Welcome back to another edition of Around the Bases, where we look at what’s ahead for Louisville baseball. And fortunately for Louisville, things are looking very positive for this baseball team.
The Cardinals defeated Indiana 9-2, finishing with a 33-1 record at home this season. Kade McClure improved his undefeated record to 11-0 this season with 10 strikeouts in six innings, as the Cards also finished a perfect 14-0 in midweek games. The Cardinals finished the regular season with their only road sweep of the season, defeating Wake Forest with scores of 3-1, 9-2 and 9-4 last weekend.
Up next, the Cardinals look to continue their hot streak with another game against Wake Forest tonight at 7 p.m. The Cardinals will also play Duke and Virginia in their pod, and if the Cardinals hold the best record among those four teams, will earn an opportunity for their first ACC Championship on Sunday at noon.
The Batting Order
- Postseason Accolades: Coach Dan McDonnell was named ACC Coach of the Year, leading the Cardinals to back-to-back ACC Atlantic Division titles and a 46-10 regular season record. Drew Harrington was also named ACC Pitcher of the Year, after finishing 11-1 in the regular season with the lone loss against Ole Miss on February 28th.
- All-ACC Accolades: Nine Cardinals were named to the All-ACC Team, including five on the First Team. Outfielder Corey Ray, pitchers Zack Burdi and Drew Harrington and two-way player Brendan McKay all earned First Team honors, while Nick Solak was named to the Second Team. Will Smith, Blake Tiberi and Devin Hairston were named to the Third Team, and Devin Mann earned All-ACC Freshman Team honors.
- The Tournament Structure: Four teams are in two pools each. Pool A will have Florida State, Miami, NC State and Georgia Tech, while Pool B will have Louisville, Virginia, Clemson and Wake Forest. All four teams will play each other in a round-robin format, with the best record from each pool earning a spot in the championship game on Sunday.
- About Pool B: Louisville was 8-1 against all three teams in their pool, with the lone loss coming against Virginia on March 25th. Louisville took two of three against Virginia that weekend, swept Clemson on April 15th-17th and Wake Forest last weekend on the road.
- Home Record: Louisville finished 33-1 at home in the regular season, and with Louisville looking to host as a potential top 8 national seed, needs just one win to tie the most wins at home since moving to Jim Patterson Stadium (34, 2013 & 2014). It would also mark the fourth consecutive year Louisville hosts a regional site in the NCAA Tournament, if Louisville ends up being a top 16 seed.
- Hairston Accepts Invite to Team USA Baseball: Shortstop Devin Hairston recently earned, and accepted, an invitation to earn a roster spot on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. Hairston joins Brendan McKay as the only Cardinals to earn an invitation this season.
- Four Cardinals Named Howser Trophy Semifinalists: Corey Ray, Drew Harrington, Brendan McKay and Zack Burdi were named semifinalists to the Dick Howser Trophy, given to the best player in college baseball. Finalists will be named June 9th.
- #1 in RPI: Entering the conference tournament, Louisville is #1 in the RPI poll. The Cardinals enter this week ranked as high as third in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Poll, as well.
- How to Watch/Listen: Tonight’s game against Wake Forest will start at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports South. Louisville will have Thursday off before facing Clemson at 11 a.m. on Friday, and Virginia at 7 p.m. on Saturday, both on ESPN3. If Louisville advances to the Championship Game on Sunday, that will start at noon on ESPN2, with all four games also airing on 93.9 The Ville.