Garett Wall UofL Baseball SID
DURHAM, N.C. – The third-ranked Louisville baseball team enters the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship as the No. 2 seed and will begin its Pool B schedule against No. 10 Wake Forest (4-3 winner against No. 7 Duke on Tuesday) on Wednesday at 7 p.m., ET at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Following an off day, the Cardinals continue the week against No. 6 Clemson on Friday at 11 a.m., before concluding pool play against No. 3 Virginia on Saturday at 7 p.m. The two teams with the best records within their respective pools will advance to the title game on Sunday at noon with the winner earning the ACC’s automatic berth into the NCAA Championship.
Radio coverage for all Louisville baseball games at the ACC Championship and throughout the postseason will be provided by 93.9 The Ville. Regional Sports Networks from across the conference footprint and across the nation will carry all 14 games on Tuesday through Saturday. Sunday’s championship game will be televised nationally by ESPN2. All games will also be available on ESPN3.
ABOUT THE CARDINALS
GAME DAY INFORMATION
#3 Louisville at 2016 ACC Championship
Location: Durham, N.C.
Venue: Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Twitter Updates: @UofLBaseball
Game Notes: Louisville
Wednesday, May 25 | 7:00 p.m. ET | Live Stats
#2 Louisville vs. #10 Wake Forest
TV: RSN/ESPN3 (Watch) | Radio: 93.9 The Ville (Listen)
Friday, May 27 | 11:00 a.m. ET | Live Stats
#2 Louisville vs. #6 Clemson
TV: RSN/ESPN3 (Watch) | Radio: 93.9 The Ville (Listen)
Saturday, May 28 | 7:00 p.m. ET | Live Stats
#2 Louisville vs. #3 Virginia
TV: RSN/ESPN3 (Watch) | Radio: 93.9 The Ville (Listen)
Sunday, May 29 | Noon ET | Live Stats
ACC Championship Game
TV: ESPN2 (Watch) | Radio: 93.9 The Ville (Listen)
ACC Championship Links
Championship Page | Championship Bracket
Ticket Information | TV Coverage
Louisville, ranked third in this week’s Collegiate Baseball newspaper poll, enters the postseason riding a nine-game winning streak after a road sweep at Wake Forest last week to close the regular season. The Cardinals clinched their second straight ACC Atlantic Division championship and the No. 2 seed in this week’s ACC Championship. On the mound, Louisville features three 11-game winners, has set a school record with 11 shutouts (No. 2 nationally) this season and has surrendered two or fewer earned runs in 33 of 56 games. Entering the week, the pitching staff was ranked second in the nation in hits allowed per nine innings and third in ERA. Offensively, the Cardinals were fifth nationally in batting average, 12th in on-base percentage and 18th in scoring.
BACK-TO-BACK ACC ATLANTIC DIVISION CHAMPIONS
A year after setting the single season record for ACC wins in its debut campaign with a 25-5 conference mark, Louisville successfully defended its Atlantic Division title by winning seven of its 10 ACC series in 2016. The Cardinals, who have won five straight regular season conference championships, have lost just three of their 20 ACC series the last two seasons while compiling a 47-13 record during that stretch, including a 27-3 mark at home.
LOUISVILLE MOVES TO NO. 1 IN RPI
The Cardinals enter the ACC Championship ranked No. 1 in the official NCAA RPI released on Monday after spending multiple weeks in the second position. According to WarrenNolan.com, Louisville leads the nation with 19 top 50 wins and is the only team in the country without a loss to a team outside the top 50. Overall, the Cardinals are among 11 Atlantic Coast Conference schools in the top 35 spots.
FIVE STRAIGHT 40-WIN SEASONS
Louisville has reached the 40-win plateau for the fifth straight season and the ninth time in the last 10 seasons. The Cardinals have registered 40 or more regular season wins in four consecutive seasons, including matching a school record with 46 regular season wins in 2016 equaling the totals accomplished in 2010 and 2013.
TEAM NOTES AND TRENDS
• Louisville was 1-2 in last year’s ACC Championship. The Cardinals have not won a conference tournament title since taking back-to-back Big East Tournament championships in 2008 and 2009.
• Collectively, the Cardinals are hitting .325 (No. 5 nationally entering the week) with eight players hitting .326 or better while starting at least 25 games.
