--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
The Louisville Cardinals hosted Eastern Kentucky, and came away with their second win of the season.
Louisville won 5-1. Due to weather, the game was rescheduled from Wednesday at 3 to Tuesday. The date change led to an interesting first inning. And an interesting first led to an interesting game. Almost all runs scored were on manufactured runs and errors. There was an RBI groundout, two wild pitches, and an error that all resulted in a run.
JuCo pitcher Luke Smith pitched six marvelous innings of 2 hit baseball, and only allowed one run, which was unearned. Smith also struck out six over 91 pitches thrown.
Louisville scored three runs in the first inning off one hit. Lucas Dunn walked to start the game. Then, Jake Snider reached second on a dropped fly ball by EKU’s center fielder. Dunn and Snider both went home on the only hit of the inning; which was an RBI double by Tyler Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald later scored on a wild pitch.
Eastern Kentucky pitcher Julian Jackson only pitched two innings. Only one of the runs he surrendered was earned. He also walked two, struck out two, and had one wild pitch.
In the top of the fifth, Corey Conklin scored after a pickoff attempt went wildy wrong. Freshman Henry Davis threw to Logan Wyatt at first, and hit the 330 mark.
The Cardinals scored two more in the fifth. Snider scored after Wyatt recorded an RBI groundout to the pitcher. Then, Fitzgerald scored on a wild pitch.
Louisville moves to 2-2. Smith recorded the victory, Jackson was handed the loss.
The Cardinals will host the Brown Bears this upcoming weekend (which is an actual team name, not just a mascot or species of animal). Game one is at 3:00 pm. If Dan McDonnell went with a similar rotation as last week, then Reid Detmers may be Louisville’s starter. Brown’s opening series is against Louisville.
--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson (Louisville vs. NC State, April 7th, 2018)
The Louisville Cardinals notched win No. 1 of 2019 in dominating fashion- three home runs off the bat of Cardinals. They defeated the Connecticut Huskies, 12-2. Louisville scored in their first four innings, and notched 12 hits and five walks.
Nick Bennett started the game for the Cardinals, and threw 94 pitches and five innings. He allowed two runs, both unearned, and allowed two hits and two walks; while recording four strikeouts.
Jake Snider and Ethan Stringer scored the first two runs of the game. They went home on a first-inning RBI triple courtesy of Logan Wyatt. The hit went to the gap in right-center field. Wyatt came home on a catching error by the third-baseman.
Louisville notched four runs in the second inning. Stringer recorded an RBI groundout, and drove in Lucas Dunn. Then, three runs scored on a massive home run bomb off the bat of Britton. The hit was to right field, and came off a 1-1 breaking ball.
Three runs were scored by the Cardinals in their next frame. Dunn hit an 0-1 fastball out of the park, and scored center fielder Henry Davis. Then, Tyler Fitzgerald gave a full-count fastball a long ride to Joker Marchant Stadium’s right-center field.
UConn pitcher Colby Dunlop could not survive the third inning. He was pulled after giving up 10 runs, 9 earned, on 8 hits, 1 walk, and no strikeouts. Two Cards were hit by the pitch.
Connecticut scored off a wild-pitch strikeout with the bases loaded in the bottom of the third.
Drew Campbell drove in Louisville’s next run with an RBI double to left-center. Wyatt scored. Louisville’s last run was driven in by Davis. The newcomer notched his first RBI via an 0-2 count single to left center. Campbell scored the run.
Anthony Prato drove in the last Connecticut run. He hit an RBI double to the left-field corner.
Garrett Schmeltz came on in the ninth inning to close out the game. He allowed just one walk. Bennett received the win, and Dunlop was awarded the loss.
The 1-1 Cardinals look to take the opening series tomorrow. Senior RHP Bryan Hoeing toes the rubber for Dan McDonnell and the Cardinals. A starting pitcher has not been announced for UConn.
--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
The Louisville Cardinals kicked off Spring Friday. Dan McDonnell’s faced off against Connecticut; in Joker Marchant Stadium, spring training home of the Detroit Tigers.
Louisville lost the game, 3-2. The Cardinals managed to score their three runs on eight hits, and six walks. Louisville allowed 10 hits and 3 base on balls.
Reid Detmers started the game for Louisville. The last time he made an appearance for Louisville, Detmers gave up five runs in two innings against Texas Tech. This time was different. The Sophomore went five innings, and gave up one run, which was earned, on four hits and three walks. He struck out three.
Detmers faced stiff competition. Jeff Kersten pitched six innings of one unearned run baseball. Louisville managed five hits, and three walks against him. Kersten also hit two Cardinals with the pitch.
Louisville scored first. In the bottom of the third inning, Danny Oriente drove in Lucas Dunn on a sacrifice fly to left. The run was unearned- Dunn reached base on a throwing error by Huskies third baseman Conor Moriarty.
Connecticut drove in a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Anthony Prato drove in Anthony Nucerino on an RBI single to left. Moriarty drove in Christian Fedko on a sacrifice fly to center.
