From UofL SID
GAME DAY INFO: #3 Louisville (42-14, 25-5 ACC) at 2015 ACC Championship
Date: May 19-24, 2015
Location: Durham, N.C.
Venue: Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Live Stats: GoCards.com
Twitter Updates: @UofLBaseball
Wednesday, May 20 | 7 p.m. ET | Louisville vs. North Carolina
TV: RSN/ESPN3 (Watch) | Radio: 93.9 The Ville
Web: CardsTV Audio (Listen) | Live Stats: theACC.com
LOU: Fr. RHP Sean Leland (4-0, 1.11 ERA)
UNC: Sr. RHP Benton Moss (7-0, 3.30 ERA)
Thursday, May 21 | 3 p.m. ET | Louisville vs. Clemson
TV: RSN/ESPN3 (Watch) | Radio: 93.9 The Ville
Web: CardsTV Audio (Listen) | Live Stats: theACC.com
LOU: Jr. RHP Kyle Funkhouser (7-4, 2.99 ERA)
CU: Jr. LHP Zack Erwin (6-4, 2.80 ERA)
Saturday, May 23 | 11 a.m. ET | Louisville vs. Florida State
TV: RSN/ESPN3 (Watch) | Radio: 93.9 The Ville
Web: CardsTV Audio (Listen) | Live Stats: theACC.com
FSU: Fr. RHP Drew Carlton (3-5, 4.99 ERA)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Following a record-setting regular season, the top-seeded and No. 3-ranked Louisville baseball team will begin the postseason at the 2015 ACC Championship at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The Cardinals begin Pool A action on Wednesday at 7 p.m., ET against No. 8 North Carolina, a 5-3 winner over No. 9 Virginia Tech in Tuesday’s play-in game.
Louisville will continue its pool play schedule against No. 5 Clemson on Thursday at 3 p.m., and No. 4 Florida State on Saturday at 11 a.m. All of the Cardinals’ postseason games in 2015 will be aired on 93.9 The Ville. The two teams with the best records within their respective pools will advance to the title game on Sunday at 1 p.m., with the winner earning the ACC’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
All 15 games of this year’s ACC Baseball Championship will be televised for the ninth straight year. Regional Sports Networks from across the conference footprint and across the nation will carry all 14 games on Tuesday through Saturday. Sunday’s championship game will televised nationally by ESPN2 at 1 p.m. All games will also be available on ESPN3 or WatchESPN.
ABOUT THE CARDINALS
Earning its 12th straight series win and the 10th consecutive ACC series victory, Louisville closed the regular season by winning two of three at NC State. The Cardinals set an ACC record for conference wins in a single season finishing with a 25-5 league mark, eight games ahead of Notre Dame and Florida State with 17-13 records. Louisville is ranked as highly as No. 3 this week by D1Baseball.com and Baseball America, down one position from last week’s school record ranking.
ACC ATLANTIC DIVISION CHAMPIONS
In its inaugural season in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Louisville dominated the Atlantic Division in record-setting fashion with a 25-5 mark and earning the top seed in the 2015 ACC Championship. For the Cardinals, it was their fourth straight regular season conference championship, including each of the last three in different leagues. Along with setting an ACC record for wins, Louisville also set a school record for conference victories in a single season surpassing the previous mark of 21.
NO. 9 IN THE RPI, NO. 1 IN TOP 50 WINS
With less than one week of action remaining until the 2015 NCAA Championship field is announced, Louisville entered the ACC Championship at No. 9 in the official NCAA RPI rankings released on Monday. According to D1Baseball.com, the Cardinals lead the nation in top 50 RPI wins with 17 (17-8 overall) and followed by Florida State, LSU and UCLA with 16 each. Louisville also has nine top 25 RPI wins, tied for second most nationally.
ANOTHER 40-WIN SEASON IN LOUISVILLE
The win over Florida State on May 10 clinched Louisville’s fourth straight 40-win season and the eighth in nine years under the direction of head coach Dan McDonnell. The Cardinals have finished with 40 or more regular season wins in three straight seasons and five times in the last seven seasons overall. Louisville set a school record for regular season wins in 2010 and equaled the total in 2013 registering 46-10 marks in each of those years prior to starting the postseason.
CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT NOTES
• Louisville is looking for its first conference tournament title since winning back-to-back Big East Tournament championships in 2008 and 2009.
• The Cardinals are 21-14 in conference tournament games in eight seasons under head coach Dan McDonnell.