• Louisville has won 182 straight games when entering the ninth inning with a lead dating back to May 2012. The Cardinals were 43-0 last season and 46-0 in 2013 when leading after the eighth.
• The Cardinals are 88-of-110 on stolen bases this season (19th nationally entering the week) continuing the aggressive approach from Dan McDonnell. Louisville was fourth nationally with 127 stolen bases last season, second in the nation in 2014 with 133 and second in 2013 with 150.
• Conversely, Louisville’s opponents are just 21-for-42 on stolen bases this season as Will Smith has thrown out 11 of 25 attempts.
• Louisville has allowed two or fewer earned runs in 33 of 56 games this season, a feat achieved in 36 of 65 games last season. In 2014, they did it in 40 of 67 games, while in 2013, they accomplished the task in 36 of 65 games.
• The Cardinals also entered the week ranked second in shutouts, third in ERA, fifth in WHIP, sixth in sacrifice flies, seventh in doubles, ninth in slugging percentage, 12th in on-base percentage, 12th in runs scored, 18th in scoring, 19th in fielding percentage, 20th in strikeouts per 9 IP, 22nd in hit by pitch, 29th in home runs and 29th in strikeout-to-walk ratio.
• Louisville closed the regular season leading the ACC in batting average, ERA, slugging percentage, doubles, RBI and opponents’ batting average.
PLAYER NOTES AND TRENDS
Corey Ray: Entered the week ranked fourth in the nation in stolen bases, 20th in total bases, 35th in home runs and 40th in RBI.
• 12 of Ray’s 26 career home runs have either tied the score or given Louisville a lead.
• In the first inning this season (all in the leadoff spot), Ray is hitting .339 with three home runs and 13 runs scored.
Blake Tiberi: Third on team with 25 multiple-hit games and 12 multiple-RBI games.
Devin Hairston: Reached base safely in 21 straight games, including an 11-game hitting streak, while ranking ninth in the ACC runs scored and 10th in hitting.
Nick Solak: Received All-ACC Second Team honors and ranks third on the team in runs scored despite missing 17 games with hand injury.
• Had reached base safely in 33 straight games before the streak ended March 25 against Virginia after departing in the third inning with a bone bruise on his right hand.
Will Smith: Entered the week ranked eighth in the ACC in on-base percentage, ninth in hitting and second in hit by pitch.
Colby Fitch: Has hit safely in 19 of the 25 games he has started this season.
Danny Rosenbaum: Has 13 career home runs, team high 141 career starts and 200 games played while starting 48 games this season, including 20 straight.
Drew Ellis: Has connected for three home runs in last nine games. The redshirt freshman has 24 starts this season in left field, one at third base and one at second base.
Devin Mann: While being called into everyday duty with the injury to Nick Solak, the freshman managed himself well hitting .307 with eight doubles, 16 RBI and 13 runs scored in the 19 starts.
Colin Lyman: Has 43 starts and 53 total games played this season with all 43 starts coming in right field.
Logan Taylor: Has played in 169 career games with 75 starts, including 38 starts this season.
Brendan McKay: Has recorded eight or more strikeouts in nine of his 14 starts this season and has finished with eight or more strikeouts 16 times in his career.
• McKay ranks among top 20 in the nation with 105 strikeouts this season.
• In 20 career appearances on the mound at home (including 15 starts), McKay is 15-0 with four saves, a 1.34 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 107.1 innings pitched.
• In his 15 collegiate starts at Jim Patterson Stadium, McKay is 14-0 with a 1.42 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 101.1 innings.
• At the plate, McKay has reached base safely in career best 39 of his last 40 games and ranks fourth in the ACC in doubles and 22nd in hitting.
Drew Harrington: Has won 10 of his last 12 starts and has allowed two or fewer earned runs run in 12 of 14 starts this season.
• Harrington is tied with teammates Brendan McKay and Kade McClure for the nation’s lead in wins with 11 while also ranking in the top 12 with his 1.66 ERA.• In his 10 ACC starts, Harrington was 8-0 with a 1.33 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 67.2 innings.
Kyle Funkhouser: Louisville’s career leader in wins (34), strikeouts (369), innings pitched (370.2) and starts (55). He also holds the school record for single season wins with 13 in 2014.
• Funkhouser has won five straight starts and registered 97 mph in the sixth inning on May 21.
