Author Archives: Justin Krueger

Around the Bases: WKU & Clemson


After 20 games, U of L currently sits at 16-4, alternating between wins and losses in its last five games.

The Cardinals started 14-0, becoming the last undefeated team in Division I baseball for the second season in a row. They managed to take a weekend series against North Carolina and split the weekday series against Texas Tech (4-8, 7-4), but lost last weekend’s series at Wake Forest (1-2, 11-6, 3-6). They’ll look to rebound this week with a tune-up game at Western Kentucky, before heading home to start a pivotal weekend series against ranked Clemson.

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#4 Louisville Takes 7-4 Win Over #5 Texas Tech


#4 Louisville (15-2) rallied from a 4-1 deficit after four innings to split the weekday series against #5 Texas Tech (16-3), beating the Red Raiders 7-4.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak and was Louisville’s first win against a top-five ranked opponent since April 2016, per Kelly Dickey. Texas Tech entered today’s game ranked #1 in the RPI, and as high as fifth in four of the seven national polls.

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Little’s 5-for-5 Day Puts Tech Over Louisville 8-4




Grant Little’s 5-for-5 day with two doubles, one triple and four RBIs helped #6 Texas Tech (16-2) beat #12 Louisville (14-2) 8-4 in game one of their mid-week series.

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Louisville Takes UNC Series With 6-4 Win, Advances to 14-0


Louisville used three runs in the third and fourth innings each, led by Mann’s RBI double in the third inning, as the Cardinals (14-0) remain undefeated with a 6-4 win over North Carolina (7-7).

Like in game one, the Tar Heels took an early lead after an RBI single from Kyle Datres. While Datres drove in two runs, he was tagged out trying to reach second, with Michael Busch’s groundout closing the inning after.

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Wyatt Leads Louisville to 5-4 Win Over UNC


On a chilly night at Jim Patterson Stadium, #8 Louisville (13-0) held off #13 North Carolina (7-6) with a dramatic 5-4 win on Friday.

Despite allowing two early runs in the second, Louisville took the lead in the sixth with and held off multiple rallies by the Tar Heels to open ACC play with a victory. Logan Wyatt led the way with a 2-for-3 performance, driving in three RBI in the sixth and scoring the go-ahead run in the eighth on a wild pitch by UNC’s Cooper Criswell.

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Photo Gallery: Louisville Vs. Xavier


(Via AdamLucas Designs)

Here are some photos from Louisville’s 6-4 win over Xavier.

Lavey’s Homer Powers Louisville to Eighth Straight Win


Last year, Louisville sealed its birth to the NCAA Super Regional with an 8-7 win over Xavier. Though not as high-stakes as that meeting last June, both teams found themselves in a tight contest once again.

A go-ahead two-run homer from Justin Lavey in the seventh inning was the difference for #10 Louisville (8-0), as the Cardinals pulled out a 6-4 win over Xavier (3-5).

(Click on more for rest of article & press conferences)

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Around the Bases: Entering March


It’s still a long way to go before Louisville matches its 19-0 start from last year, but they have had an impressive run to begin its 2018 campaign.

Louisville (7-0) enters this week ranked as high as tenth (per Collegiate Baseball Newspaper), and remains undefeated after last weekend’s sweep of Youngstown State.

Stats & Trends

Devin Mann has had an impressive start to this junior season, tied for the team lead in batting average (.391) after seven games. He also leads the team in home runs (two), slugging percentage (.652), and his 14 RBIs currently put him in an eight-way tie for 12th in the NCAA.

Two newcomers that have been impressive in the opening weeks are outfielders Drew Campbell and Ethan Stringer. Both are averaging over .300 at the plate (.389 and .308, respectively), and had quality outings last week. Campbell finished 1-for-4 with three RBIs in Sunday’s win against Youngstown State, and is one of two qualified batters in Louisville’s lineup with a recorded triple. Stringer went 3-for-11 with four RBIs and two doubles in the series against the Penguins, and currently leads the team with four doubles. Though not a newcomer, Jake Snider also leads the team in batting average (.391) and stolen bases (five).

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Louisville v. EKU Photo Gallery

U of L Opens Home Slate with 4-2 Win Over EKU


#13 Louisville (4-0) used a four run second inning, led by RBI singles from Devin Mann and Drew Campbell, to edge out a 4-2 win over Eastern Kentucky (0-4) in their home opener.

The win marked the 11th straight for Louisville in the series, extending their all-time record to 68-48-1 against the Colonels.

It was another game where Louisville allowed early runs in the first, but rebounded with a strong second inning. EKU’s Nick Howie drove in an RBI triple in the first, giving the Colonels an early 2-0 lead.

