The No. 4 Louisville baseball team travels to Coral Gables, Florida for a pivotal ACC showdown against No. 5 Miami, which begins Friday at 7 p.m., ET at Alex Rodriguez Park and ESPN3. In a matchup of the reigning ACC division champions, the Cardinals and Hurricanes are also slated for Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., with each of the final two games of the series set for ESPNU. Radio coverage for all three Louisville-Miami games is slated for 93.9 The Ville. Live stats for all Louisville baseball games are available at GoCards.com.
Ranked No. 4 in multiple national polls for the third consecutive week, Louisville is riding a season-high 10-game winning streak after earning a pair of midweek wins at home against Wright State and Xavier. The Cardinals opened their ACC schedule with a series sweep of Notre Dame last weekend at Jim Patterson Stadium. Offensively, the Cardinals have scored eight or more runs 10 times this season and are ranked 10th nationally with a .332 team batting average. On the mound, Louisville has four shutouts while allowing two or fewer earned runs in 12 of its 17 outings. The pitching staff is ranked second nationally with a 1.82 team ERA and second in the nation in hits allowed per nine innings pitched at 5.41.
ABOUT THE HURRICANES
Miami enters the weekend at 14-3 overall after earning a 5-2 win at UCF on Wednesday and the Hurricanes are 2-1 in the ACC following a series win at Virginia Tech last weekend. Miami features an all lefty weekend rotation on the mound with senior Thomas Woodrey, sophomore Michael Mediaville and junior Danny Garcia. Under the guidance of Jim Morris, who is in his 23rd season as head coach, the Hurricanes were 50-17 last season while winning the ACC Coastal Division with a 22-8 league mark. Miami hosted and won an NCAA Regional and an NCAA Super Regional en route to advancing to the College World Series for the 24th time.
Louisville holds a 5-2 advantage in the all-time series against Miami, including winning two of three the program’s first ACC series last season at Jim Patterson Stadium. This will mark the first visit to Miami for the Cardinals since a 13-4 loss to the Hurricanes in the first ever meeting between the programs in 2006. The teams met in NCAA Regional action in 2007 (Columbia, Mo.) and 2013 (Louisville, Ky.) with the Cardinals winning all three postseason games.
TEAM NOTES AND TRENDS
• Collectively, the Cardinals are hitting .332 (10th nationally) with five players hitting .326 or better while starting at least 15 games.
• Louisville has won 153 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 42-of-47 on stolen bases this season (second nationally) 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.
• Conversely, Louisville’s opponents are just 6-for-16 on stolen bases this season as Will Smith has allowed just four of nine attempts.
• Louisville has allowed two or fewer earned runs in 12 of 17 game this season, a feat achieved in 36 of 65 games last season. In 2014, they did it in 40 of 67 games, while in 2013, they accomplished the task in 36 of 65 games.
• The Cardinals are No.2 in the nation in ERA at 1.82, second in hits allowed per 9 IP surrendering just 5.41, No. 2 nationally in WHIP (0.930), seventh in on-base percentage (.422) and No. 8 in fielding percentage at 0.984.
PLAYER NOTES AND TRENDS
• Corey Ray and Nick Solak have reached base safely in all 17 games this season. Solak has a streak of 29 straight games reaching base safely dating back to last season.
• Ray leads the nation with 20 stolen bases (on 23 attempts), Drew Harrington is second nationally in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 27-to-1, Solak ranks fifth nationally with 25 runs scored and Brendan McKay is seventh in the nation with 37 strikeouts.
• Nine of Ray’s 16 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.
• Blake Tiberi leads the Cardinals with 10 multiple-hit games and five multiple-RBI games.
• Kyle Funkhouser continues his climb up Louisville’s career pitching charts ranking first in innings pitched (311.0), second in wins (28), second in strikeouts (304) and third in starts (45). He also holds the school record for single season wins with 13 in 2014.
• Brendan McKay has recorded eight or more strikeouts in each of his first four starts this season and has finished with eight or more strikeouts 11 times in his career. On March 11, he had a career-best 13 strikeouts against Notre Dame, the most for a Louisville pitchers since 2003.
• 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. This season, Solak has 17 walks and a team-leading .568 on-base percentage, which ranks eighth nationally.
• In four games from March 8-12, Solak hit .471 with four RBI, five runs scored, four stolen bases and a game-winning walk-off home run in the 11th inning against Notre Dame on March 11.
GAME DAY INFORMATION
#4 Louisville at #5 Miami
Location: Coral Gables, Fla.
Venue: Alex Rodriguez Park (4,999)
Twitter Updates: @UofLBaseball
Series History: Louisville leads 5-2 all-time
Game Notes: Louisville | Miami
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