The No. 4 Louisville baseball team continues a 10-game homestand at Jim Patterson Stadium with a weekend series against Princeton starting Friday at 3 p.m., ET. The Cardinals and Tigers are also slated for Saturday at 1 p.m., and Sunday at noon. Television coverage of the series will be available through CardsTV at GoCards.com. Radio coverage for Friday’s game will be provided through 1450 WXVW, while 93.9 The Ville will have the games on Saturday and Sunday. Live stats for all Louisville baseball games are available at GoCards.com.
Ranked fourth in this week’s Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball newspaper polls, Louisville returned to its winning ways with a 9-5 triumph over Morehead State on Wednesday afternoon at Patterson Stadium. The Cardinals enter the third weekend of the season at 6-2 overall as junior outfielder Corey Ray (.485, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 15 runs, 6-of-6 stolen bases) and sophomore third baseman Blake Tiberi (.500, 1 HR, 8 RBI) pace the offense.
ABOUT THE TIGERS
The weekend visit to Louisville will serve as the opening weekend of baseball for the Princeton Tigers. Under the guidance of head coach Scott Bradley, who enters his 19th season at the helm, the Tigers were 7-32 and 4-16 in the Ivy League. The Tigers have 21 players returning from last year’s team including All-Ivy performers, Danny Hoy and Billy Arendt.
This weekend will mark the first meetings for Louisville and Princeton on the baseball diamond. The Cardinals are 0-2 all-time against current Ivy League members having dropped a pair of home games to Brown in 1972.
MCKAY NAMED NATIONAL PITCHER OF THE MONTH
Sophomore lefty Brendan McKay was selected as the National Pitcher of the Month for February by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. One of the top two-way players in the nation, McKay has been nearly untouchable to start 2016. The Darlington, Pennsylvania, native boasts a perfect 0.00 ERA in 14 innings across two starts, including a three-hit shutout at No. 21 Ole Miss on Feb. 27. McKay was named ACC Pitcher of the Week for that performance, where he struck out eight Rebels and didn’t issue a walk while extending his scoreless innings streak to 19.0, which dates back to 2015. McKay has 16 strikeouts and only four walks on the season, and has allowed just six hits in 14 innings for a .136 opponent batting average.
FEELING AT HOME INSIDE JIM PATTERSON STADIUM
Since opening the gates at Jim Patterson Stadium in 2005, the Cardinals have won more than 75 percent of their games in the ballpark posting a 282-90 record (.758 winning percentage), including a 5-0 mark this season at the corner of Third and Central.
TEAM NOTES AND TRENDS
• Collectively, the Cardinals are hitting .348 with six players hitting .353 or better while starting all eight games.
• Louisville has won 145 straight games when entering the ninth inning with a lead dating back to May 2012. The Cardinals were 43-0 last season and 46-0 in 2013 when leading after the eighth.
• The Cardinals are 14-for-15 on stolen bases this season continuing the aggressive approach from head coach Dan McDonnell. Louisville was fourth nationally with 127 stolen bases last season, second in the nation in 2014 with 133 and second in 2013 with 150.
• Through the 65-game season in 2015, the Louisville bullpen had a 1.82 ERA with a 22-2 record, 229 strikeouts to just 97 walks in 222.0 innings and opposing batters hit only .175.
• In 30 ACC games last season, the Cardinals had a staff ERA of 2.66 with 258 strikeouts in 277.0 innings.
• The Cardinals allowed two or fewer earned runs in 36 of 65 games last season. In 2014, they did it in 40 of 67 games, while in 2013, they accomplished the feat in 36 of 65 games.
• From March 21 to April 10 of last season, the Cardinals played 83 consecutive innings against ACC opponents without trailing.
PLAYER NOTES AND TRENDS
• Hitting in the leadoff spot, Corey Ray is 5-for-8 in the first inning this season with two home runs, one double and five runs scored.
• Nine of Ray’s 15 career home runs have either tied the score or given Louisville a lead.
• Ray was named ACC Player of the Week on Feb. 22 after hitting .667 (6-for-9) with two home runs, seven RBI, nine runs scored and was 6-for-6 on stolen bases in three games against SIU Edwardsville.
• Both Ray and Blake Tiberi have hit safely in all eight games this season. Devin Hairston, Danny Rosenbaum and Nick Solak have reached base safely in all eight games this season.
• Kyle Funkhouser continues his climb up Louisville’s career pitching charts ranking second in wins (27), second in strikeouts (290), fourth in starts (43) and fifth in innings pitched (296.0). He also holds the school record for single season wins with 13 in 2014.
• Brendan McKay has recorded eight strikeouts in each of his first two starts this season and finished with eight or more strikeouts nine times in his young career.
• The first player in Dan McDonnell‘s tenure to start on the mound and play virtually every day as a hitter, McKay was 9-3 with four saves, 1.77 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 96.2 innings last season. At the plate, he hit .308 with four home runs, 34 RBI, 32 runs and 38 walks in 58 starts.
• Nick Solak set a school record for walks in a single game earning five free passes in Louisville’s 12-0 win over SIUE on Feb. 20.
• Highlighted by a career-best 20-game hitting streak last season, Solak was one of the team’s best offensive players hitting .324 average with a team-high 15 doubles, three home runs, 40 RBI, 47 runs scored and 18 stolen bases.
• Lincoln Henzman led the Louisville pitchers in appearances last season (28) and that trend has continued in 2016 with three scoreless relief outings. The righty has five strikeouts and has not allowed a hit in 3.2 innings this season.
• Nine players have made their Louisville debuts this season, including freshman lefty Adam Wolf who worked two innings of shutout relief in his first outing March 2 against Morehead State.
GAME DAY INFORMATION
#4 Louisville vs. Princeton
Location: Louisville, Ky.
Venue: Jim Patterson Stadium (4,000)
Twitter Updates: @UofLBaseball
Series History: No previous meetings
Game Notes: Louisville | Princeton
Friday, March 4 | 3:00 p.m. ET | Live Stats
TV: CardsTV (Watch) | Radio: 1450 WXVW
LOU: Sr. RHP Kyle Funkhouser (1-1, 8.31 ERA)
PU: Sr. RHP Luke Streiber (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Saturday, March 5 | 1:00 p.m. ET | Live Stats
TV: CardsTV (Watch) | Radio: 93.9 The Ville
LOU: So. LHP Brendan McKay (2-0, 0.00 ERA)
PU: Sr. RHP Cameron Mingo (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Sunday, March 6 | Noon ET | Live Stats
TV: CardsTV (Watch) | Radio: 93.9 The Ville
LOU: Jr. LHP Drew Harrington (1-1, 3.18 ERA)
PU: Jr. RHP Chad Powers (0-0, 0.00 ERA)