Louisville was swept once again last weekend, losing all three games against North Carolina. This marks the second time in the last three weeks that Louisville has been swept during the weekend.
Louisville wraps up its regular season with four games this week, all at Jim Patterson Stadium. The Cardinals host SC Upstate in a midweek game that could have potential RPI implications for the Cardinals (as well as the Spartans), then host Miami (FL) in the final series of the regular season.
Louisville took another huge dip in all of the rankings this week, as a result of going 0-3 last week. They even fell completely out of the D1Baseball.com Top 25, falling 10+ spots out of the poll. Their highest ranking this week comes from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, where the Cardinals are ranked 18th.
Louisville’s average rank among the five polls that they are ranked, is 20.6.
- Perfect Game: #20 (#13 last week; -7)
- D1Baseball.com: Unranked (#15 last week)
- USA Today Coaches Poll: #23 (#15 last week; -8)
- NCBWA Top 30: #23 (#13 last week; -10)
- Baseball America: #19 (#11 last week; -8)
- Collegiate Baseball Newspaper: #18 (#8 last week; -10)
- RPI: 55th (as of 5/17/21)
Stats & Trends
Louisville only scored six total runs during the series, five of which came in the Sunday finale. Louisville’s batting average for the week was .242 (25-for-103), 16 of those coming on Sunday. Alex Binelas and Henry Davis both hit home runs during the series, with both now having 15 and 12 home runs, each.
On the mound, there were not a lot of positives to draw from, either. Evan Webster threw two scoreless innings from the bullpen in Friday’s loss. Carter Lohman earned his first weekend start of the season on Sunday, but went just 19 pitches before retiring from the game. Tate Kuehner threw a career-high five innings on Sunday in relief of Lohman, allowing just one earned run and striking out seven batters.
SC Upstate comes into Tuesday’s game with a 34-13 record, with notable wins over Clemson, Toledo, and Georgia Tech. They currently sit third in the Big South Conference with a 25-12 conference record, but are coming off a weekend where they were swept by Campbell.
The Miami Hurricanes are 29-16 heading into the regular season finale against Louisville, but will host Florida Atlantic on Tuesday before heading up to face the Cardinals. Miami has notable series wins over Florida, Georgia Tech, NC State, and Virginia.
SC Upstate Breakdown
USC Upstate leads the Big South Conference in team ERA (3.45) and opponents’ batting average (.243), which should be noted given that Louisville is coming off a series against North Carolina where they scored just six runs in the three-game stretch. The Spartans are also hitting .294 as a team this season, ranking second in the conference.
Jack Hennessy (.333) leads the team in hitting with eight doubles and 23 RBIs, one of seven Spartans with a batting average over .300 (among qualifying hitters). Devin Buckner (.321, 15 doubles, 38 RBIs), Noah Rabon (.319, 13 doubles, 38 RBIs), and Jason Matthews (.314, 16 doubles, 34 RBIs) all have 10+ doubles on the season with 30+ RBIs, while Jack Gallagher (.282) is tied with Buckner and Rabon for the team lead in RBIs. The Spartans don’t have a ton of power with just 17 home runs this season (last in the Big South Conference), but they make up for it with a consistent showing at the plate.
USC Upstate has a deep pitching lineup that even without the weekend rotation, could pose some challenges for Louisville. Nate Payne (0-1, 4.13 ERA) is tabbed as the starter against Louisville’s Jack Perkins; in his last appearance, Payne threw 3.1 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts against UNC Asheville, and will be fresh as he did not make an appearance last weekend. Kevin Davis (1-1, 1.83 ERA) has been lights out as a reliever this season, holding opponents to just .157 at the plate this season. Austin Morgan (3-1, 2.67 ERA, three saves) and Sean Hupp (4-2, 4.06 ERA, four saves) have also been solid from the bullpen for the Spartans, and could be huge late-game options if the Spartans are in position to win.
The Del Castillo brothers (Christian and Adrian) lead the Hurricanes as a dynamic duo in the batting order. Both are averaging over .300 at the plate this season (Christian / .377, Adrian / .305), and while Christian leads the team in RBIs (40), Adrian leads Miami in doubles (13). Adrian Del Castillo has also won ACC Player of the Week and NCBWA National Player of the Week Honors on April 5th, and is the 13th-ranked prospect on MLB.com. Anthony Vilar and Raymond Gil are the other Hurricane hitters averaging .300 or better at the plate this season. Yohandy Morales (.271) adds some power to the Miami lineup with nine doubles, and a team-leading nine home runs with 40 RBIs.
As for pitching, Miami has respectable numbers with a 4.57 ERA and .252 opponent batting average (fourth and sixth in the ACC, respectively). The starting rotation likely ends up being Alex McFarlane (2-1, 4.50 ERA), Jake Smith (3-0, 3.44 ERA), and Jake Garland (5-2, 5.30 ERA).
The bullpen might be the difference maker for the Hurricanes, as they have multiple guys holding sub-2.00 ERAs with 10+ appearances this season. Spencer Bodanza (1-0) holds a 0.82 ERA and 0.73 WHIP in 13 appearances this season, while Andrew Walters has a 1.27 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 14 appearances. Carson Palmquist has 12 saves in 19 appearances this season, making him a viable late-game option for the Hurricanes this season.
How to Watch / Listen:
Today’s game between Louisville and USC Upstate starts at 3 p.m. ET, available on 1450 AM and on ACC Network. Admission is free for today’s game.
All three games of the Miami (FL) series will also air on ACC Network, with radio coverage on 93.9 The Ville. Start times for the Louisville / Miami games are 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and noon on Saturday.