Around the Bases: Louisville Misses The NCAA Tournament

For the second time since Dan McDonnell took over as head coach in 2007, the Louisville Cardinals did not make the NCAA Tournament (excluding the 2020 COVID-shortened season).

The exclusion from the NCAA Tournament comes largely as a result of Louisville’s slump over the last month of the season. The Cardinals were swept in three out of the last four weekend series in the 2021 regular season, and lost 11 of its final 16 games down the stretch. Louisville finishes its 2021 season at 28-22, with a 16-16 conference record.

Louisville went 1-1 in pool play last week, beating Clemson 15-10 and losing 9-8 to Georgia Tech in extra innings. The loss puts the Cardinals at 7-9 all-time in the ACC Baseball Championship, and extends their tournament championship drought to 12 seasons (last title in 2009).

Stats & Trends

It was a home run frenzy for Louisville in its two games played in the ACC Tournament. Alex Binelas hit four home runs in pool play, including a career-high three against Clemson. Binelas finishes the 2021 season with 19 home runs, ten doubles, and 63 RBIs on .256 batting.

Ben Metzinger and Henry Davis also got in on the proverbial home run derby, both hitting three home runs in two games played during the ACC Baseball Championship. Metzinger averaged .455 from the leadoff spot in pool play, driving in six RBIs and being named to the All-Tournament team alongside Binelas.

Metzinger, Davis, and Binelas all combined for seven home runs in their first game of pool play against Clemson, setting a new single-game tournament record for homers. Louisville hit 11 total home runs in pool play, with four against Georgia Tech.

Lucas Dunn also turned in a good outing in pool play, hitting 5-for-10 across two games with a home run and three RBIs. Levi Usher went 3-for-5 in the same span, and Henry Davis averaged .417 (5-for-12) with three home runs and four RBIs.

However, the 23 runs scored by Louisville was offset by 16 earned runs allowed from the pitching lineup. The lone highlights of Louisville’s pitching came from Michael Kirian and Tate Kuehner. Kirian pitched in both games and allowed one earned run in 4.2 innings of work, while Kuehner pitched three shutout innings against Georgia Tech in relief.

Final Stat Leaders

With the 2021 season officially over, here’s a look at how Louisville performed this season by the numbers, along with team leaders:

  • Louisville Batting: .283 (third in ACC)BA: Henry Davis (.370)
    • OPS: Henry Davis (1.170)
    • Doubles: Luke Brown (13)
    • Triples: Luke Brown (4)
    • Home Runs: Alex Binelas (19)
    • RBIs: Alex Binelas (63)
    • Walk-to-strikeout ratio: Henry Davis (31:24)
    • On-base percentage: Henry Davis (.482)
    • Stolen bases: Levi Usher (26)
  • Louisville Pitching: 5.00 (tenth in ACC)W-L record: Michael Kirian (5-3), Adam Elliott (5-2)
    • ERA: Luke Seed (2.64 ERA, 12 starts / 12 appearances); Tate Kuehner (3.55 ERA, two starts / 20 appearances); Alex Galvan (0.00 ERA, six appearances)
    • WHIP: Glenn Albanese (.94, four appearances); Adam Elliott and Tate Kuehner (1.14 and 1.20, respectively; 20 appearances each)
    • Saves: Adam Elliott and Kaleb Corbett (four each)
    • Strikeouts: Michael Kirian (75)
    • Opponent batting average: Tate Kuehner (.186); Jared Poland (.200, five appearances); Adam Elliott (.208)

Below, you can listen to Coach Dan McDonnell’s end of season presser:

Dan McDonnell Presser

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