Author Archives: Justin Krueger
After months of speculation, Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell has declared for the NBA Draft, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.
Mitchell declares for the draft after a stellar sophomore season. The first-team All-ACC player averaged 15.6 PPG, 2.1 steals per game and shot 35% from three point land.
Although Mitchell declared for the draft, Mitchell is not signing with an agent yet. This opens the door for Mitchell to return for his junior season, if he desires. The new NBA Draft rules allow prospective draftees to enter the combine and get an evaluation, prior to the withdrawal deadline on May 24th.
Sophomore Deng Adel and junior Jaylen Johnson are also going to declare for the NBA Draft but not hire an agent, like Mitchell. Adel averaged 12.1 PPG and 4.5 rebounds per game as a small forward, while Johnson averaged eight points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
Spring football is underway in Louisville, as Bobby Petrino looks to return with Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson and a bevvy of studs. A new defensive coordinator, depth at skill positions and offensive line play will headline the top stories of U of L’s spring football in 2017. Louisville will also have open practice for fans on March 24th, March 28th and April 4th, with the Spring Game set for April 15th.
If nothing else for the Louisville baseball team, they continue to be consistent after the first month of the season.
It was another week, another four wins for the Cards as they push their undefeated streak to 19-0. The record is now the hottest in the program’s 100-year history, passing the 17-0 mark set by the 1957 team.
Up next, the Cardinals will make their road trips of the season, starting with tonight’s clash at Cincinnati. U of L will follow that up with a weekend series at NC State.
With four more wins to enter St. Patrick’s Day weekend with a now 15-0 start, the Cardinals have finally reached number one in four of the six major polls. This is the first time the Cardinal Nine have reached the number one spot in their 100-year history.
Up next, the Cardinals look to not only retain their number one ranking, but reach their hottest start in the program’s history. U of L will open the week against Xavier, then have another ACC home stand against division foe Boston College.
1. Cards Top Latest Baseball Polls
As Matt McGavic wrote on Monday, U of L has earned their first number one ranking in the program’s 100-year history. The Cards came in at the top spot on the Perfect Game, Baseball America, USA Today/Coaches Poll. D1baseball.com and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper did not have Louisville as their #1 team; the Cards were one point behind Oregon State in the CBN poll on Monday, while they were ranked fourth in the D1baseball.com poll behind Florida State, Oregon State and TCU.
As we roll into mid-March (and March Madness!), it seems as if the Cardinals have given up losing for Lent. U of L reeled off another four wins, the last two needing late game heroics from Devin Hairston and Jake Sparger, to push their undefeated mark to 11-0.
Up next, the Cards begin a stretch where they play five games in the next six days, starting with Tuesday’s road clash at EKU. Louisville will follow that up with another four-game home stand against Fort Wayne and begin conference play against Pitt.
Here are some comments after today’s 8-7 win over Eastern Michigan from head coach Dan McDonnell, Drew Ellis and freshman pitcher Adam Elliot.
Louisville baseball continues to go red-hot to start 2017, opening the season with ten straight wins after a sweep against Morehead State and Eastern Michigan.
For more stats from the Morehead State game, be sure to check out Matt’s recap from Wednesday.
Louisville Floors EMU 13-0 to go 9-0
The Cardinals began the series with a 13-0 shutout of Eastern Michigan, moving to 9-0 in the process.
The shutout marked the fourth time this season Louisville has done so. It is also the sixth time U of L has scored 10+ runs in their first nine games, and the second time where U of L scored 10+ while pitching a shutout. With four shutouts in their first 11 games, U of L is currently on pace to pass their record of 11 shutouts from last year.
Freshman Tyler Fitzgerald, who hit out of the nine-hole due to Brendan McKay’s absence, led the Cardinals with a 3-of-4 performance at the plate and an RBI double in the sixth inning. Devin Mann rebounded from a slow start to hit 2-of-3 at the plate. Colin Lyman’s RBI single in the seventh inning pushed the lead to 12-0. Drew Ellis also nailed 3-of-4 at the plate with two doubles, one of which had an RBI in the fifth that scored Mann.
Another week in the office for Louisville, as they went 4-0 during the week against Eastern Kentucky and Nebraska-Omaha. The four-game stretch pushed Louisville’s record at home to 40-3 in their last 43 games. For more information on last week’s games, be sure to check out the postgame recap on CSZ.