Kade McClure: Has won 11 of 12 starts to rank among the national leaders in wins. He’s also in the top 10 in the nation in WHIP and hits allowed per 9 IP.
Zack Burdi: Named ACC Co-Pitcher of the Week on May 16 after registering three saves during the week of May 10-15. He finished with nine strikeouts without surrendering a hit or a walk in 4.1 innings of shutout work against a trio of nationally ranked foes during that stretch.
• Has earned saves in each of his last six appearances out of the Louisville bullpen.
LOUISVILLE IN NATIONAL POLLS EVERY WEEK SINCE BEGINNING OF 2012
Louisville has enjoyed a historic run by remaining in at least one of the major national polls every week since the release of the 2012 preseason rankings — the longest such span in school history. The unanimous choice as the No. 2 team in the nation in the six national preseason polls, the Cardinals have received a preseason top 10 ranking in four straight seasons (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) and have earned a preseason national ranking in nine straight seasons (2008-2016) overall. The No. 2 ranking was the highest preseason ranking in program history for Louisville, two spots better than their previous preseason high of No. 4 by Baseball America during the 2013 College World Series season. The No. 2 ranking also equaled the best overall ranking in history.
CARDINALS SET SCHOOL RECORD WITH 11 SHUTOUTS IN 2016
With its 2-0 win over No. 10 NC State on May 13, the Louisville baseball team set a school record with its 11th shutout of the season breaking the previous mark of 10 set during the 2010 season. The Cardinals rank second nationally with the 11 shutouts, while five of those shutouts have come against ACC foes. The starting pitcher breakdown in those 11 shutouts includes four each for Drew Harrington and Brendan McKay, two for Kade McClure and one for Kyle Funkhouser.
LOUISVILLE HONORS SENIOR TRIO OF FUNKHOUSER, KIDSTON AND ROSENBAUM
Prior to the May 15 home game against NC State, the Louisville baseball program honored the senior trio of pitchers Kyle Funkhouser and Anthony Kidston and infielder Danny Rosenbaum. The 2016 senior class has accumulated 190 wins, three conference championships, three straight NCAA Regionals at home, three straight NCAA Super Regional appearances and two College World Series berths.
TRIPLE DIGITS ON THE RADAR GUN FOR BURDI
Junior righty closer Zack Burdi has reached 100 mph on the Jim Patterson Stadium radar gun on four different occasions this season, including back-to-back games against NC State on May 13-14. Burdi also registered 100 on multiple pitches at Wake Forest on May 19, 101 at Vanderbilt’s Hawkins Field on May 10, 100 mph multiple times at North Carolina’s Boshamer Stadium and 100 once on the official radar gun at Florida State’s Dick Howser Stadium on April 9. Last season, Burdi touched 101 mph on the scoreboard at Clemson’s Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
FIVE LOUISVILLE BASEBALL ALUMNI EARN MLB CALLS IN 2016
The 2016 Major League Baseball season has started fast for Louisville baseball alumni as five former Cardinals have gotten the call-up to the big leagues. Adam Duvall (Cincinnati Reds) and Tony Zych (Seattle Mariners) were on opening day rosters while Cody Ege (Miami Marlins), Dean Kiekhefer (St. Louis Cardinals) and Chad Green (Yankees) have been promoted to their respective MLB clubs this season.
FOUR ACC PLAYER, PITCHER OF THE WEEK HONORS IN 2016
The Louisville baseball team has accumulated four Atlantic Coast Conference Player or Pitcher of the Week honors this season with junior righthander Zack Burdi becoming the latest addition to that group. Burdi was named as the Pitcher of the Week on May 16, while junior outfielder Corey Ray has received a pair of ACC Player of the Week honors on Feb. 22 and March 28. Additionally, sophomore Brendan McKay was tabbed as the ACC Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 29. The Cardinals also received four ACC weekly honors last season.
MCKAY ACCEPTS INVITE TO USA COLLEGIATE NATIONAL TEAM
Sophomore Brendan McKay has accepted an invitation to compete for the 2016 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team this summer. It will mark the second straight year McKay has played for Team USA after making four relief appearances without allowing an earned run and earning six starts as a hitter last summer. Guided by University of Oregon head coach George Horton, the USA Collegiate National Team will conduct a training camp in Southern California from June 28-July 2 before visiting Taiwan (July 5-9), Japan (July 12-17) and Cuba (July 22-26) for a series of games. The trip to Japan will include the 40th USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series.
