It was another week of handling business as usual for the #2 Cardinals. U of L (42-6) swept another four-game week against Miami of Ohio and Notre Dame, who remain the consensus #2 team in the country on an 11-game winning streak. This is the second time the Cards have reached a winning streak of double digits, a first in the program’s history.
Up next, Louisville begins the gauntlet to close the regular season with Vanderbilt and Clemson on deck.
The Batting Order
1. Drew Ellis Earns National Honors
Louisville infielder Drew Ellis walked away with National Player of the Month honors for the month of the April. Ellis earned it while hitting .455 during the month, along with 22 RBI, five doubles, eight home runs and a triple.
Additionally, Ellis is one of two Cardinal players that have started all 48 games this season. The junior currently leads the team with a .393 batting average, 16 doubles, 13 home runs and a .732 slugging percentage.
2. Brendan McKay Sets Another Record
Yet again, Brendan McKay earns the ACC Pitcher of the Week, setting a new conference record for earning such honors. The two-way star earned his seventh Pitcher of the Week award after pitching a one-hitter during eight innings, in a 2-0 win at Notre Dame on Friday.
Currently, McKay sits with a 7-3 record, 1.91 ERA and 103 strikeouts (ninth in single-season school history). McKay’s next win would tie him with Justin Marks for second in career victories.
3. Another Shutout for Louisville
Friday’s 2-0 win over the Fighting Irish also marked the ninth time that U of L has blanked their opponent, and are now two away from tying the school record of 11 set last year.
Additionally, this marks the fourth time this season that U of L has posted a one-hitter this season.
4. ACC Standings Race
Louisville has a high-stakes matchup against top-ten opponent Clemson this weekend, one that could easily influence the conference race. Entering this week, the Cardinals (20-4 ACC record) hold a one game lead over North Carolina for the overall regular-season title, and lead Clemson by four games for the Atlantic Division title.
5. Another Clutch Moment for Devin Hairston
It was another day in the office for Devin Hairston, who hit the walkoff single with two outs in the bottom tenth inning to pull out a comeback victory last Tuesday against Miami (Ohio). Hairston drove in an RBI single that scored Justin Lavey, marking the fifth time since April 2016 that the shortstop delivered a game-winning at bat.
6. Fastest 40 Time for U of L Baseball
With the win on Friday night at Notre Dame, Louisville achieved its sixth straight 40-win season, and did so faster than any team in the 100 years of Louisville baseball.
Currently sitting at 42-6, U of L also stands with a realistic shot of being able to land 50 wins for the fourth time in five years.
7. Corey Ray With a Notable Walk-Off
Former U of L baseball star Corey Ray had a walk-off in Advanced-A last week, and continues to shine as one of the top upcoming prospects for the Milwaukee Brewers. Ray is also one of 30 former Cardinals in professional baseball, including Reds All-Star Adam Duvall.
8. U of L Finishing Series Strong in ACC
If there’s one thing you can’t accuse the baseball Cards of, it’s finishing the series with a bang. In the ACC, Louisville is now 27-1 in Sunday matchups against conference foes, including 14-0 in a sweep opportunity.
9. About Vanderbilt and Clemson:
The two-week stretch marks perhaps U of L’s toughest test this season, with each of their final four opponents ranked in the RPI top 30.
Vanderbilt (29-18) has had an up and down season, but remains one of Louisville baseball’s most intense rivals. Jeren Kendall (.305 BA, 13 HR, 16 SB) stands to be one of the top picks in the upcoming MLB Draft. He and Julian Infante (.330 BA, 15 2B, 52 RBI) are a dynamic duo that Louisville will be tested by.
Clemson (36-12) has steadily been a top-ten team all season, and stands to be Louisville’s lone obstacle towards a three-peat for the ACC Division title. The Tigers rank third in the ACC in ERA (3.11), and feature a pair of steady power batters in Seth Beer (12 HR, .287 BA) and Chris Williams (13 HR, .296 BA).
How to Watch/Listen:
Tonight’s game against Vanderbilt starts at 6 p.m., with free admission to the game. The weekend series at Clemson is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. on Friday, with 4:30 and noon starts for Saturday and Sunday. All four games are available on 93.9 and ESPN3.