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.
With a record crowd for the second straight day in a row and a trip to the College World Series on the line, the Cardinal Nine handled the pressure with ease and defeated archrival Kentucky for the Super Regional sweep, 6-2 and punched their ticket to Omaha.
After finally breaking out of his postseason slump in game 1 of the Louisville Super Regional, Drew Ellis got back to his All-American form in game 2. He hit his 19th and 20th home runs of the season for his 60th and 61st RBIs of the season, one of which was a no-doubter to deep left-center field that bounced off the light post. Colby Fitch also broke out of his postseason slump, batting 3-5 after going 1-16 (.063) in NCAA Championship play. Following Ellis and Fitch’s footsteps, shortstop Devin Hairston would also collect three hits on the day, batting 3-4.
Following the disappointing end to the regular season and ACC Baseball Tournament, the Louisville Cardinals opened up their 2017 postseason back on track with a win against the Big South champion Radford Highlanders, defeating them 11-6.
Breaking the normal pitching rotation, head coach Dan McDonnell opted to go down to his two-spot in the rotation, and put in Kade McClure to start on the mound for the Cards. Doing so would save two-way superstar Brendan McKay for Saturday’s game against the Oklahoma Sooners, who took down the Big East champion Xavier Musketeers in Game 1 of the Louisville Regional.
Two-way superstar Brendan McKay has been named Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s national Player of the Year for 2017, as well as being named an All-American by the same publication. In addition to McKay, infielder Drew Ellis and closing pitcher Lincoln Henzman were also named All-Americans by Collegiate Baseball Magazine.
In a game that didn’t have much at stake for either team, the No.1 overall seed Louisville Cardinals defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 10-3 in the Cards’ first game of pool play. Although the Cards managed to come away victorious, it didn’t really mean much in terms of advancing past pool play and onto the semifinals. This was because 12-seed Notre Dame’s loss to 8-seed Florida State the day before had not only mathematically eliminated Notre Dame, but had turned Friday’s Louisville/Florida State game into a de facto survive-and-advance game no matter the outcome of the Louisville/Notre Dame game.
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.
The Baseball Cards traveled down to South Carolina this weekend to face the Clemson Tigers, and they came back to the Ville unscathed. They swept the Tigers in a three game series to put them at 46-6 on the season, and 23-4 in the conference.
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It was another week of handling business as usual for the #2 Cardinals. U of L (42-6) swept another four-game week against Miami of Ohio and Notre Dame, who remain the consensus #2 team in the country on an 11-game winning streak. This is the second time the Cards have reached a winning streak of double digits, a first in the program’s history.
Up next, Louisville begins the gauntlet to close the regular season with Vanderbilt and Clemson on deck.
The Batting Order
1. Drew Ellis Earns National Honors
Louisville infielder Drew Ellis walked away with National Player of the Month honors for the month of the April. Ellis earned it while hitting .455 during the month, along with 22 RBI, five doubles, eight home runs and a triple.
Additionally, Ellis is one of two Cardinal players that have started all 48 games this season. The junior currently leads the team with a .393 batting average, 16 doubles, 13 home runs and a .732 slugging percentage.
Drew Ellis has been named the National Player of the Month for the month of April, according to the panel of writers at the National College Baseball Writers Association. This is the second time in 2017 that a Louisville player has been named NCBWA Player of the Month, following Brendan McKay in February.
In a longer than usual week, the Louisville Cardinals handled it with ease as they went 5-0 against the Northern Kentucky Norse & Toledo Rockets as well as the Eastern Kentucky Colonels in a rain-delay makeup game. The perfect week put them at 38-6 on the season, and their conference record of 17-4 remained the same as they had the week off from conference play.
It was a week of ups and downs for Louisville baseball, as the Cardinals dropped the rivalry game to Kentucky last Tuesday, ending a six-game winning streak against the rivals from I-64. Next, the Cardinals dropped Friday’s series-opener to Duke, only their second loss at home this season. However, U of L bounced back with two wins on the weekend to stay at .500 during Thunder week.
