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.
Stats from GoCards.com
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Matched against long-time rival Kentucky for the first time outside the regular season, the top-seeded Louisville baseball team continued its trend of postseason success with a 4-1 win in Sunday night’s NCAA Regional title game at Jim Patterson Stadium.
In a game delayed nearly four hours due to lightning and rain, the Cardinals (48-15) plated three runs in a pivotal seventh inning to win its fourth NCAA Regional in the last eight years under the direction of head coach Dan McDonnell. With the victory, Louisville will host an NCAA Super Regional for the second time in school history when the winner of the Alabama-Kennesaw State matchup in Monday’s finale at the Tallahassee Regional (noon ET) visits Jim Patterson Stadium. The best-of-three series will begin either Friday or Saturday with the complete schedule to be released by the NCAA on Tuesday.
CLEARWATER, Fla. – The top-seeded and fifth-ranked Louisville baseball team opened the 2014 American Conference Championship in impression fashion rolling to a 13-3, seven-inning win over No. 8 seed Memphis on Thursday afternoon at Bright House Field.
In a game shortened by the league’s postseason 10-run rule, the Cardinals (44-13) pounded out 12 hits overall as five different players finished with two hits each. On the mound, sophomore Kyle Funkhouser set a school record for single season wins earning his 12th in 15 starts this season while working into the seventh inning.
With a 1-0 record in the pool play format, Louisville (44-13) will continue its slate in Pool A on Friday at 3 p.m., ET against USF, which dropped its championship opener on Wednesday against Rutgers. Rutgers (1-0 in Pool A) will take on Memphis on Friday at 11 a.m., ET in the opening game of day three.
Louisville Baseball’s Gardner Named American Conference Player of the Year/Others Achieve All AAC Team Honors
CLEARWATER, Fla. – Louisville senior outfielder Jeff Gardner was named American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and led a group of seven Cardinals earning All-American Conference honors at Tuesday night’s opening ceremonies of the 2014 American Conference Championship at Bright House Field.
A unanimous First Team All-American Conference selection, Gardner (Louisville, Ky.) hit .340 with eight home runs and 19 doubles while leading the league with 61 RBI and a .575 slugging percentage. With 54 starts this season for the top-seeded and fifth-ranked Cardinals, Gardner was chosen as an all-conference honoree for the third straight season (2013 All-Big East First Team, 2012 All-Big East Second Team) and will enter this week’s American Conference Championship with a .327 career average, 22 collegiate home runs and151 career RBI in 168 starts and 207 games played.
This year’s honor for Gardner marks the eighth time in the last eight seasons a member of the Cardinals has been selected as conference player or pitcher of the year. Gardner is the first player of the year for the honoree for Louisville since Chris Dominguez earned back-to-back Big East Player of the Year awards in 2008 and 2009.
Louisville Baseball Tabbed as AAC Favorite by Conference Coaches
Gardner chosen as American Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year as six Cardinals earn honors
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Following its record-setting 2013 season, the Louisville baseball team will enter 2014 as the unanimous favorite to win the inaugural American Athletic Conference championship while Cardinals’ senior outfielder Jeff Gardner was selected as the league’s Preseason Player of the Year on Monday.
Louisville, which won its fourth Big East regular season championship in five years and advanced to the College World Series for the second time in school history last season, received all eight possible first-place votes and 64 points overall in the preseason poll of the conference’s head coaches announced on Monday by the league. The Cardinals, ranked No. 8 in last week’s Collegiate Baseball newspaper preseason poll, was also tabbed as the preseason favorite in the Big East Conference last season before eventually winning the regular season title and a school record 51 games overall.
Following Louisville in Monday’s preseason poll was Houston, UCF and Connecticut in a three-way tie for second place with 47 points each. USF rounded out the top five with 34 points, while the final four spots in the preseason conference rundown were Memphis (30), Rutgers (27), Cincinnati (18) and Temple (8).