University of Louisville junior left-handed pitcher and first baseman Brendan McKay was named Monday as the preseason National Player of the Year and as a First Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball newspaper, while junior right-handed pitcher Kade McClure was a third team selection.
McKay (Darlington, Pennsylvania) was selected as the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year and earned First Team All-America honors in each of his first two collegiate seasons. As a sophomore in 2016, McKay had a 12-4 record with a 2.30 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 17 starts on the mound, while hitting .333 with six home runs, 19 doubles and 41 RBI at the plate. The two-time All-ACC First Team selection also had a stellar summer hitting .326 with five RBI in 13 starts as a hitter and registering a 2-1 record with a 1.35 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13.1 innings on the mound for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.
Ranked No. 7 on last week’s MLBPipeline.com Top 50 MLB Draft prospects list, McKay emerged on the national scene with an impressive rookie season in 2015 when he was selected as Freshman of the Year by four different organizations, was a First Team All-American and won his first John Olerud Award. McKay closed his first season at Louisville with a 9-3 record, 1.77 ERA, four saves and 117 strikeouts in 96.2 innings on the mound while also hitting .308 with four home runs, 34 RBI and 14 doubles in 58 starts as a hitter.
In his first season in a starting role, McClure (Mentor, Ohio) earned All-America honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (First Team) and Perfect Game (Third Team) after finishing 12-0 with a 2.54 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 13 starts and 15 total appearances on the mound. The 12 wins ranked as the second most in school history and placed McClure fifth in the nation in victories last season.
The Cardinals are scheduled to open the 2017 season on Feb. 17-19 in Clearwater, Florida with a trio of games at Bright House Field. Louisville will face Alabama State on Feb. 17 at 3 p.m., ET, Maryland on Feb. 18 at 6 p.m., and Ball State on Feb. 19 at 1 p.m.