Louisville’s hot streak was halted after last week’s contests, going 2-2 on the weekend. The Cardinals ended up sweeping Eastern Kentucky with a 12-8 victory in Richmond.
However, Louisville lost some of their momentum over the weekend, as they lost two of three to Georgia Tech at home. The Cardinals fell short via scores of 1-3 and 0-4 on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Louisville would get a win back on Sunday to avoid the sweep, utilizing a two-out rally to score a 5-4 walkoff win over the Yellow Jackets.
This week, Louisville has another four-game stint at Jim Patterson Stadium, hosting Miami (Ohio) and Wake Forest.
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Notable News and Stats
Despite losing the series opener on Friday, Reid Detmers made history in his start. The sophomore lefty struck out 16 Georgia Tech batters, setting a new record at Jim Patterson Stadium. At his current pace, Detmers could potentially threaten the single-season strikeouts record at Louisville, set by a very familiar left-hander named Brendan McKay (146).
On the season, Detmers is continuing to set the tone for Louisville at the mound. Detmers has a 0.87 ERA, 0.63 WHIP, and 66 strikeouts to go with a .129 batting average.
The midweek game against Eastern Kentucky gave a lot of U of L batters an opportunity for big-time performances on the road. They matched a season-high with three home runs in the game, getting jacks from Alex Binelas, Zeke Pinkham, and Trey Leonard. Tyler Fitzgerald (2-for-4, two walks, three runs scored) and Danny Oriente (2-for-4, three RBIs) led the way for the Louisville at the plate, with Alex Binelas and Trey Leonard all getting for 2-for-4 splits at the bottom of the order.
Offensively, Louisville could not get much of anything going against Georgia Tech on Friday and Saturday. The Cardinals only had one run and went 7-for-60 (.117) in the first two games of the series.
Game three, however, was a different story. The 2-through-4 batters in the lineup (Fitzgerald, Logan Wyatt, and Henry Davis) finished 6-for-12 combined, all three having a multi-hit game against the Yellow Jackets. Justin Lavey, however, led the Cardinals with three hits on four at-bats in the game.
Trey Leonard had a huge week at the plate. In addition to his homer at EKU, Leonard also drove in the walk-off RBI single in Sunday’s win over Georgia Tech. The sophomore finished the week 4-for-14 with four RBIs, and currently holds a .280 average on the season.
Many were expecting junior shortstop Tyler Fitzgerald to carry his momentum from the summer leagues into 2019. So far, Fitzgerald has been one of the biggest performers this season. He finished 5-for-16 last week (.313) with two doubles and an RBI, and currently leads the team in batting average (.323), RBIs (20), and home runs (three).
When Miami (OH) arrives at Jim Patterson Stadium this evening, they will be entering today’s game as one of the hottest teams in college baseball. The Redhawks (18-4) have won 15 of their last 16 games, backed by an offense that is averaging 8.1 runs per game (28th in D-I baseball). Before losing to Kent State last Saturday, Miami (OH) tied a school record with 14 straight wins, lasting almost one month (Feb. 25 – Mar. 23) and taking victories over Murray State, Oakland (MI) and Eastern Kentucky.
Before traveling to Louisville this weekend, Wake Forest (15-10) will have an in-state matchup against UNC-Greensboro. The Demon Deacons have won six of their last eight games, and that includes a pair of weekend series against Boston College and Duke.
Players to Watch (Miami, OH)
The Redhawks have emerged as an early contender in the Mid-American Conference, backed by an offense that is averaging .291 at the plate and averaging 8.1 runs per game. Nine of their players are already in double figures with their RBI totals, and they have a handful of batters that can challenge even the best pitchers in college baseball.
Mackay Williams is a certified difference maker for the Redhawks at the plate. He earned MAC Player of the Week honors on March 12th, going .625 at the plate and having a monstrous 1.154 slugging percentage. He currently leads Miami (OH) in batting average (.355) and triples.
Cristian Tejada might be the most dangerous hitter in their lineup, though. He is second in the batting lineup at .338, and currently has ten doubles as well as ten stolen bases on the year.
Charlie Herrigan (.265 batting, six doubles, team-high 23 RBIs) and Landon Stephens (.258, nine doubles, four home runs, 18 RBIs) are really underrated players in their lineup. Add Cole Andrews (.328 batting) and Cal Elvers (.304) to the mix, and they have a deep lineup of hitters that should keep them in the mix in their conference.
Louisville might see a top reliever in Shane Smith during the game. Smith was named the MAC Pitcher of the Week on March 18th, taking the honors after throwing six shutout innings while striking out 12 batters.
Players to Watch (Wake Forest)
Wake Forest should enter this weekend’s series with a player that just earned a recent ACC Player of the Week award. Patrick Frick earned the award yesterday after batting .589 last week, adding a home run, a double, six RBIs, two walks and two stolen bases with it. After last week’s sensational outing, Frick now leads the Demon Deacons in batting average (.378) and walks (23), while also posting five doubles and three home runs.
Not just one player on the Wake Forest batting lineup has earned the award, though. Chris Lanzilli also got the award on March 18th, batting .444 with three home runs and three doubles, with 16 RBIs against Appalachian State and Boston College. Lanzilli is a power-hitting giant at 6’2″ and 215 pounds, and currently leads Wake Forest with 13 doubles (also #1 in the ACC), six homers, .606 slugging, and 33 RBIs.
Bobby Seymour could be a potential All-ACC candidate, batting .353 with nine doubles and 31 RBIs.
If there is an opportunity for Louisville to get a weekend series win, it will be on offense. Wake Forest currently holds the worst ERA (5.38) and opposing batting average (.263) of any ACC team this season.
However, Jared Shuster has had a couple of noteworthy performances at the mound. He was the ACC Pitcher of the Week for his efforts on opening weekend against Georgetown, striking out a career-high 11 batters against the Hoyas. He earned the award again on March 4th, striking out 11 batters against Elon and then fanning 12 against Furman.
How to Watch / Listen:
Today’s game between Miami (Ohio) and Louisville is set to start at 6 p.m. EST. As it is a non-conference game, this game will have free admission.
The weekend series with Wake Forest also begins on Friday at 6 p.m. EST. Saturday and Sunday’s games both have a 1 p.m. start. All three games, along with the midweek contest against Miami (Ohio), are available on WatchESPN and 93.9 The Ville.