Welcome back to another edition of Around the Bases, where we look at the previous outings for the Louisville baseball team as well as remorse over post-Derby betting losses.
After sweeping the Red Storm, the Cardinals improved their home record to 29-1 with a 7-1 win over Cincinnati. Louisville then traveled to Chapel Hill to face North Carolina and clinched their first road series win of the season. The Cardinals tied a single-season school record with 10 shutouts in the 6-0 win against the Tar Heels on Friday, and rebounded from a 3-2 walk-off loss on Saturday with a 10-6 win on Sunday. Louisville (38-10) is ranked as high as fifth in the USA Today and NCBWA polls.
Up next, Louisville continues their seven-game stretch against ranked opponents with a huge road game tonight at #11 Vanderbilt. Louisville will follow that up with their final ACC home series against #10 North Carolina State.
The Batting Order
- One in the Books: With the series win at North Carolina, this was the first road series win for the Cardinals all season. They have one remaining at Wake Forest before starting postseason play.
- School Record: With a 6-0 win against the Tar Heels last Friday, Louisville tied the single-season school record for shutouts with 10.
- McKay Streak Continues: As of today’s game at Vanderbilt, Brendan McKay has reached base for 32 straight games. The sophomore also had seven shutout innings in the win over North Carolina on Friday.
- The Big Three (Plus One): McKay (9-2), Drew Harrington (9-1) and Kade McClure (9-0) all enter the week with nine wins each. Another win from all three would give Louisville its first trio of pitchers with 10 wins in a season. Kyle Funkhouser also holds the single-season record for wins (13, 2014) as well as career wins (32).
- Top 10 Offense & Defense: Louisville is the only team that is currently top ten in both batting average (4th, .327) and ERA (9th, 2.78) as a team.
- Harrington Hot on the Mound: Despite the loss on Saturday, Drew Harrington record his 10th quality start in 12 appearances, allowing two runs on six hits in 6.1 innings of work.
- About Vanderbilt and NC State: Both Vanderbilt and NC State are top 25 opponents against Louisville, ranked 11th and 10th, respectively. In the last two years, Vanderbilt (36-12) has won the 2014 College World Series and was a runner-up last year to Virginia. NC State
- Players to Watch (Vandy and NC State): OF Bryan Reynolds and 1B Preston Palmeiro. Reynolds will likely end up as an All-SEC candidate this year, as he and teammate Jeren Kendall are an excellent one-two punch in terms of power hitting. Reynolds is second on the team behind Kendall in batting average (.328), but is second in the SEC in slugging (.603), fifth in on-base percentage (.457), and has 14 doubles and 10 home runs along with 40 walks. Palmeiro was an ACC All-Second Team player last season who returns as a solid player for the Wolfpack. The son of Rafael Palmeiro currently hits .326 with a team-high 18 doubles (leads the ACC), 43 RBI and 46 runs (7th in the ACC).
- How to Watch/Listen: Today’s game at Vanderbilt is moved to a 5 p.m. start, with TV coverage on ESPNU and radio coverage beginning on 1450 AM and moving to 93.9 The Ville at 6 p.m. The weekend series against NC State starts at 6 p.m. on Friday, with 1 p.m. starts on Saturday and Sunday. All three games will air on ESPN3 and 93.9.