Up next, Louisville begins a five-game, six-day stretch with a road trip to Richmond, as the Cards take on in-state foe EKU. The Cardinals then host NKU at Louisville Slugger Field before returning to Jim Patterson for a weekend tilt with Toledo.
After having a somewhat dominate performance against Kentucky in their home game against them earlier this month, the Cards were the ones who got dominated this time around in the road edition of the Battle of the Bluegrass. However, they responded with a series win against Duke, 2 games to 1. They move to 33-6 on the season, and 17-4 in the ACC.
Six Game Winning Streak Against Kentucky Snapped In Lexington
For the first time since 2014, the Louisville Cardinals fell to the in-state rival Kentucky Wildcats, 11-7. Although a noble effort to make an unlikely comeback was made in the middle innings, for the most part, the game did not look pretty for the Cards.
The Louisville Baseball Cardinals continued their dominant season by going 4-0 against Purdue and Georgia Tech this past week, and outscoring them 31-7. This now puts the number two team in the nation at 31-4 overall, and 15-3 in ACC play.
Behind a hot start from their bats, Louisville overcame a late game rally and took down Kentucky, 5-3 in this season’s first edition of the Battle of the Bluegrass.
Louisville got off to a quick start to the game, when they made the Cats pay dearly on a 2-out fielding error by third baseman Tyler Marshall in the first inning. The error got shortstop Devin Hairston on base, then two-way star Brendan McKay proceeded to single to left field, and Drew Ellis then knocked in a 2 RBI double to put the Cards up 2-0 after 1 inning.
After taking WKU in an easy 11-1 victory on Tuesday, the Cards traveled to Charlottesville to face #16 Virginia in their first tour against a ranked opponent in 2017. The Cards were able to pull out two of three this weekend, securing their 21st series victory in 24 tries against ACC foes since joining the conference.
Cards Survive Low-Scoring Friday Affair
Colby Fitch hit two home runs, including a crucial two-run blast in the ninth inning, to give the Cardinals a 5-2 win on Friday at Virginia.
The win marked the first time since February 18th that Louisville played, and beat, a ranked team, when the Cardinals pulled out a 10-7 victory over then #22 Maryland.
Fitch led all Cardinals with 2-of-3 batting at the plate, three RBI and two home runs. The two jacks for Fitch marked the first time since June 2016 that a U of L batter was able to hit two over the wall.
Fitch was able to break a scoreless tie in the third inning with a shot over right field. After both teams went back and forth into the eighth inning, Brendan McKay was able to break a 2-2 tie with another home run into right field, while Fitch padded the lead with another shot over the same area.
While Fitch and McKay were the only Cardinal batters to record multiple-hits during the game, Colin Lyman and Ryan Summers also recorded a hit in the game.
Adam Wolf recorded the win after only allowing one hit and run in the seventh inning, striking out . McKay finished his day at the mound with six hits allowed, two walks, and an earned run. The two strikeouts that McKay earned is a season-low for the junior. Lincoln Henzman earned his sixth save of the year by shutting out the Cavaliers in 1.1 innings of work, to close the game.
The Cavaliers managed to tie the game twice; UVA’s Jake McCarthy hit an RBI groundout to score Ernie Clement in the third, while Adam Haseley scored another RBI groundout in the sixth that brought in Nate Eikhoff to score. Noah Murdock had a stellar showing as UVA’s starter at the mound on Friday; Murdock pitched six innings while allowing two runs on four hits, and two walks.
Going into this past week, the No.1 Louisville Baseball Cardinals had set a school record for best start to the season, going 19-0. However, the Cards had yet to play a road game this season, and faced two equally solid teams in Cincinnati and North Carolina State on the road this past week. They finished the week 2-2 after dropping the game to Cincinnati as well as the series opener to NC State, but went on to and win the series 2-1, to put them at 21-2 on the season.