Around the Bases: Week Five

During the unofficial “Eagle Week” at Jim Patterson Stadium, Louisville secured a solid non-conference win, as well as another opening conference series to start ACC play.

Louisville managed to get a 10-9 victory over Morehead State, in a game that saw six lead changes and a combined 19 runs on as many hits.

The Cardinals then got two of three against Boston College. Louisville got a 4-0 shutout win on Friday, then took an 11-4 win in game two (stretching from Saturday to Sunday morning, due to weather). However, Boston College would take the second game in Sunday’s partial doubleheader with a 6-4 win by the Eagles, avoiding a sweep at the hands of Louisville.

The Polls

Poll This Week Last Week 7 8
Perfect Game 8 10
Baseball America 13 13
NCBWA 11 14
Collegiate Baseball 15 13

Notable Stats and Feats

Reid Detmers moved to 3-0 on Friday after another quality start against Boston College. The sophomore threw nearly eight innings once again, striking out 13 Eagles batters and, once again, not allowing a run.

Detmers’ statline through four games is flatout impressive. In addition to his 3-0 start, he holds a .33 ERA, .48 WHIP, a 41-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and holding batters to under .100 at the plate. Whether that will hold against higher quality competition remains to be seen, but he has certainly held up his expectations as the Friday starter.

Louisville saw its streak of ten consecutive games with 10+ strikeouts as a team snapped in their 11-4 win in game two of the Boston College series. However, Nick Bennett moved to 3-0 in that game, throwing five shutout innings and only allowed four hits with one walk.

Jared Poland also earned his second win of 2019 in Wednesday’s 10-9 win over Morehead State. Poland came out of the bullpen in the midst of an offensive battle, and ended up providing three shutout innings with only one hit and one walk allowed. His performance would be key for the Cardinals, as his stretch in the sixth and seventh innings allowed Louisville to get the runs needed to secure the win.

At the plate, Louisville saw some solid batting up and down the order as they scored 10+ runs in two of their four games last week. Lucas Dunn went 3-for-6 in the first two games of the week, including a solid performance against Morehead State. Dunn finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs, two runs scored and a double in Wednesday’s win against Morehead State.

Drew Campbell had a terrific week at the plate, batting 5-for-10 across the weekend with four RBIs, two walks and a double. His performance last week saw his batting average jump from .225 to .293, and with ten RBIs, joins Tyler Fitzgerald (16) and Danny Oriente (11) as the only Louisville batters with double-digit RBI totals.

Danny Oriente had a productive weekend for Louisville, totaling .333 at the plate (5-for-15) with six RBIs. Oriente is now second among all eligible Louisville batters with a .341 batting average, trailing only Logan Wyatt (.356). Dunn (.340) and Tyler Fitzgerald (.304) are the other .300 hitters for Louisville entering this week.

As a team, Louisville stole nine bases against Morehead State last Wednesday, their highest single-game total since 2013.

This Week’s Opponents

Louisville gets their first top ten opponent of the season in a midweek series, hosting Ole Miss today and tomorrow. The Rebels (12-3) are ranked in all six major polls, and are ranked ninth in the composite Top 25 poll on Reddit created by /u/Baseball_U_STAT (Louisville is right behind Ole Miss at tenth). Ole Miss already holds a sweep of Long Beach State and UAB in their resume, but lost to East Carolina in their only top 25 matchup this season.

Duke will play East Carolina today, before hosting Louisville this weekend. The Blue Devils (11-5) have won all four weekend series so far this season, including Power Five wins against Northwestern, Penn State, and Virginia.

Players to Watch (Ole Miss)

Much like last week’s game against Morehead State, Louisville will face an Ole Miss team that is loaded with power hitters and a consistent offense across the board. The Rebels already have 20 home runs as a team (1.33 per game, 11th in the country), and average .302 at the plate.

Leading the charge is Thomas Dillard, who carries a monster split at .434 batting, .559 on-base, and .906 slugging. He leads the Rebels in these categories, along with home runs (seven), OPS (1.465), and stolen bases (6-for-6).

Tyler Keenan is also a terrific power hitter in the Rebels lineup. Keenan averages .305 at the plate with a team-high 26 RBIs, .593 slugging, and five home runs. The one-two punch between Dillard and Keenan will make Ole Miss one of the best offenses in the SEC, and a surefire contender for the College World Series this summer.

Ryan Olenek currently leads the Rebels with a .458 average at the plate, and was named National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball on March 4th. Olenek earned the award after batting .529 with five doubles and four runs scored against UT-Martin and Long Beach State. Olenek, along with Dillard, have both been named National Players of the Week by multiple publications this season.

Players to Watch (Duke)

Senior captain Kennie Taylor is an All-ACC candidate for the Blue Devils, leading the ACC in hits (26, .366 average), and currently leads the team in RBIs (18) and doubles (seven). He is coming off a spectacular week against Penn and Virginia, batting .450 (9-for-20) with two RBIs and three walks.

As a team, the Blue Devils have a 3.10 ERA and holding batters to .210 at the plate. Bill Chillari (2-0, 1.53 ERA, 20 K’s) is a top bullpen guy for Duke, and complements a weekend starting rotation that includes top-ten MLB Draft prospect Graeme Stinson (2-1, 3.45 ERA, 23 K’s, .111 opposing batter’s average) and Bryce Jarvis (2-0, 3.86 ERA, 24 K’s).

How to Watch / Listen:

The midweek series between Louisville and Ole Miss starts at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, with Wednesday’s game set for a noon start. Admission is free for both games, with viewing also available via WatchESPN. 1450 AM will also air Tuesday’s game, with 93.9 The Ville airing Wednesday’s game.

The road series at Duke starts on Friday at 4 p.m. ET, with Saturday and Sunday’s games both set to start at 1 p.m. WatchESPN will have the entire series available on the ACC Network Extra.

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