend’s series at Florida State, Louisville is currently 4-5 v. current Top 25 opponents. The Cardinals also have three series with potential top 25 opponents (v. Clemson, at North Carolina, v. N.C. State) in their regular season schedule, in addition to three weekday games against ranked Kentucky and Vanderbilt.
  5. Ray, Hairston hitting streak: Both Corey Ray and Devin Hairston hold an eight-game hitting streak dating back to the Cardinals win at Purdue two weeks ago. Hairston was 4-11 with five runs scored in last weekend’s series v. Virginia Tech, while Ray was 5-13 with two home runs and four runs scored.
  6. Devin Mann performing well in relief duty: The freshman from Columbus, IN has a five-game hitting streak with four multi-hit games in his last five starts, as well as nine RBIs, four doubles and five runs in that stretch.
  7. About Florida State and WKU: The Seminoles enter this week at 20-6, and currently ranked 9th in the Top 25. Florida State is currently 4-2 v. Top 25 opponents, with both losses coming against #1 Florida. Since losing to the Cardinals last week, the Hilltoppers have won three of their last four, giving them a 17-11 record. WKU will have a home series v. Louisiana Tech before traveling to Louisville on Tuesday.
  8. Players to Watch (FSU): 2B John Sansone and SS Taylor Walls. These two are considered iron men of the Seminoles team, as they’ve started every game last season and this season. Sansone has started in 162 consecutive games up to this point, and leads the team in batting average (.375) with eight doubles and 32 RBI (T-4th in ACC). Walls is a sophomore who has become one of the best players in the ACC this season, and is in the top ten of multiple ACC categories including doubles (12), runs scored (34), and walks (21).
  9. How to Watch/Listen: The Florida State series will start at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sunday. All three games will air on 93.9 The Ville with TV coverage on ESPN3. Tuesday’s home game v. WKU will start at 6 p.m.,  with radio coverage on 93.9 and on CardsTV.

Extra Innings: Meeting with the Media

Yesterday, Louisville’s Corey Ray, Kade McClure and Dan McDonnell spoke to the media before what would’ve been today’s game at Kentucky. Here are some highlights from their meeting with the media.

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