Louisville then responded in the second with a four-run outing. Drew Campbell drove in an RBI single to right field, with Devin Mann adding a two-RBI single of his own. In between, a bases loaded walk from Jake Snider added another run for the Cardinals.

It would be a quiet day for both teams, afterwards. EKU had opportunities late in the game, but couldn’t capitalize on them. Shay Smiddy worked his way out of the sixth and seventh innings with runners on base, while Sam Bordner closed the ninth with three strikeouts after allowing a lead-off single.

Tyler Romanik (2-5, one run) was the only Colonel batters with multiple hits in the game. Nick Howie finished 1-4 at the plate, with two RBIs on his triple in the first inning.

For Louisville, Devin Mann and Drew Campbell finished 2-for-4 at the plate, with Mann driving in two RBIs and Campbell landing one. Jake Snider also had a 1-for-2 showing at the plate, with an RBI and two walks. Ethan Stringer also recorded a hit in the game for Louisville.

Bryan Hoeing got the weekday start, after making an appearance in Friday’s win against Richmond. Hoeing allowed the RBI triple in the first, but finished five innings of work with three hits, four walks and two strikeouts. Shay Smiddy, Adam Elliott and Sam Bordner made appearances out of the bullpen, combining for four shutout innings. With Bordner’s shutout ninth inning, he has not allowed a run in 24 of his last 25 appearances.

Also of note, this was U of L’s first ticketed game of 2018. Attendance was 2,535 for the game, up 15% from last year’s home opener against EKU. The game was moved from one day ahead to Tuesday, due to possible inclement weather on Wednesday. One game won’t foreshadow any trends regarding attendance, but it’ll be an ongoing story as the season progresses.

Up next, Louisville will host a weekend series against Youngstown State. Friday’s opener is set to start at 3 p.m., with Saturday & Sunday’s game both starting at 1 p.m.

Around the Bases: Opening Weekend


The Louisville baseball team is set to begin its 101st season this weekend. Ranked as high as 13th in the Coaches Poll, the Cardinals will be looking to make their fourth College World Series appearance in six seasons. U of L is also coming off its fourth 50-win season in five years, and has also made five straight Super Regional appearances.

Here are some notes to get started for the 2018 season.

The Schedule

One of the most notable changes this season is that Louisville will begin charging admission to games this year. However, Louisville’s schedule will have a lot of quality opponents visiting Jim Patterson Stadium in 2018. The Cardinals will host top-ten teams like #3* Texas Tech, #6 North Carolina and #8 Kentucky, as well as #19 Virginia, #23 Indiana and Xavier (who lost to Louisville in last year’s Regional final). Single-game tickets, as well as flex plans for the home schedule, can be bought through

U of L also has ranked road games against #5 Florida State, Kentucky and #14 Vanderbilt.

* – all rankings are from

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Report: Brian VanGorder is the New Defensive Coordinator at U of L


Photo Credit: Robin Iman, Icon Sportswire

Former Notre Dame defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder will take over as the new defensive coordinator at Louisville, according to a report from

VanGorder, who last served as a defensive analyst for Oklahoma State in 2017, was expected to be Mike Gundy’s tenth assistant for the 2018 season. However, he has chosen to return to Petrino’s staff, where he was the linebackers coach in Petrino’s abridged season with the Atlanta Falcons.

VanGorder brings over 20 years of experience as a defensive coach, including multiple stints as a defensive coordinator. The Wayne State alum has been a defensive coordinator for Georgia (2001-04), Auburn (2012) and Notre Dame (2014-16), as well as the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars (2005) and Atlanta Falcons (2008-2011).

With the hire, VanGorder would be Louisville’s third defensive coordinator in as many seasons. Todd Grantham left Louisville to join Dan Mullen’s staff at Mississippi State in 2016, with Peter Sirmon taking over as the defensive coordinator for the Cardinals. After much scrutiny over his performance in 2017, Sirmon resigned as Louisville’s defensive coordinator, and has since found a spot at Cal as the linebackers coach.

VanGorder’s contract details are unknown at this time, and there has been no confirmation from U of L as of this posting. It’s unknown as to whether or not he’ll also fill the vacancy at linebackers coach, where Cort Dennison left for the same position at Oregon last weekend.

This story will be updated, as details roll in.

Everything You Need to Know: The TaxSlayer Bowl

Lamar Jackson / Reggie Bonnafon

How to Watch: Kickoff at noon on ESPN

Spread: Louisville -7 (Bovada)

Last Time: The Cards played against Mississippi State in a four-year stretch from 1973-76, losing all four games. However, due to alleged NCAA violations, the Bulldogs were forced to vacate their wins in 1975 & 1976.

