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Around the Bases: Mid April

Smiddy-UNC

After a rough stretch against some of the top teams in the ACC, Louisville baseball rebounded with a 4-0 stretch last week. The Cardinals (24-11) came away with a 7-2 win at home against Northern Kentucky, followed by a sweep at Virginia Tech (3-2, 3-1 and 16-1 victories).

U of L returns home with an eight game home stand to close out April, starting with round two of their rivalry against Kentucky tomorrow night.

Latest Stats and Trends

With a 6-3 record in their last nine games, Louisville has received a burst from Danny Oriente in recent weeks. He is currently riding a nine-game hitting streak, and was arguably the Cards’ top performer at the plate last week (8-for-16, six RBI). In his last nine games, Oriente has averaged .500 at the plate with 13 RBI and a double. During that stretch, he’s raised his batting average from .205 all the way to .329, making him one of three everyday Louisville batters over the .300 line (Logan Wyatt at .341, Drew Campbell at .302).

Also of note, Logan Wyatt continues to excel as Louisville’s best option at the plate. He still leads the team in batting, and is sixth nationally in walks (35) as well as doubles (16). Josh Stowers and Jake Snider are also in the top 30 in walks with 31 and 29, respectively. Both Stowers and Snider also rank in the top 40 in stolen bases (22-for-24 for Snider, 17-for-19 for Snider).

With Louisville looking to still establish a permanent weekend rotation in their pitching, they’ve opted to run a lineup of Adam Wolf, Nick Bennett and Bobby Miller as the starters. Bennett has been superb since returning to the weekend rotation, averaging seven strikeouts per game and has a 4-0 record with a 1.45 ERA. In his win against Virginia Tech on Saturday, Bennett pitched a career high eight innings with seven strikeouts, and only allowed one run on three hits.

Also at the mound, Sam Bordner recorded two saves against Virginia Tech, giving him ten on the season. The junior is currently tied for eighth in single season saves, and his 14 career saves also ranks him ninth all-time in U of L history.

Josh Stowers also recorded three stolen bases last weekend against the Hokies, putting him in the top ten in school history with 46.

Meet Kentucky and Virginia

The Cardinals came up short in their last rivalry game against the Wildcats, losing 8-5 in a game plagued by errors for both teams. U of L and UK combined for eight errors in the game. Since then, Kentucky (25-11) has managed to take two weekend series against SEC foes South Carolina and Georgia. The Wildcats still boast one of college baseball’s best offenses, ranking in the top ten nationally in both batting average (.312) and total runs (287).

After that, the Cardinals will finish the week with a series against Virginia. The Cavaliers (20-16) haven’t been the usual power they are in the ACC, but players like Andy Weber (.366, 14 doubles, 33 RBI) and Derek Casey (5-2, 3.05 ERA, 74 strikeouts) can give Louisville some challenges this weekend.

How to Watch / Listen:

Tuesday’s game against the Wildcats, as well as Friday’s series opener against Virginia, are both set for first pitch at 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s games against the Cavaliers both start at 1 p.m. All four games are available on WatchESPN as well as 93.9 The Ville, and tickets are available via GoCards.com.

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Posted on April 16, 2018, in Louisville Athletics, louisville baseball and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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