After having 53-12 campaign in 2017, as well as ending the season in Omaha, Louisville Baseball head coach Dan McDonnell won Baseball America’s National Coach of the Year award. This is the second time that McDonnell has won the award.
Following the historic 2017 season for the Cardinal Nine, the program announced today the summer assignments for the remaining players who either did not graduate or did not sign major league deals.
The team ended with a mark of 53-12, as well as earned a berth to its fourth College World Series, and third in five years. The team was also ACC Atlantic Division champs for the third straight year in a row, and also saw Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year honors with Brendan McKay, Dan McDonnell and Devin Hairston respectively.
Louisville Cardinals Summer 2017 Assignments:
In case you haven’t been paying attention to the red-hot Louisville Cardinals baseball team (which you should have) this postseason, you’ve probably noticed that all of the players have suddenly dyed their hair blonde. This also includes head coach Dan McDonnell, as pictured above. Why is that? Well, relief pitcher Jake Sparger decided to go around the team and talk to them about the change in hairdos.
While the University of Louisville baseball team was preparing for their fourth trip up to Omaha, Nebraska for the College World Series, the program made a somewhat surprising, yet inevitable announcement.
Starting next season, the traditionally cost-free games at Jim Patterson Stadium will switch over to ticketed entry, and will no longer be free of charge. Chairback seating will start at $10, with season tickets starting at $150. Group pricing will also be an option, and University of Louisville students will get in free.
After winning their Super Regional on Saturday, Dan McDonnell had infielder Drew Ellis read the Lion Chaser’s Manifesto to the media audience.
The excerpt, pulled from Mark Batterson’s book Chasing the Lion, is the anthem that U of L baseball has lived by this season. The motto “Run Towards the Roar” is printed on the back of every t-shirt this year, with each passing victory. McDonnell uses similar excerpts of inspiration to convey a unifying message; that their journey will have a destination — paradise, even — if everyone comes together towards a common goal
Logan Taylor, Brendan McKay, Drew Ellis and coach Dan McDonnell speak to the media following their Super Regional victory against Kentucky.
Logan Taylor (2-4, RBI) talks about prior experience in Omaha during his freshman year, Brendan McKay (6.2 IP, 8H, 2ER, 9K) talks about his Louisville career as well as the upcoming MLB Draft, and Drew Ellis (3-4, 2 HR) talks about his amazing performance in the Super Regional following his postseason slump.
In a game that featured five lead changes, 21 combined hits and four errors, the nearly four-hour broadway at Jim Patterson Stadium produced a lot of drama. But for Louisville baseball, this story would not end in tragedy again.
Stowers’ four RBI day, including scoring the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, propelled Louisville to an 8-7 victory over Xavier.
Louisville’s victory marked the fifth straight regional title for the Cardinals, with U of L also hosting its fourth straight Super Regional next weekend. The win also marked the fourth time in the last five seasons that head coach Dan McDonnell has won 50 games in a season.
It was a game that featured many moments, both dramatic and bizarre. Xavier broke a scoreless tie after three innings with a two RBI single from Nick Soria in the fourth. Stowers would follow it up in the bottom of the inning with a three-run homer to right center.
Xavier and Louisville would trade leads four times after that. Ethan Schmidt led off the fifth inning with a home run to tie the game. The Cardinals would rebound with a three-run sixth inning. Jake Snider and Logan Taylor added RBI singles to left field, while Brendan McKay had a high-arching infield single that would score Snider later in the inning.
But as was the theme throughout, Xavier answered the bell almost every time. Percy Fallon’s sacrifice bunt with two outs in the sixth gave the Musketeers a 4-3 lead. The Musketeers added three more runs in the seventh on a Rylin Bannon RBI single, and LaRue’s fielder’s choice plus an error to hold a 7-6 lead into the bottom seventh inning.
Stowers would add an RBI double to tie the game, and later score the go-ahead run in the seventh from Logan Taylor’s RBI single down the left field line. It was the third time in as many games that the Cardinals rallied to win in their regional; the Cards needed runs late to break a 6-6 tie against Radford on Friday, and then busted out ten runs in the final two innings to beat Oklahoma on Saturday. At the plate, Stowers (2-for-3), Taylor (2-for-4, two RBI) and Jake Snider (3-for-4) were the only Cardinals with a multihit game.
With Louisville’s usually stout bullpen struggling after Bennett left, McDonnell opted to put All-American closer Lincoln Henzman at the mound. Though Henzman did not record the save, the closer improved his record to 3-0 on the season with 2.2 innings of perfect pitching. Nick Bennett earned his first start since early May, pitching five innings while U of L used three relievers before settling on Henzman.
The Cardinals (50-10) now await the winner of tomorrow night’s regional final between Kentucky and NC State, with Super Regional times and dates announced on Tuesday.
Logan Taylor used three RBIs — both the game-tying and go-ahead runs — as U of L scored ten runs in the final two innings to run away with an 11-1 victory over Oklahoma.
It took a while for the Louisville bats to get going, as the Cards only mustered one hit and one run in the first seven innings. U of L would lower the boom on Boomer Sooner in the final two innings, though.
In front of a crowd full of the Louisville faithful with a berth in the ACC semifinals against Duke on the line, the top-seeded Louisville Cardinals could not get over the hump and were defeated by the Florida State Seminoles, 6-2. The Cards faced an early deficit due to shaky pitching and some slight defensive miscues, and could not string together the necessary hits to generate runs for the comeback.
After dropping their final three games to close the 2017 regular season, the Cardinals are looking to rebound in the ACC Tournament. Despite the three-game skid, U of L earned the number one seed after a rain-out cancelled the Saturday series finale against Florida State.
The Cardinals will host Florida State and Notre Dame in their pod tomorrow and Friday. Should the Cardinals advance, they will face the winner of Pool D between Virginia and Duke.
The Atlantic Coast Conference announced their 2017 Baseball Honors this afternoon, and 3 Louisville Cardinals were awarded these honors. Coach Dan McDonnell was awarded Coach of the Year for an ACC record three straight times, Devin Hairston was awarded the inaugural Defensive Player of the Year, and Brendan McKay was awarded Player of the Year.
Here’s Dan the Man after today’s cone from behind 6-4 win over the #7 Tigers from Clemson.
With a 4-2 win over Clemson on Friday, coach McDonnell earned his 500th win and the folks of the Louisville video team put together this wonderful video honoring him and his accomplishments. Enjoy …
Josh Stowers drove in four runs, while the Louisville bullpen used five pitchers to earn a 6-2 victory over #25 Vanderbilt.
The victory marked the third in the last four games in the Battle of the Barrel rivalry. U of L also improved their winning streak to 12 games, which is the second time this team has accomplished the feat this season. It also pushes Louisville’s record to 6-3 against ranked teams, with the Cardinals beginning a two-week stretch against RPI top 30 opponents to close the regular season.