For the second straight weekend, the No. 7 Louisville baseball team will face a top 10 opponent as No. 9 Virginia visits Jim Patterson Stadium for a three-game series starting Friday at 6 p.m., ET. The Cardinals and Cavaliers are also slated for Saturday at 1 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m. All three games of the series will be televised by ESPN3 while 93.9 The Ville will provide radio coverage throughout the weekend. Live stats for all Louisville baseball games are available at GoCards.com.
Ranked as high as No. 7 in this week’s Collegiate Baseball newspaper poll, Louisville is playing a weekend series against a top 25 opponent for the third time in six weeks after visiting No. 5 Miami last week and No. 21 Ole Miss on Feb. 26-28. Through two weeks of ACC action, the Cardinals are one game out of first place in the ACC Atlantic Division with a 4-2 record. On the mound, Louisville has four shutouts while allowing two or fewer earned runs in 13 of its 21 outings. The pitching staff is ranked third in the nation in hits allowed per nine innings pitched at 5.77 and seventh with a 2.31 team ERA. Offensively, the Cardinals are ranked 11th nationally with a .326 team batting average and 18th in on-base percentage at .413.
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS
Virginia enters the weekend at 16-6 overall after earning a 15-6 win over James Madison on Tuesday and 4-2 in the ACC behind series wins over Duke and Wake Forest. Under the guidance of Brian O’Connor, who is in his 13th season as head coach, the Cavaliers were 44-24 last season en route to winning the program’s first NCAA title. After finishing 15-15 in the ACC and narrowly making the NCAA Championship, Virginia was 10-2 in NCAA postseason games, including a pair of wins over Vanderbilt in the College World Series Finals.
Louisville holds a 3-0 lead in the all-time series with Virginia earning a three-game sweep of the Cavaliers in Charlottesville last season. The Cardinals won 8-1, 11-4 and 4-0 handing Virginia its first home sweep since 2012.
GAME DAY INFORMATION (Promotions)
#7 Louisville vs. #9 Virginia
Location: Louisville, Ky.
Venue: Jim Patterson Stadium (4,000)
Twitter Updates: @UofLBaseball
Series History: Louisville leads 3-0 all-time
Game Notes: Louisville | Virginia
PLAYER NOTES AND TRENDS
Nick Solak: Solak has reached base safely in all 21 games this season and has a streak of 33 straight games reaching base safely dating back to last season.
• Solak ranks fifth nationally in on-base percentage (.570), eighth with 28 runs scored and ninth in hitting with a .461 average.
• Solak set a school record with five walks in Louisville’s 12-0 win over SIUE on Feb. 20.
• 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.
Corey Ray: Ray leads the nation with 23 stolen bases (on 26 attempts) this season and ranks 29th nationally with his six home runs.
• 10 of Ray’s 17 career home runs have either tied the score or given Louisville a lead.
Blake Tiberi: Tiberi leads the Cardinals with 12 multiple-hit games and is second on the team with five multiple-RBI games this season.
• Tiberi connected for two home runs in last week’s series at Miami and has eight career home runs in 166 collegiate at-bats.
Devin Hairston: Hairston ranks third on the team with nine multiple-hit games and second in multiple-RBI games with five.
Colby Fitch: Fitch has hit safely in all eight games he has started this season and has a .520 average with four doubles, one home run, five RBI and eight runs scored in those eight starts.
Kyle Funkhouser: Funkhouser continues his climb up Louisville’s career pitching charts ranking first in strikeouts (308) and innings pitched (316.0), second in wins (28) and third in starts (46). He also holds the school record for single season wins with 13 in 2014.
Brendan McKay: McKay has recorded eight or more strikeouts in four of his five 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.
• McKay is 16th in the nation with 42 strikeouts and 18th in hits allowed per 9 IP at 4.36.
• In 15 career appearances on the mound at home (including 10 starts), McKay is 10-0 with four saves, a 1.00 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 71.2 innings pitched.
Drew Harrington: Harrington has won three straight starts and ranks 41st in the nation in strikeouts-to-walk ratio at 8.25 (33 strikeouts, four walks).
Kade McClure: McClure has won all five midweek starts this season and ranks sixth in the nation in WHIP at 0.67 and 13th in hits allowed per 9 IP (4.00).
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