Around the Bases, June 10th, 2016

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We are gearing up for the Super Regional in Louisville this weekend, and the Cardinals will have another Big West opponent to face in order to advance to their fourth College World Series.

Last weekend, Louisville went a perfect 3-0 in their regional, beating Western Michigan 6-1 on Friday, Ohio State 15-3 on Saturday, and Wright State 3-1 on Sunday. With the wins, the Cardinals improved their record to 22-6 all-time when hosting a Regional or Super Regional in the NCAA Tournament.

Up next for Louisville this weekend will be the California-Santa Barbara Gauchos, who are making their first ever appearance in the Super Regional of the NCAA Baseball Tournament. This is the third time Louisville will face a team from the Big West Conference in a Super Regional, coming up short against Cal State Fullerton in 2010 and 2015. This will be the second time Louisville will face a team making their first ever appearance in a Super Regional, with the Cardinals taking two-of-three against Kennesaw State in 2014.

The Batting Lineup

  1. Louisville Baseball Makes Draft History: Corey Ray (5th overall, Brewers), Zack Burdi (26th, White Sox) and Will Smith (32nd, Dodgers) made history last night. Ray was the highest drafted pick in Louisville baseball history, and with Burdi and Smith, made this the first time Louisville placed multiple first-rounders in the MLB Draft. Nick Solak was drafted in the second round by the New York Yankees, and pitcher Drew Harrington was taken 80th overall by the Atlanta Braves. Blake Tiberi was taken 100th overall by the New York Mets.
  2. McKay, Burdi Named Finalists: Utility star Brendan McKay and closer Zack Burdi were named finalists for the Dick Howser Trophy and NCBWA Stopper of the Year award, respectively. McKay also won Most Outstanding Player of last week’s Louisville regional.
  3. Home Record Now Set: By sweeping last weekend’s regional, Louisville has now set the single-season school record for home wins with 36, and will push it to 38 if they take the two games needed to clinch a College World Series appearance.
  4. Corey Ray Steals 2nd in Single Season Steals: The outfielder now has 44 steals this season, securing the lone spot for second in single-season steals. Unfortunately, the single season record is currently held by Boomer Whiting with 73.
  5. Pitchers Closing In On Milestones: With wins this weekend, Drew Harrington and Brendan McKay can tie Kyle Funkhouser’s single-season record of 13 wins. Funkhouser, however, can become Louisville’s fourth 10-game winner if he wins a game this weekend. Kade McClure, undefeated at 12-0 this season, is also one win away from tying Funkhouser’s record.
  6. Rosenbaum Performing Big in Postseason: It was no secret that one of the stars from last weekend’s regional was senior first baseman Danny Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum has had a knack for big performances in the postseason, averaging .434 with three home runs, two doubles and seven RBI in eight postseason games. Rosenbaum hit two home runs in Saturday’s win against Ohio State, earning him All-Regional honors.
  7. About Cal-Santa Barbara: The Gauchos enter the Super Regionals with a 40-18-1 record. They advanced out of the Nashville regional from last weekend, beating Washington 3-2 in 14 innings on Friday and then Xavier twice. This is the Gauchos first ever appearance in the Super Regional in 11 tries. Former UCSB alums include Barry Zito and Michael Young.
  8. Players to Watch (UCSB): Shane Bieber (P), Austin Bush (DH). Bieber was one of two Gauchos named First-Team All Big-West, and will get the start Saturday afternoon. Bieber is 11-3 entering Saturday with a 2.86 ERA. Bush, along with second baseman JJ Muno, were second team All Big-West in 2016. Bush was named Most Outstanding Player of the Vanderbilt regional after hitting .312 during the weekend, including a walk-off home run in the 14th inning to beat Washington.
  9. How to Watch/Listen: The Super Regionals will start on Saturday at noon, with games on Sunday at noon and Monday, if necessary. No time has been made available for the Monday game as of this posting, but both games are set at noon on ESPN2 (Sunday’s game could also be available on ESPNU) with broadcasts on 93.9 The Ville as well.

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