• Louisville is 2-1 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park this season having earned a series win over Duke on April 10-12.
• Last season, the Cardinals were 2-2 at the American Conference Championship in Clearwater, Fla., falling to Houston in the title game.
TEAM NOTES AND TRENDS
• Through 56 games this season, the Louisville bullpen has a 1.66 ERA with a 20-0 record, 201 strikeouts to just 85 walks in 194.2 innings and opposing batters are hitting only .166.
• In 30 ACC games, the Cardinals had a staff ERA of 2.66 with 258 strikeouts in 277.0 innings.
• Louisville has won 135 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 have allowed two or fewer earned runs in 34 of 56 games this season. Last season, they did it in 40 of 67 games, while in 2013, they accomplished the feat in 36 of 65 games.
• Louisville is 29-0 this season when scoring first and 14-0 when scoring in the first inning.
• From March 21 to April 10 of this season, the Cardinals played 83 consecutive innings against ACC opponents without trailing.
PLAYER NOTES AND TRENDS
• Corey Ray leads the Cardinals in several offensive categories highlighted by his .329 average with 11 home runs, 48 RBI, 45 runs scored and 31 stolen bases while starting all three outfield positions.
• Seven of Ray’s 11 home runs this season have either tied the score or given Louisville a lead.
• In 30 ACC games, Ray hit .352 with seven home runs, 27 RBI and 24 stolen bases.
• Kyle Funkhouser continues to climb up Louisville’s career pitching charts ranking second in wins (25), second in strikeouts (267), seventh in starts (38) and seventh in innings pitched (268.1). He also holds the school record for single season wins with 13 in 2014.
• As the first player in Dan McDonnell’s nine seasons to start on the mound and play virtually every day as a position player/hitter, freshman Brendan McKay is 8-2 with four saves, a 1.64 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 77.0 innings pitched (17 appearances, 10 starts.). Twice this season he has struck out 12 batters in a single game. At the plate, he is hitting .318 with two home runs, 29 RBI, 28 runs scored and 35 walks in 49 starts as a hitter.
• In his last 12 starts on the mound, Josh Rogers is 7-0 with a 2.36 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 72.1 innings pitched. In 10 ACC starts, he was 5-0 with a 2.56 ERA.
• Nick Solak had his career-best 20-game hitting streak halted on May 2 at Clemson, however he continues to produce for the Cardinals carrying a .319 average with a team-high 14 doubles, two home runs, 36 RBI, 40 runs scored and 18 stolen bases. In 30 ACC games, Solak hit .339 with 10 doubles, 21 RBI and 24 runs scored.
• Solak has four career home runs with three either tying the score or giving Louisville a lead.
CARDINALS IN NATIONAL POLLS EVERY WEEK SINCE BEGINNING OF 2012
The Louisville baseball program has enjoyed a historic run by remaining in at least one of the major national polls every week since the release of the 2012 preseason rankings — the longest such span in school history. On May 4, the Cardinals earned their highest ranking in school history rising to No. 2 in the D1Baseball and NCBWA polls after opening the season as high as No. 7 in the USA Today preseason coaches poll. The coaches ranking marked the third straight season the Cardinals were positioned in the top 10 in a preseason poll.
Earning a preseason national ranking for the eighth straight season, Louisville was ranked in the top 12 in each of the six preseason national polls in 2015. The Cardinals were also at No. 9 in the Perfect Game preseason Top 25, No. 11 in the D1Baseball Top 25 and No. 12 in both the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball newspaper polls.
LOUISVILLE PITCHERS LEAD NATION IN STRIKEOUTS SINCE 2012
Since 2012, Louisville’s pitchers lead the nation in strikeouts with 2,176 overall entering the week. The Cardinals, who had 509 strikeouts through 56 games of 2015, finished with 563 strikeouts last season, had an NCAA best 629 in 2013 and finished with 474 in 2012. Vanderbilt ranks second since 2012 with 2,174 strikeouts, while NC State (2,113), North Carolina (2,056) and Mississippi State (2,032) round out the top five.
MCKAY ACC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR, MCDONNELL COACH OF THE YEAR
The Louisville baseball team received a pair of major conference awards on May 18 as two-way standout Brendan McKay was chosen as the 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year and Dan McDonnell was named ACC Coach of the Year.
In addition to earning two of the four major awards, the Cardinals had a league-high five players named to the All-ACC first team to go with two second team selections and two All-Freshman Team honorees as voted by the league’s 14 head coaches. McKay (Darlington, Pa.) led the way for Louisville earning All-ACC first team accolades as a starting pitcher, second team accolades as a utility player and All-Freshman team recognition.
