Welcome back to Around the Bases, where we are going to dial in as Louisville baseball is about to begin its anticipated postseason run.
It was another 4-0 week for the Cardinals, as Louisville finished with strong wins at Vanderbilt and swept NC State at home. The wins pushed Louisville (42-10) to a 15-7 record against Top 25 competition, and a staggering 32-1 home record this season. Kade McClure, Brendan McKay and Drew Harrington all secured wins to become the ninth, 10th and 11 pitchers to reach 10 wins in a single season. It’s also the first time in school history that Louisville has had three 10-win pitchers in one season (Louisville had two in 2013 with Jeff Thompson and Chad Green). Senior pitcher Kyle Funkhouser has also won 10 games in a season, posting a school-record 13 wins in 2014.
Louisville won its home finale vs Indiana tonight 9-2. The Cardinals then travel to Wake Forest to close its regular-season out.
The Batting Order (Updated after the win vs IU)
- Shutout Bonanza: With a 2-0 win on Friday against NC State, Louisville has set a new single-season record for shutouts with 11.
- Burdi named Pitcher of the Week: Yesterday, Louisville closer Zack Burdi was named ACC Co-Pitcher of the Week, delivering three saves and nine strikeouts in 4.1 innings without a hit or walk against Vanderbilt and NC State. Burdi is the second pitcher to earn the honor this season, with McKay being named ACC Pitcher of the Week on February 29th. Burdi’s three saves also moved him into a tie for third all-time in career saves with 18.
- ACC Regular-Season Conference Race: Louisville has a chance to clinch the ACC Atlantic Division by winning at least two games at Wake Forest this weekend. Jeremy Wahman broke down all the possible scenarios this week for Louisville to win back-to-back division titles, so be sure to check it out.
- Three Cheers for Drew: It was a big week for the redshirt freshman from Jeffersonville, IN. Before last Sunday’s game at UNC, Ellis had not registered a home run all-season. Since then, Ellis has hit 6/11 with three home runs and seven RBI.
- McKay Excels in Weekend: McKay continued to dominate this week, as the sophomore threw 7.2 shutout innings with eight strikeouts and only three hits. McKay also extended his base-reached streak to 38 games heading into tonight’s game against Indiana.
- Home Record Update: After tonight’s game, Louisville moved to 33-1 at home this season. This will likely be their best single-season home record since moving to Jim Patterson Stadium, and may still improve with Louisville looking to potentially host as a national seed in the NCAA Tournament.
- About Indiana and Wake Forest: The Hoosiers entered tonight’s game with a 31-18 record, led by head coach Chris Lemonis, who was an assistant under Dan McDonnell at Louisville. Indiana has won 19 of its last 25 games and enters this week a half-game behind Minnesota for the Big Ten regular-season title. Wake Forest enters this week with a 31-20 record, having won three of its last four and posting 10+ runs in three straight games. The Deacons will have a road game at Marshall today before hosting Louisville this weekend.
- Players to Watch (IU and WF): OF Craig Dedelow (IU), OF Will Craig (WF). Dedelow was an All Big-Ten Third Team outfielder last season, and likely going to earn all-conference honors again. The junior currently leads the team in batting average (.325) while posting 14 doubles, 33 RBI and four home runs. Will Craig is perhaps one of, if not the, best player Louisville may face all season. Craig’s accomplishments are enormous, with him as the reigning ACC Player of the Year from last season. Craig is one of four Wake Forest players to earn ACC Player of the Week nominations, and leads the entire conference in batting average (.411), slugging (.822), RBI (62), and second in on-base percentage (.551). Craig is also an excellent pitcher at the mound, holding a 2.21 ERA this season.
- How to Watch/Listen: Tonight’s regular-season home finale against Indiana starts at 6 p.m. The weekend series at Wake Forest also starts at 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, with a 1 p.m. time set for the finale. All four games will be aired on 93.9 The Ville and televised on ESPN3.