Around the Bases: Week Two

Louisville begins a 14-game homestand today with a game against Eastern Kentucky at 3 p.m. EDT. The Cards will be looking to bounce back from a series loss to Connecticut last weekend, dropping two of three to the Huskies.

Here’s this week’s news and notes for Louisville baseball.

Last Weekend for Louisville

The Cardinals dropped two of three in Florida to Connecticut, falling short on Friday (2-3) and Sunday (3-8). Their only win came on Saturday, where the Cardinals blew out the Huskies 12-2.

Louisville (1-2) finished opening weekend with a sub-.500 record for the first time since 2009, when they were swept by #11 Florida. It was also their first non-conference weekend series loss since 2016.

The Polls

  • Louisville dropped from #4 to #8 in this week’s poll.
  • Louisville comes in at #11 in the Perfect Game Top 25, dropping three spots.
  • Louisville falls from #9 to #12 in the Collegiate Baseball Top 30.
  • Louisville also falls at #12 in the Baseball America poll, only falling one spot from #11.
  • Louisville fell from #9 to #14 in the NCBWA Top 30 poll.
  • No updates as of now on the USA Today / Coaches Poll.

Notable Stats

The preseason All-Americans Nick Bennett and Logan Wyatt picked up where they left off from last season. Bennett got the first win for Louisville this season, pitching five scoreless innings in their 12-2 win over UConn.

Logan Wyatt also had a solid showing last week, batting .556 with two walks, a triple, and a home run. Two other Louisville batters (Lucas Dunn at .556, Tyler Fitzgerald at .333) join Wyatt in the .300 club entering this week’s batch of games.

Jack Perkins made his Louisville debut on Saturday and had a terrific outing in relief duty. Perkins came in and pitched three shutout innings, striking out six UConn batters and only allowing two walks.

As a team, Louisville batted .279 at the plate with five doubles and four home runs. Fitzgerald, Wyatt, Dunn and Zach Britton provided homers for the Cardinals.

The Opponents

Louisville starts their 14-game homestand today with a tilt against Eastern Kentucky. The Colonels started 2019 with a 2-1 showing at the Andre Dawson Classic in New Orleans, beating Florida A&M 11-2 and Prairie View A&M 11-1. They were 30-31 last year, going 2-7 against ranked competition and falling just short of an Ohio Valley Conference championship.

After that, Louisville will host a weekend series against the Ivy League’s Brown Bears. This will be the start of the Bears season, as they did not play a game last week. Brown finished 11-26 last season, only managing to win one weekend series against Penn.

Players to Watch (EKU)

Picked to finish sixth in the Ohio Valley Conference this season, the Colonels came out swinging with some hot bats to start 2019. EKU finished the weekend with a .377 average as a team, including .604 slugging, nine doubles and five home runs during the weekend.

Freshman Lyndon Weaver had a spectacular debut for the Colonels, batting a team-high .636 at the plate, .818 slugging with two doubles and an RBI. Weaver also went 4-4 on stolen bases last weekend, leading a team that finished the Andre Dawson Classic with 17 on the week.

Nick Howie is another player that should be one to watch on EKU’s roster. Howie batted .500 last weekend with four walks, one double, one home run and two RBIs. Howie was a preseason All-OVC selection as a utility player, after earning second-team honors last season while batting .333 at the plate, with ten home runs, 50 RBIs and 17 stolen bases to add.

At the mound, EKU has a preseason All-OVC relief pitcher in Aaron Ochsenbein. Ochsenbein only allowed one walk last weekend in an inning of work, and it’s entirely possible he could make an appearance after only 16 pitches on Saturday. Ochsenbein threw a team-high 71 strikeouts in 51.2 innings pitched, and made nine saves last year.

Players to Watch (Brown)

The Bears return two All-Ivy League players from last season: second-team catcher Parke Phillips, and honorable mention pitcher Will Tomlinson.

Phillips led the team with a .329 average last season, including .375 against Ivy League competition. He had a .424 on-base percentage as well, with four doubles, only one home run and six RBIs.

Phillips also has another complementary piece in Garett Delano. Delano is a two-way player for the Bears, making nine starts at the mound last year as well as their most dynamic hitter. He hit for .266 last season, but led the team in home runs (six), slugging percentage (.441), and even strikeouts (38) as a pitcher. He also was the only Bears pitcher to throw for a complete game last season.

Tomlinson will likely see a start this weekend, and aims to be one of the better pitchers in the Ivy League. He was 3-2 with a 2.91 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and a .186 opposing batting average. By comparison, the Bears pitching staff had a 5.27 ERA and allowed .289 at the plate. It wouldn’t be surprising to see both Tomlinson and Delano start two of the three games this weekend for the Bears.

How to Watch / Listen:

The home opener against Eastern Kentucky was moved from tomorrow to today at 3:00 EDT, due to inclement weather in the forecast on Wednesday.

The weekend series against Brown, originally set for Friday-Saturday-Sunday, begins Friday with a double-header starting at 2:00 EDT. The series finale has been moved from Sunday to Saturday at 2:00 EDT.

All four games are free admission, and also available via ACC Network Extra on WatchESPN. Today’s game, along with Friday’s clash against Brown, can be heard on 1450 AM. The Saturday and Sunday games are also available on 93.9 The Ville.

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