The Cardinals were also represented on the All-ACC first team by senior infielder Sutton Whiting, junior starting pitcher Kyle Funkhouser, sophomore relief pitcher Zack Burdi and sophomore outfielder Corey Ray. Sophomore starting pitcher Josh Rogers was named to the second team and righthanded pitcher Lincoln Henzman was chosen for the All-Freshman team.
Louisville finished the regular season at 42-14 overall and set an ACC record for conference wins in a regular season with a 25-5 mark in league play. The Cardinals won all 10 of their ACC league series. This year’s honor marks his first Coach of the Year recognition in any of the three conferences in which the Cardinals have competed during his tenure.
FOUR STRAIGHT CONFERENCE TITLES IN THREE DIFFERENT LEAGUES
On May 9, the Louisville baseball team clinched the 2015 ACC Atlantic Division championship marking the program’s fourth straight regular season conference championship, including the last three in different leagues. After finishing with an 18-9 record and sharing the 2012 Big East Conference title with St. John’s, the Cardinals stood alone as champions in their final season in the league with a 20-4 mark in 2013. In the program’s only season in the American Athletic Conference in 2014, Louisville finished with a 19-5 league record for sole ownership of the inaugural conference title. Overall, the Cardinals have won six regular season conference championships in nine seasons under the direction of head coach Dan McDonnell.
RAY STEALS HOME, HEADLINES IN NINTH INNING AGAINST WAKE FOREST
Considered by many to be the most exciting play in baseball, sophomore Corey Ray took it to a new level on April 18 at Jim Patterson Stadium by not only stealing home, but doing it in the bottom of the ninth inning to score the game-winning run and complete a series sweep of visiting Wake Forest. Moments after the Cardinals had tied the game on a wild pitch, Ray charged down the third base line sliding around the attempted tag and across home plate setting off a wild celebration. The play gained national attention as it was not only featured at No. 8 in Sunday’s SC Top 10, but was also used by ESPN during its opening segment of SportsCenter that morning.
LOUISVILLE WELL REPRESENTED ON NATIONAL AWARD WATCH LISTS
With the postseason fast-approaching, numerous national award watch lists have been released and the Louisville baseball program has been well represented. A total of five Cardinals — Zack Burdi,Kyle Funkhouser, Brendan McKay, Will Smith and Sutton Whiting — were named to six different national watch lists. Here are more details on each award.
• BROOKS WALLACE AWARD WATCH LIST: Sutton Whiting
Sutton Whiting was named on April 23 to the initial watch list for the 2015 Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award. The award, sponsored by Mizuno, recognizes the nation’s top shortstop and will be presented during the National College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions on June 29 in Lubbock. For more information on the Brooks Wallace Award or the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions, visit www.collegebaseballhall.org.
• PITCHER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST: Kyle Funkhouser & Brendan McKay
Kyle Funkhouser and lefthander Brendan McKay were among 46 players named on April 23 to the initial watch list for the Pitcher of the Year Award, presented annually by the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. The award, sponsored by Diamond, will be presented on June 29 in Lubbock as part of the annual Night of Champions. For more information on the Pitcher of the Year Award, visit www.collegebaseballhall.org.
• JOHN OLERUD AWARD WATCH LIST: Brendan McKay
Lefty pitcher and first baseman Brendan McKay was named on April 22 to the watch list for the 2015 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, which honors the nation’s top player both on the mound and at the plate. The award is named for the former Washington State University standout who achieved success both as a first baseman and left-handed pitcher during the late 1980s, and who was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. The award will be presented as part of the Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions celebration, June 28-29 in Lubbock, Texas.
• STOPPER OF THE YEAR AWARD WATCH LIST: Zack Burdi
Zack Burdi was named on April 21 to the midseason watch list for the 11th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award. Last season, Louisville’s Nick Burdi, the older brother of Zack, was chosen as the NCBWA Stopper of the Year after finishing with a school record 18 saves. The NCBWA will announce five finalists for the 2015 Stopper of the Year – the Division I national saves leader and four other relief pitching standouts – on Wednesday, June 3, prior to the start of NCAA Super Regional competition. The NCBWA’s All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year’s recipient to be announced during the 2015 College World Series.
• GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD WATCH LIST: Kyle Funkhouser & Brendan McKay
Junior righthander Kyle Funkhouser and freshman pitcher/first baseman Brendan McKay were named to the 60-player midseason USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award watch list on April 9. Sponsored by Major League Baseball, and presented to the top amateur baseball player in the country in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, 2015 marks the 38th year of the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award. The watch list will continue to be a “rolling” list until May 27 — when the semifinalists for the award are announced — ensuring that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award. On May 22, USA Baseball will announce the semifinalists for the 2015 Golden Spikes Award. The semifinalists list will be sent to a voting body consisting of past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of the media that follow the amateur game closely, select professional baseball personnel, current USA Baseball staff and the 37 previous winners of the award, representing a group of more than 200 voters. The 2015 Golden Spikes Award winner will be named on June 23, at a presentation in Los Angeles. The finalists and their families will be honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Dinner that evening at the Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles.
• JOHNNY BENCH AWARD WATCH LIST: Will Smith
On March 11, Louisville sophomore Will Smith was among 75 catchers named to the official watch list for the 2015 Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com. Because the award is given annually to the top division one collegiate catcher, the list will be updated to include other candidates until May 4. The watch list will be narrowed to the semifinalists on May 14, while the finalists will be announced June 2. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. All finalists will be brought to Wichita and the winner will be announced at the 18th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 25, 2015.
ACC, NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS FOR THE CARDINALS
• MCKAY NAMED ACC PITCHER OF THE WEEK ON MAY 11
Freshman lefthander Brendan McKay was chosen as the Atlantic Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week on May 11. McKay continued his impressive rookie campaign on May 9 by holding No. 7 Florida State without a hit in 6.1 innings of shutout work as Louisville clinched the 2015 ACC Atlantic Division championship with a 7-0 win at Jim Patterson Stadium. The two-way player from Darlington, Pennsylvania, added six strikeouts to improve to 8-1 on the season.
• ROGERS CHOSEN AS ACC PITCHER OF THE WEEK ON APRIL 13
Sophomore lefty Josh Rogers was named ACC Pitcher of the Week on April 13. Making starts to open and close the week, Rogers went 2-0 with a pair of ACC road wins for the Cardinals. On April 6, the New Albany, Indiana native delivered seven shutout innings while allowing just three hits in a dominant effort at No. 14 Virginia to lead Louisville to a 4-0 win and complete a series sweep. Rogers earned his second victory in seven days on April 12 after striking out seven and allowing just one run in five innings in the Cardinals’ 11-1 triumph to clinch the series win at Duke.
• RAY NAMED ACC PLAYER OF THE WEEK ON APRIL 6
Sophomore Corey Ray was chosen as the ACC Baseball Player of the Week on April 6. Ray hit .600 in three games during the week, finishing 9-for-15 with two home runs, nine RBIs, three doubles, six runs scored, two stolen bases and a 1.333 slugging percentage. After opening the week by going 3-for-5 with a home run, double, triple and four RBIs in a nonconference win over Miami (Ohio) on March 31, Ray kicked off the Cardinals’ series win at No. 9 Virginia by connecting for his first career grand slam in the seventh inning of an 8-1 triumph and finished 2-for-5 overall. The Chicago, Illinois, native kept things rolling on April 5 by going 4-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored, one RBI and two stolen bases in an 11-4 victory over the Cavaliers.
• ACC, NATIONAL PITCHER OF THE WEEK HONORS FOR FUNKHOUSER
Kyle Funkhouser was chosen as the ACC Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 16 while also being named as a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball newspaper. He matched a career-high with 12 strikeouts and allowed just one hit in seven shutout innings to lead the Cardinals to a 5-1 season-opening win over Alabama State on Feb. 13 at the Opening Weekend Challenge. Funkhouser retired the final 20 batters he faced and equaled his strikeout total at Temple last May and improved to 19-4 in his collegiate career with the performance.
TEN CARDINALS MAKE COLLEGIATE DEBUTS IN 2015
A total of 10 Cardinals have made their collegiate debuts thus far in the 2015 season. During the Opening Weekend Challenge in Florida, Devin Hairston, Colby Fitch, Lincoln Henzman, Kade McClure, Brendan McKay and Blake Tiberi took the field for Louisville, while Butch Baird andSean Leland saw their first chances for the Cardinals in the series against Arkansas State. On Feb. 24, Chandler Dale became the ninth player to see action with a relief appearance against Butler. Junior Jimmy Faul became the 10th player with his pinch hit single against Boston College on March 14.