McKay’s second tour with Team USA marks the 11th time a Louisville player has earned an invitation from the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team joining Zack Burdi (2015), Corey Ray (2015), Kyle Funkhouser (2014), Nick Burdi (2013), Ryan Wright (2010), Phil Wunderlich (2009), Tony Zych (2009), Justin Marks (2008) and Mark Jurich (2002). It marks the 18th time a player coached or signed by Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell, who served as an assistant with the 2009 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, earned international baseball experience.
FUNKHOUSER SELECTED AS FINALIST FOR SENIOR CLASS AWARD
Kyle Funkhouser was named April 26 as a finalist for the 2016 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate baseball. Funkhouser was among 10 baseball student-athletes, who excel both on and off the diamond, selected as finalists for the prestigious award. Funkhouser becomes the second Louisville player in the last three seasons to be chosen as a finalist for the award joining former Cardinals outfielder Jeff Gardner, a finalist for the honor in 2014. To be eligible, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Finalists were chosen by national media from the list of 30 candidates announced in March. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website through June 7. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner. This year’s Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2016 College World Series® in June. For more information on all of the finalists, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.
CARDINALS STEAL HOME IN BACK-TO-BACK SEASONS
Under head coach Dan McDonnell, Louisville has earned a reputation for being among the nation’s most aggressive teams on the bases and that approach has helped the Cardinals steal home in each of the last two seasons. On March 16 of this season, junior Logan Taylor capped Louisville’s five-run fifth inning against Wright State by stealing home in a play that landed at No. 3 on the SportsCenter Top 10 the following morning. Even more amazing is that Taylor’s accomplishment marked the second time in 11 months the Cardinals had stolen home as Corey Ray achieved the feat on April 18, 2015 against Wake Forest.
Not only did Ray steal home, but he did it in the bottom of the ninth to score the game-winning run and complete a series sweep of the visiting Demon Deacons. Moments after the Cardinals had tied the game on a wild pitch, Ray charged down the third base line sliding around the attempted tag and across home plate. The play was featured at No. 8 in on the SC Top 10 on April 19 and was also used by ESPN during its opening segment of SportsCenter that morning.
The person with the best view of the two swipes of home was Will Smith, who was at the plate for each of the dramatic plays. Who better to hold his ground in the box as a teammate came sliding across the plate than Louisville’s primary catcher during the last two seasons.
MCKAY NAMED NATIONAL PITCHER OF THE MONTH
Brendan McKay was selected as the National Pitcher of the Month for February by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. One of the top two-way players in the nation, McKay was nearly untouchable to start 2016 boasting a perfect 0.00 ERA in 14 innings across two starts, including a three-hit shutout at No. 21 Ole Miss on Feb. 27. McKay was named ACC Pitcher of the Week for that performance, where he struck out eight Rebels.
LOUISVILLE ON THE NATIONAL WATCH LISTS
• GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD: Brendan McKay, Corey Ray & Nick Solak
Corey Ray, baseman Nick Solak and Brendan McKay were named April 20 to the midseason USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award watch list. The award, given annually to the nation’s top amateur baseball player, will be presented on June 30 in Los Angeles. The midseason watch list features 60 of the nation’s top amateur players from the high school and college ranks. Louisville is among three schools with three players named to the updated watch list, which includes 18 players featured on the preseason list and 42 new players.
The Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will continue to maintain a rolling list of athletes, allowing players to play themselves into consideration for the award before announcing the semifinalists on June 1. The list of semifinalists will be sent to a voting body consisting of past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of the media that follow amateur baseball closely, select professional baseball personnel, current USA Baseball staff and the 38 previous winners of the award, representing a group of more than 200 voters.
The 2016 Golden Spikes Award winner will be named on Thursday, June 30, at a presentation in Los Angeles. The finalists and their families will be honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Dinner that evening at the Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles.
