After a successful 2017 campaign followed by a long offseason, it’s finally time for baseball season in the Ville! With that, I will be introducing a new weekly segment dubbed the “7th Inning Stretch”. Each week, I will be going over news and notes from the past week, previewing next week’s opponents, as well as going over other things you might have missed. I myself am excited to dive into yet another season of Louisville Baseball, so let’s dive right in and enjoy opening week!

News & Notes

  • Junior RHP Sam Bordner, junior OF Josh Stowers, and junior LHP Adam Wolf were voted by the players and coaches as the captains for the 2018 season.
  • The Cardinal Nine have landed on five separate college baseball preseason polls, including 19th on Baseball America’s Preseason Top 25th, and as high as 13th on USA Today’s Preseason Coaches Poll.
  • Junior 2B Devin Mann and junior RHP Riley Thompson were both named to Baseball America’s Preseason All-American list, with junior RHP Sam Bordner named to the NCBWA’s Preseason All-American list. Bordner and Mann were selected as a second-team All-Americans, and Thompson a third-team All-American.
  • According to a vote by all 14 ACC coaches, the Cards were voted to finish second in both the Atlantic division and the conference (Florida State).
  • 93.9 The Ville returns for the fourth consecutive year as the flagship station for the Louisville Baseball team, with most regular season games and all postseason games airing on 93.9 The Ville.
  • ICYMI: the 2018 season will mark the first time that all home games will be charge admission. Season tickets, individual tickets as well as additional ticket packages are available, with a more detailed list here.

The Week Ahead

All games this week are a part of the Charleston Crab House Classic, hosted by coach Dan McDonnell’s alma mater The Citadel.

Away (Charleston, SC)

  • Friday, February 16th at 12:00pm vs. Richmond Spiders
  • Saturday, February 17th at 3pm vs. The Citadel Bulldogs
  • Sunday, February 18th at 11am vs George Mason Patriots

Opponent Breakdown

Richmond The Citadel George Mason Louisville
Base on Balls 265 (165) 250 (174) 84 (241) 26 (285)
Batting Average 107 (.280) 286 (.237) 267 (.249) 68 (.288)
Hits 133 (522) 276 (402) 171 (497) 25 (633)
Home Runs 261 (19) 176 (33) 105 (46) 23 (72)
Runs 211 (268) 274 (219) 151 (310) 12 (464)
Slugging Percentage 207 (.377) 266 (.346) 218 (.375) 33 (.460)
Earned Run Average 246 (6.06) 208 (5.55) 133 (4.70) 3 (2.92)
Strikeouts Per 9 Innings 100 (7.9) 7 (9.6) 250 (6.4) 12 (9.4)
WHIP 249 (1.71) 201 (1.61) 145 (1.49) 4 (1.15)
Walks Allowed Per 9 Innings 280 (5.63) 199 (4.41) 115 (3.77) 37 (3.12)
Key: Rank out of 295 (Value)

*Note: the stats featured this week are from last season due to 2018 season not having started yet

A couple opposing players to keep an eye on this week both happen to be Spiders. Senior shortstop Vinny Capra led the Spiders with .355 batting average, 1.47 hits per game and 0.92 runs per game & junior pitcher Layne Looney led the team with a 3.21 ERA and 9.49 strikeouts per nine innings. While these two players have a chance to stand out individually against Louisville, statistically speaking, the rest of the Richmond Spiders don’t really compliment them and give them a chance to take down the Cards.

Nothing against Richmond, The Citadel and George Mason, but comparatively speaking to Louisville, they just don’t compare to the Cardinals, as all three teams have several low 200s ranking in most major categories. The one outlier to this would be The Citadel’s top 10 ranking in strikeouts per nine innings, which can mainly be attributed to pitcher JP Spears. In 2017, Spears ranked top 10 in strikeouts, and top 60 in complete games, hits allowed, strikeout-to-walk ratio, and WHIP. So thank God he graduated after last season.

Expect the Louisville Cardinals to be 3-0 by the end of the week.

 

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Matt McGavic

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