The Huskies drove in a run for Louisville in the seventh. Pitcher Chase Gardner walked Justin Lavey 4-0 with the bases loaded, driving in Jake Snider.
Paul Gozzo homered off of Adam Elliott in the top of the eighth inning. The hit was on an 1-1 count, and went deep to left.
Freshman Trey Leonard pinch-ran and managed to reach third base in the bottom of the ninth inning. But with two outs, Lavey struck out swinging on a 2-2 count. Gardner was the winning pitcher. Elliott was the losing pitcher, and Jacob Wallace notched the save.
Louisville looks to get back on track against Connecticut tomorrow. Junior Southpaw Nick Bennett toes the rubber against right-handed Sophomore Colby Dunlop. Start time is 3:00 pm in Lakeland, Florida. Louisville baseball plays their first game at Jim Patterson Stadium Wednesday, February 20th, against Eastern Kentucky.
--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Image by Jared Anderson. (Louisville vs. Wright State, May 8th, 2018)
The first sign of spring is here. Louisville baseball is back.
Dan McDonnell’s Cardinals take on the 20th-ranked Connecticut Huskies at Joker Marchant Stadium; spring home of the Detroit Tigers, on Friday, February 15th. They face off in the first series of 2019.
When the Cardinals take the field, there will be some noticeable changes. Josh Stowers won’t be in left field. Devin Mann isn’t at second. Adam Wolf, Riley Thompson, Sam Bordner, and Liam Jenkins won’t toe the rubber.
In total, eight pitchers and three position players graduated or left the team after last season. A few do return - 11 pitchers and 12 position players return. 13 freshmen are on the roster.
Here is a look at what the lineup may look like on Opening Day:
Rotation- Nick Bennett, Bobby Miller, Reid Detmers, Bryan Hoeing
Key Relievers: Shay Smiddy (Closer), Adam Elliott (Setup), Michael McAvene (Setup)
The pitching staff lost a ton of players, including their 2018 ace. Adam Wolf went to the Tigers in the draft.
Luckily, the Cardinals have a few experienced players. For starters, Nick Bennett had the second-most starts in 2018. He may very well be the ace. Bobby Miller was a sensation when recruited; and had a good 2018. He ended with a 2.97 ERA, and 1.06 WHIP. He will see a larger role. Detmers and Hoeing started a few games.
Hoeing returned after being drafted by San Francisco. He turned down the giants, and is looking to improve his draft position.
Much like last year, the rotation may be fluid. There are multiple pitchers that may get the nod.
In the bullpen, Smiddy was second on the team in saves; behind closer Sam Bordner. Elliott and McAvene bring experience to the back end. They also may get some starts. Elliott is a dominant southpaw, and McAvene may be Louisville’s mid-week starter, after spending a season in the bullpen after Tommy John surgery his Sophomore year.
C: Zeke Pinkham
1B: Logan Wyatt
2B: Tyler Fitzgerald
3B: Justin Lavey
SS: Jared Poland
Pinkham is not the flashiest catcher at the plate. He hit .100 and had an OPS of just .256. But he brings a good defensive game, which more than makes up for his bat. He is coming off an injury, though. Ben Bianco and Pat Rumoro are two options to platoon behind the plate.
Logan Wyatt started all 64 games last year at first. This year, he’s expected to be an integral part of the team. USA Baseball named him in their Golden Spikes award watchlist.
Mann left a huge hole at second. It does free up the position for Fitzgerald. The former third-baseman is a natural middle-infielder, and is a productive hitter. He is second in on-base percentage for returning players.
Justin Lavey has started before, and will start again. Most likely at the hot corner. He started 60 of 61 games last year, and had a .307 on-base percentage.
There’s no natural choice for shortstop, and McDonnell may be forced to go with a freshman. Poland is a possible choice. While Jake Snider could play short, he will most likely be in the outfield. Poland was selected in the 34th round of the 2018 MLB Draft; and would have went higher if he was not committed to Louisville. Poland is the 124th overall player in Perfect Game’s 2018 class, and was the No. 4 player out of Indiana.
LF- Jake Snider
CF- Drew Campbell
RF- Danny Oriente
All three players started over 40 games last season. Snider was one of two players to start all 64 games. And Rightly so. He hit .300 last year, with 72 hits, and two home runs. He drove in 32 runs, and walked 43 times.
Campbell drove in 31 runs. The projected starter hit .313, and had a .799 OPS last year.
Of returning players, Oriente is second on the team in batting average. He hit .331 last year, and had an .819 OPS. Most of his starts were in right. He may split time with Ethan Stringer. Stringer had the highest Slugging percentage of any returning outfielders.
The team brings a mix of freshness and experience. The rotation is largely unchanged. There are a few holes in the infield.
Regardless, this may be a good team. The Cardinals are ranked in all six major preseason polls. Their highest ranking is No. 4, according to D1Baseball.
Louisville plays their first game at Patterson Stadium at 3pm on Wednesday, Feb. 20th. It kicks off a lengthy 14-game homestand, that lasts into April.
Season starts Friday.
Mike Gilpatrick is the editor-in-chief, and senior baseball correspondent, for Cardinals baseball. MORE