With all of the hype surrounding Game 1 of the Super Regional at Jim Patterson Stadium on Friday night, a couple of things may have gone unnoticed. The Louisville Cardinals had two more players selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft! Jeff Gardner and Cole Sturgeon joined Nick Burdi, who was picked 46th overall on Thursday night by the Minnesota Twins.
Just less than an hour before the game started on Friday, senior Jeff Gardner was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 8th round with the 244th overall pick. Gardner is from Louisville and attended Whitfield Academy High School. He was the American Conference Player of the Year in 2014 as well as a Louisville Slugger Second Team All-American. Entering Friday night’s game against Kennesaw State, Gardner was hitting .326 with 9 home runs and 67 RBI.
During the game, Cole Sturgeon, a senior from Owensboro, Kentucky (Owensboro High School) was picked by the Boston Red Sox in the 10th round with the 314th overall pick. He started every game this season and has also made 24 relief appearances on the mound. Entering Friday night’s game, he was hitting .325 and also has had 18 stolen bases. On the mound, he is 3-0 with 1 save while posting an ERA of 2.06. In 35 innings, he has 34 strikeouts.