Louisville Baseball got some great news today when senior pitchers Luke Smith and Adam Elliott decided to return to school.
Both pitchers are taking advantage of a one-time NCAA exemption that will allow seniors from canceled spring sports to have an extra year of eligibility.
Elliott is a hometown product that came to Louisville from St. X High School. Elliott is a southpaw that has been a crucial member of the Cards bull pen. In 67 career appearances, Elliott has a career 1.88 ERA with a .201 career batting average against. He had a 6-3 win-loss record and recorded 89 Ks and 2 saves. He’s only allowed a single, solitary home run. In just 7 appearances this season, Elliott was on track for his best season. He pitched 10 innings and gave up only 6 hits. Of those 6 hits, none were extra base hits. He had 14 Ks against just 3 walks and had a 0.87 ERA.
Cardinal Sports Zone Podcast Episode 10 | Guests: Luke Smith, Asaad Ali & Colin Lyman https://t.co/MotS5ku3VC @lukesmith1551 @TheRealAsaadAli @colinlymannn @Jeremy_CSZ @lvilleshawn @baseboy124 @joewahman526 @kruegermania @Orlando_Larry52 @iamthehiggy @FourPegsBeer @RimtymeL #LsUp— CSZ (@CardSportZone) December 6, 2019
Smith, whom was a guest on an episode of the CSZ Podcast, was the Sunday starter this season. The season prior, Smith was featured on the national stage at the 2019 College World Series. There, he pitched 8.1 innings in an elimination game against rival and eventual champion Vanderbilt. He struck out 10 hitters and kept Louisville right in it with his gutsy performance. The native of Champaign, IL arrived at Louisville from the JUCO ranks. He holds a 9-1 career record in 22 appearances which included 14 starts totaling 91.2 innings. His career ERA is 4.03 and opposing hitters batted just .227 against him. He recorded 71 career Ks against 28 walks. This past season, Smith was on track to have his best. He was 3-0 in 4 starts having pitched 23.2 innings. His ERA was a very respectable 3.42 and 18 strikeouts against just 4 walks. He had given up just 4 extra base hits and opponents batted .226 against him. Smith will likely play a large role for the rotation. With his experience, it’s possible he could slot in as the Friday starter.
This is big news as two key, experienced pitchers will help bridge the gap to the younger arms the Cards have. They can be mentors and, of course, be excellent pieces to build the rotation and bull pen around. For more info on their returns, check out Louisville’s press release below.
*all stats courtesy of gocards.com
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT:
Elliott, Smith to Return for 2021 Season
The two have elected to utilize an additional season of eligibility granted by the NCAA.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 24, 2020
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville baseball student-athletes Adam Elliott and Luke Smith each announced they would be returning for the 2021 season on Wednesday.
The two have elected to utilize an additional season of eligibility granted by the NCAA after the 2020 campaign which was shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Elliott has spent four seasons with the Cardinals, working as an integral part of the bullpen each year. The southpaw has pitched in 67 career games with a 6-3 overall record and a pair of saves. Elliott has 89 strikeouts in 86 innings of work and his career ERA of 1.88 currently ranks third-best in Louisville history.
During the shortened 2020 season, the Louisville native was 1-0 in a team-high seven appearances. Elliott posted a 0.87 ERA, allowing just one run in 10.1 innings with 14 strikeouts.
Smith has played the last two years at UofL after transferring from Parkland College. The Champaign, Ill., native has a 9-1 record with the Cardinals in 22 career appearances. Smith was 6-1 during the 2019 season, during which he recorded the two longest postseason appearances in Louisville history with 8.1 innings in a NCAA Regional elimination game against Illinois State and again at the College World Series versus Vanderbilt.
Working as the Sunday starter in 2020, Smith was 3-0 in four starts with 18 strikeouts in 23.2 innings. He turned in seven shutout innings on March 1 as the Cardinals completed a three-game sweep of Western Michigan.
Louisville was 13-4 during the first month of the 2020 season and was ranked as high as No. 2 when the season was stopped.