Up next, the Cardinals will finish their eight-game home stand against another in-state foe in Morehead State, then a weekend series against Eastern Michigan.
Following a successful three-game stretch in Florida, the Cardinals returned home to start their 2017 home slate, beginning their eight game home stretch at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Louisville Destroys EKU 19-3
The week began with thunderous authority, as U of L downed Eastern Kentucky 19-3 in its home opener. The day was led by All-American candidates Devin Hairston (4-4, three RBI) and Brendan McKay (2-4, four RBI, HR).
Jake Snider also had a noteworthy play in the fifth. The freshman singled up to center field, but an error by the center fielder resulted in Snider making it back to home for an unearned score. Had the error not occurred, it would have been Louisville’s first inside-the-park home run in 12 years.
After McKay opened with a grand-slam in the first inning, EKU rallied to cut the deficit to 4-3 with an RBI single from Jacob Abbott in the second, and then two more runs in the third with an RBI bunt and a wild pitch. Louisville then went on a 15-0 run from the fifth to the eighth inning, led by a two-run home run from Drew Ellis. Logan Taylor had another stellar night, batting 3-of-4 with two RBI.
Bryan Hoeing earned his first career start for Louisville, striking out seven but allowing three earned runs on four hits. Rabon Martin would earn the win with three no-hit shutout innings and striking out three.
Recap: Cardinals Dominate Weekend in Florida
Three games, three wins. It was down to business for Louisville, as they swept their opening series in Clearwater, FL. The Cardinals emerged 3-0 with solid wins over defending SWAC champions Alabama State, preseason Big Ten favorite Maryland, and MAC East Division favorite Ball State.
For more information on last weekend’s series in Clearwater, here are some stats and results from the games.
Up Next: The Cardinals will make their 2017 debut at Jim Patterson Stadium with a weekday against in-state foe Eastern Kentucky, and a weekend series against Nebraska-Omaha.
Alabama State Stung By Louisville Bats
The Cardinals opened the 2017 season in style, as the Cardinals came away with a 7-0 win over Alabama State. The victory marked the Cardinals fourth straight in a season opener, and pushing Dan McDonnell’s record to 8-3 all-time in such games.
Brendan McKay had a solid 2017 debut at both the plate and the mound. McKay earned a victory with six shutout innings, and striking out nine in the process. McKay allowed the Hornets’ four hits in the game, but also went 2-of-3 at the plate with two RBI, including a home run in the fifth inning. Bryan Hoeing pitched three perfect innings in relief duty, earning the save while striking out two in the process.
(For the rest of the article, click more)
Baseball season starts today, but before that, who doesn’t want to see a highlight of one of our recent stars from last year?
Jeff Nunn blessed us with a highlight video of former U of L outfielder Corey Ray, who was drafted fifth overall to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2016. Ray finished his U of L career with a .318 batting average, 82 stolen bases (4th all-time in school history, and 27 home runs. Ray also added 133 RBI and 36 doubles as one of Louisville baseball’s greatest athletes of all-time.
It has begun, and it has returned! Season two of Around the Bases is back to bring back more coverage of Cardinal baseball.
Last year’s team saw multiple players go early in the MLB Draft, with six Cardinals drafted in the first four rounds. With preseason player of the year Brendan McKay returning as well as 2016 All-American Devin Hairston, the Cardinals are primed for another run at the College World Series with a deep, talented roster.
The Batting Order
1. Cardinals Once Again Ranked Highly
Another year, another season of lofty expectations for U of L. The Cardinals begin their 2017 season ranked as high as seventh in the Baseball America Top 25 poll. The Cardinals are also eighth in the USA Today & NCBWA poll, but 12th in the D1Baseball.com poll. Louisville is also coming off their second straight Super Regional appearance, where they lost to UC-Santa Barbara in one of the most shocking upsets in college baseball history. Though they lost seven players that were selected in the first four rounds of the MLB Draft, the Cardinals do return All-Americans Brendan McKay and Devin Hairston, along with rising players like Drew Ellis and Colby Fitch.
Yesterday, Louisville signed one of its top recruiting classes in the football program’s history. With a Heisman Trophy winner, new offensive line coach and defensive coordinator, there’s a lot of buzz surrounding Louisville’s 2017 season. Who else is buzzworthy from this year’s recruiting class?