The Bulldogs technically lead the series 4-0, but due to the violations, this leaves the series tied at 2-2.

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Evaluating Each Heisman Candidate & Why They Will (or Won’t) Win

Lamar Jackson

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson was invited to his second Heisman Trophy ceremony on Monday, alongside Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and Stanford running back Bryce Love. Jackson is looking to become the second man to win college football’s hallmark award twice, joining Ohio State’s Archie Griffin (1974-75).

Here’s an evaluation of each candidate, and why they each have a shot to win (or not) the 2017 award.

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Everything You Need To Know: The Governor’s Cup


How to Watch: Noon kickoff on SEC Network

Spread: Louisville -10

Last Time: In one of the biggest upsets of 2016, Kentucky stunned the Cardinals after Austin MacGinnis hit a 47-yard field goal with 12 seconds left to pull out a 41-38 win over their rival. The Wildcats capitalized on four turnovers, including the late-game fumble that eventually led to MacGinnis’ field goal at the very end.

Kentucky leads the all-time series 15-14, but Louisville has won five of the last six in the rivalry.

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Everything You Need To Know: Louisville v. Syracuse


How to Watch: Kickoff at 3:30 p.m., ESPNU

Spread: Louisville -13 (Bovada)

Last Time: It was a historic performance for the entire Louisville offense, as #13 Louisville roared to a 62-28 win over Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. The Cards scored touchdowns on three of their first five offensive plays, and set a school-record with 845 total yards of offense. Lamar Jackson led the way with an ACC-record 610 total yards (411 passing, 199 rushing), including the highlight-reel hurdling touchdown that arguably gave him his first of many Heisman moments in 2016.

Louisville leads the all-time series 9-6.

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Everything You Need To Know: Louisville v. Virginia


How to Watch: Kickoff at 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU

Spread: Louisville -11.5

Last Time: In a tougher than expected contest, the Cardinals got all they could handle against a gritty Virginia Cavaliers team. Trailing 17-14 heading into the final quarter, the Cards responded with 18 points in the final quarter, including the game-winning 25-yard pass from Lamar Jackson to Jaylen Smith. Jackson finished with 361 yards and four touchdowns, as #5 U of L escaped Charlottesville with a 32-25 victory.

Louisville leads the all-time series 3-2. All three games in the ACC have been decided by one possession.

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Everything You Need To Know: Louisville At Wake Forest

Dez Fitzpatrick

How to Watch: Kickoff at 12:20, ACC Network

Spread: Louisville -3

Last Time: Despite three first half fumbles, Louisville rebounded with 41 unanswered points in the second half, 34 of them in the final quarter. The sixth-ranked Cardinals held the Deacons without a touchdown, forced three turnovers and allowed 214 total yards. Brandon Radcliff led the way with 141 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, as Louisville won 44-12.

Louisville leads the all-time series 4-0.

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Everything You Need To Know: Louisville At Florida State


How to Watch: Noon kickoff on ESPN

Spread: Florida State -7

Last Time: With College Gameday visiting Louisville for the first time, the Cardinals made the most of their opportunity. Lamar Jackson launched his Heisman campaign into the stratosphere with 362 total yards (216 passing, 146 rushing) and five total touchdowns. #10 Louisville rolled to a 63-20 win over #2 Florida State, the worst loss in FSU history. Brandon Radcliff and James Quick each had 100 yard games, and Jaire Alexander had a 69-yard touchdown on a punt return.

FSU leads the all-time series 14-3.

Meet Florida State:

Since then, it’s been an up-and-down road for both teams. Louisville rolled to a 9-1 start in 2016, but since then has lost five of its last seven to Power Five teams. Florida State finished that season with an Orange Bowl win over Michigan, but lost Deondre Francois for the season and sits at 2-3 entering tomorrow’s game.

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No More Excuses For Louisville Football

Lamar jackson

The trajectory of Louisville football may have never taken a steeper curve than in the last 365+ days. And it may never stoop lower than the humiliating loss Louisville suffered on Saturday.

A 45-42 loss to Boston College has left fans stunned, disappointed and moreover, angry. Louisville lost to a team that was 115th in total offense, entering the game. A team that was 2-17 in its last 19 conference games.

A team that, last year, Louisville pulverized in a 52-7 blowout in Chestnut Hill. Despite Louisville playing Jekyll & Hyde football throughout October and November of last year, they still added a landslide win. There were comments made about Boston College’s head coach possibly losing his job, and the Eagles program taking a lot of backward steps.

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