• DICK HOWSER TROPHY: Drew Harrington, Brendan McKay, Corey Ray & Nick Solak
Louisville led all programs with four players named as semifinalists for the Dick Howser Trophy as announced May 20 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Drew Harrington, Brendan McKay, Corey Ray and Nick Solak were among the 43 semifinalists for the award, given to the top player in collegiate baseball. This is the 30th year of the Dick Howser Trophy. The finalists will be announced on Thursday, June 9. The 2016 award will be presented at TD Ameritrade Stadium in downtown Omaha, the home of the College World Series for the sixth year. The winner will be unveiled on MLB Network on Friday, June 17 and then a press conference with the winner will be held on Saturday, June 18 at 10 a.m. (CDT), the opening day of the 2016 CWS.
• JOHN OLERUD TWO-WAY PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Brendan McKay
Brendan McKay, the reigning John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year, was named May 10 by the National College Baseball Hall of Fame to the Top 18 list for this season’s Olerud Award, which honors the nation’s top player both on the mound and at the plate. The award is named for the former Washington State University standout who achieved success both as a first baseman and left-handed pitcher during the late 1980s and who was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. The award will be presented as part of the Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions celebration July 1-2 in Lubbock.
• NATIONAL PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Drew Harrington, Kade McClure & Brendan McKay
Drew Harrington, Kade McClure and Brendan McKay remained on the updated watch list on May 11 for the 2016 National Pitcher of the Year Award, presented by the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. The award will be presented on July 2 in Lubbock as part of the annual Night of Champions event. Louisville is among five schools with three representatives on the watch list joining Florida, South Carolina, TCU and Vanderbilt. The Southeastern Conference features 16 representatives, followed by the Atlantic Coast Conference with 11.
• BROOKS WALLACE SHORTSTOP OF THE YEAR: Devin Hairston
Devin Hairston was named April 21 to the initial 2016 watch list for the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award. The award honors the nation’s top shortstop and will be presented as part of the annual Night of Champions celebration on July 2 in Lubbock. “To see so many younger guys already being really competitive at the shortstop position is exciting,” said Tyler Young, Wallace Award co-chair. “While there are plenty of experienced players on the watch list, it’s great to see the success some of these freshmen and sophomores are having.”
• STOPPER OF THE YEAR AWARD: Zack Burdi
Zack Burdi was named on Feb. 15 to the initial watch list for the 12th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, given annually to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball. The 2016 Stopper of the Year Watch List will be updated with a midseason release on Wednesday, April 27, including the national saves leaders. At the conclusion of the regular season, the Division I national saves leader and four other relief pitching standouts will be selected as finalists and released Wednesday, June 8, prior to start of NCAA Super Regional competition. The NCBWA’s All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year’s recipient to be announced at the 2016 College World Series. Previous winners of the award include former Louisville standout and 2014 recipient Nick Burdi, older brother of Zack.
• JOHNNY BENCH AWARD: Will Smith
Will Smith was named March 9 to the official watch list for the 2016 Johnny Bench Award as announced by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. The award is given annually to the top NCAA Division I catcher. The watch list was narrowed to the semifinalists on May 18, 2016 and Smith narrowly missed on meeting the qualification of starting at least 75 percent of his team’s games.
FIVE STRAIGHT CONFERENCE TITLES IN THREE DIFFERENT LEAGUES
On May 19, 2016, Louisville clinched its second consecutive ACC Atlantic Division championship marking the program’s fifth straight regular season conference title across five different leagues. Last season, the Cardinals set an ACC record for regular season wins finishing 25-5 overall to win the Atlantic Division in their debut season in the conference. After finishing with an 18-9 record and sharing the 2012 Big East Conference title with St. John’s, the Cardinals stood alone as champions in their final season in the league with a 20-4 mark in 2013. In the program’s only season in the American Athletic Conference in 2014, Louisville finished with a 19-5 league record for sole ownership of the inaugural conference title. Overall, the Cardinals have won seven regular season conference championships in 10 seasons under Dan McDonnell.
LOUISVILLE AMONG NINE TO HOST FIVE REGIONALS IN SEVEN YEARS
Louisville is one of just nine Division I schools to have hosted five or more NCAA Regionals over the last seven seasons (since 2009). That list features Florida (6), Florida State (6), Cal State Fullerton (5), Louisville (5), LSU (5), South Carolina (5), TCU (5), UCLA (5) and Virginia (5). Additionally, the Cardinals are among just four teams to host in each of the last three seasons (Florida State, LSU and Vanderbilt).