(Click on more below for the breakdown)
Florida State has been tabbed as the preseason favorites to win the ACC Baseball Championship, with 10 of 14 first place votes. Clemson, Louisville, North Carolina and NC State also nabbed one first place vote each for the overall conference title.
The Tar Heels were selected as the ACC Coastal Division preseason favorites, narrowly edging out Virginia and Miami (FL). Louisville finished second behind the Seminoles as the ACC Atlantic Division favorites.
The ACC as a whole continues its baseball dominance, with the most ranked teams (eight) across the D1baseball, Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America polls. Louisville enters the 2017 season ranked 7th in the Baseball America Top 25, 11th on Collegiate Baseball and 12th on D1baseball.com.
The Cardinals open their season on February 17th-19th in Clearwater, FL against Alabama State, Maryland and Ball State. The Cardinals open their home slate against in-state foe Eastern Kentucky on February 22nd, with a home game at Louisville Slugger Field on April 26th against another in-state foe, Northern Kentucky. U of L hopes to rebound from another crushing defeat in the Super Regionals and make their third College World Series in the last five years.
Louisville guard Tony Hicks has been diagnosed with a fractured fourth metacarpal and will be out six to eight weeks, according to U of L’s statement.
Hicks suffered the injury while fighting for a loose ball in the first half against Pitt last night. Hicks finished the game with ten points and four assists in the 106-51 victory, two days after posting a season high 16 points at Florida State. The 6-8 week timeline puts Hicks in position to possibly return during postseason play, with the graduate transfer seeking his first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
This also marks the second injury suffered in the last two weeks for the Cardinals, with point guard Quentin Snider still recovering from a strained hip flexor. Snider was expected to be out 2-3 weeks from his diagnosis last week, but it is unknown whether he will return for Sunday’s Whiteout game against NC State.
ESPN’s Brett McMurphy reported today that Florida’s Mike Summers will leave Gainesville to become the next Louisville offensive line coach.
The coaching change marks the third in the past week for the Cardinals. Bobby Petrino replaced former defensive coordinator Todd Grantham with Mississippi State DC Peter Sirmon, along with hiring Fresno State defensive backs coach Lorenzo Ward for the same position. Chris Klenakis will remain on-staff as the tight ends coach and also play a role in recruiting, after coaching the offensive line the last three seasons
Summers has had an extensive coaching relationship with Petrino. Summers was at Louisville during Petrino’s entire first run (2003-06), coaching three All-Big East linemen (George Bussey, Kurt Quarterman, Renardo Foster) along with former All-American Travis Leffew and first-round draft pick Eric Wood. Summers also coached under Petrino in his tenures with the Atlanta Falcons and Arkansas Razorbacks, and coached at Kentucky from 2010-2012.
While at Florida, Summers’ offensive line allowed only 16 sacks in 2014, a stark contrast from Louisville’s 47 allowed in 2016 (126th in the nation). Summers’ unit allowed 28 sacks last season.
The Louisville Bats announced via Twitter that the Louisville Cardinals will host the Northern Kentucky Norse at Louisville Slugger Field on April 26th. This will be U of L’s first game at the downtown baseball stadium since 2003, when the Cardinals earned a 7-5 victory over rival Kentucky.
This also marks one of two college baseball events in 2017. Louisville Slugger Field was also designated as the host for the 2017 ACC Baseball Tournament on May 23rd-28th, after the Atlantic Coast Conference moved it from Charlotte last October.
Tickets are available for $5 from the Louisville Bats ticket office or online, but fans that have already bought an ACC Tournament or weekend package will be able to attend the game for free.
Louisville opens their season with a weekend series on Feb. 17-19 against Alabama State, Maryland and Ball State in Clearwater, FL. The Cardinals begin their home schedule on the 22nd against in-state foe Eastern Kentucky.
In what was a fitting end to U of L’s major collapse in the 2016 season, the Cardinals fell to LSU 29-9. Derrius Guice led the Tigers with 138 yards and two total touchdowns, while Malachi Dupre also had a stellar game with 139 yards against a depleted Louisville secondary.
How to Watch: 11:00 a.m. on ABC
Odds: LSU -3 (Bovada), O/U 59.5 (consensus)
This will be the first-ever meeting between U of L and LSU. The Cardinals are 19-35-1 all-time against SEC opponents, but only have five wins total against SEC schools not named Kentucky. However, Louisville is 2-2 since 2012 against SEC schools not named Kentucky, and 3-1 against the conference in bowl games.