Louisville Baseball’s 2020 season is just around the corner. After a great season last year that culminated in the team making it the farther than it ever had in Omaha, the Cardinal 9 are ranked preseason Number 1 by all the college baseball publications. With that said, Louisville announced its 2020 team captains. Danny Oriente, Zach Britton, Adam Elliott, and Mr. Fondue and friend of CSZ Luke Smith were all named team captains.
Oriente is a senior OF. He batted .332 with 17 doubles and 49 RBIs. His batting average led the team last season. Oriente was named to the 2019 All-Louisville Regional team and 2018 All-ACC Third Team. His experience and abilities will be relied upon greatly by Coach McDonnell and the team.
Britton is a junior C/OF. Last year, he played as a platoon player, but contributed greatly. He had a .288 average, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 5 homers, and 28 RBIs. This season, he will be expected to be a more integral contributor to the team with the departure of Drew Campbell. I would expect Britton to increase his production in all areas.
Elliott is a Louisville native and left handed reliever. The junior made 23 appearances out of the bull pen and proved to be a reliable arm. He had a 2.48 ERA with 33 Ks against 18 walks. Opponents only batted .217 against the lefty and he only allowed a single homer and 7 extra base hits total. Elliott will once again be relied upon as an experienced arm out of the pen.
Smith had an excellent postseason in 2019. He was named to the 2019 All-Louisville Regional Team. In the regional round of the NCAA Tournament, Smith started and went 8.1 innings giving up just 2 runs against Illinois State. Then, against Vanderbilt in the College World Series, Smith had a legendary start, going 8.1 innings again and striking out 10 Commodores. For the season, Smith made 18 appearances with 10 starts. He went 6-1 with a 4.24 ERA. Opponents batted .228 against him with 53 strikeouts against 24 walks. He surrendered 4 homers, 3 triples, and 14 doubles. Smith is likely to be the Sunday starter this season for the Cards. Hopefully, he can build on his excellent 2019 postseason performance.
All four players earned this honor and are very deserving. Louisville opens the season on the road at Ole Miss on Valentine’s Day February 14th.
For more information on all four 2020 captains, check out the UofL press release below.
*all stats courtesy of gocards.com
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT:
Four Cardinals Named Captains for 2020 Season
Zach Britton, Adam Elliott, Danny Oriente and Luke Smith were selected as captains for the upcoming season.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Head coach Dan McDonnell and the University of Louisville baseball program have announced four Cardinals as captains for the 2020 season.
Junior outfielder Zach Britton, senior left-handed pitcher Adam Elliott, senior outfielder Danny Oriente and senior right-handed pitcher Luke Smith were selected by UofL players and coaches as the captains for the upcoming campaign.
Britton has appeared in 93 games during his first two seasons with the Cardinals, including 55 during the 2019 season. The Batesville, Ind., native hit .288 as a sophomore with five home runs and 28 RBIs. Britton made 30 starts, but became the Cardinals’ most dangerous weapon off the bench late in the season. The left-handed hitting outfielder was 12-for-21 (.571) as a pinch-hitter, with a walk-off single against Ole Miss, a home run in the ACC Tournament versus Clemson, and a go-ahead single in the seventh inning of the regional final.
A Louisville native in his fourth season with the Cardinals, Elliott has been a key piece out of the bullpen. The southpaw has made 60 career appearances, holding a 2.02 ERA in 75.2 innings. Elliott made the second-most appearances for the Cardinals in 2019, picking up three wins. In five career NCAA postseason outings, Elliott has allowed just one earned run, including a pair of scoreless innings against Auburn in the 2019 College World Series.
Oriente has served as a steady force in the middle of the Louisville lineup each of the last two seasons. The Downers Grove, Ill., native led the Cardinals with a .332 average in 2019, collecting a team-best 17 doubles to go with 49 RBIs. As a sophomore in 2018, Oriente put together nearly an identical season, hitting .331 and driving home 41. Oriente has been at his best in the postseason for the Cardinals, collecting a hit in 14 of 15 career NCAA tournament contests with a .408 (20-for-49) average and 15 RBIs.
Smith is set to begin his second season with the Louisville program after transferring from Parkland College. The right-hander took the mound 18 times for the Cardinals in 2019, turning in a 6-1 overall mark with a 4.24 ERA in 68 innings. A midweek starter for the majority of the season, Smith made his biggest impact in the postseason. The Champaign, Ill., native turned in consecutive outings of 8.1 innings against Illinois State in the regional and Vanderbilt in the College World Series, the longest postseason pitching performances in Louisville NCAA Tournament history.
The top-ranked team in the country, Louisville opens the 2020 season Feb. 14 with a three-game series on the road at Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss. The Cardinals’ home opener is set for Feb. 19 against Wright State at Jim Patterson Stadium.
2020 LOUISVILLE BASEBALL SEASON TICKETS
The 2020 reserved chairback ticket packages, which include one ticket to each of the 17 ticketed games, are priced at $110 for adults, $90 for senior adults/youths and $90 for families of four or more. Season tickets for the Left Field Berm are also available at $50 per ticket. Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online here, by calling 502-GO-CARDS or by visiting the Louisville Cardinals Ticket Office, located near Gate 2 at Cardinal Stadium (2800 South Floyd Street) on weekdays from 9 a.m., until 5 p.m., ET. Complete details on 2020 UofL baseball tickets can be found at gocards.com/bsbtickets.
The season ticket package covers weekend series against ACC foes Notre Dame, Virginia, Clemson, NC State and Virginia Tech, in addition to non-conference games against Kentucky and Indiana.