Today, the University of Louisville Baseball program revealed the team captains for the 2019 season. Five members of the Cardinal Nine were awarded captaincy: junior LHP Nick Bennett, junior shortstop Tyler Fitzgerald, senior catcher Zeke Pinkham, junior RHP Shay Smiddy, and junior first baseman Logan Wyatt.
A member of the 2017 NCBWA All-Freshman First Team and 2018 All-ACC Second Team, Bennett carries a career ERA of 3.00 over 29 appearances and 24 starts. In 2018, he boasted an 8-2 record with 72 strikeouts and an opponent’s batting average of .203. Following the departure of Adam Wolf due to the draft, Bennett is likely to be the #1 pitcher in the starting rotation.
Tyler Fitzgerald had one of the hottest summers and falls among Cardinals players. He carried a batting average of .298 with 2 home runs and 20 RBIs for the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod League. In the fall Pizza Bowl series, he batted .500 with 2 home runs and 7 RBIs. His performance since the end of the 2018 season warranted him shooting up D1 Baseball’s Top 150 Prospects list, moving from 68th to 43rd.
Part of a three-man catcher rotation in 2018, Pinkham missed the majority of 2018 due to injury. He has 58 appearances in his three season with Louisville, with 17 appearances and 11 starts in 2018.
Shay Smiddy did it all on the mound in his sophomore campaign, whether it was starting, relieving or closing. He made 23 appearances in 2018, 4 of which were starts, and was able to keep a sub-3.00 ERA along with a 5-1 record. He also transitioned into the closer’s role following Sam Bordner’s injury, where he recorded 3 saves.
Rounding out the 2019 captains is arguably the best player on the roster in first baseman Logan Wyatt. Among returning players in 2019, the 2018 Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Third-Team All-American lead the team in batting average (.338), slugging percentage (.522), home runs (6), RBIs (69), on base percentage (.490) and OPS (1.012).
These five captains and the rest of the #9 Louisville Cardinals will kick off the 2019 season in Lakeland, FL against the UConn Huskies on February 15th for a 3 game series. The home opener is set for February 20th at 3pm against Eastern Kentucky.