The University of Louisville baseball team heads to Charlottesville for three games at No. 10 Virginia beginning on Friday night at 6 p.m. ET. Saturday’s game is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET with the series finishing on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. The Friday and Sunday games will be on ACC Network Extra while the Saturday game will be televised on ACC Network. Radio coverage will be available all weekend on 93.9 The Ville and 970 WGTK.
ABOUT THE CARDINALS
Louisville played its first extra-inning game of the 2023 season on Tuesday night, dropping a 12-8 decision in 12 innings to No. 3 Vanderbilt.
Counting the three upcoming games at No. 10 Virginia, Louisville is in a stretch of 26 games with 23 coming against teams currently ranked inside the top 20 in at least one poll.
Louisville and Virginia have met 22 times since the Cardinals entered the ACC in 2015, with UofL holding a 13-9 edge in the series. Louisville has won the series against UVA each of the last two seasons, including taking two of three in its last trip to Charlottesville in 2021.
- UofL has won 53 of its 80 ACC series (53-23-2 – one series ended 1-1, one ended 1-1-1) since joining the league and is 58-19-1 in its series finales during that span, including a 21-9-1 record in rubber games.
- Louisville had just 12 stolen bases through the first 14 games, but has stolen 71 in the last 34.
- Fifteen different Cardinals have stolen a base this season.
- The Cardinals rank top 20 nationally in earned run average (4.06) and hits allowed per nine innings (8.03).
- Louisville has been excellent early in games this spring, outscoring opponents 129-66 in the first three innings.
- The Cardinals are 17-2 this season when they do not allow a home run and 12-2 when they hit multiple homers.
- Through 48 games, the Cardinals have started 45 different batting orders and 38 different defensive alignments.
- Jack Payton finished with an ACC-best 23 doubles in 2022, but homered just four times. The junior is still racking up the doubles with nine this season. However, Payton has shown more power this spring, matching his total from last year just 10 games into 2023 and sitting with more than double that number entering the weekend. He recorded his first multi-homer game at Cincinnati, homering in the each of the first two innings, and currently leads the Cards with 18 multi-hit games including six with three hits. Payton has not started seven of Louisville’s last 14 games due to injury and the Cardinals are 1-6 in those contests.
- Ryan McCoy has provided a power presence in the middle of the Louisville lineup in his first season with the Cards. The junior leads the team in runs, home runs and RBIs and is second in walks. In his last 12 games, McCoy has tallied five homers, 17 RBIs and 12 runs scored. With the injuries to Louisville’s catchers, McCoy has moved behind the plate and caught five of the last six games.
- Christian Knapczyk is the catalyst at the top of the Louisville lineup and currently ranks second in the ACC with 19 stolen bases and 16 HBPs. The junior has a hit in 34 of the 40 games he’s played this season and has reached base in all but three contests. Knapczyk missed seven games due to injury before pinch-hitting in the eighth inning of the finale against Miami, doubling off the wall to drive in a run. He returned to the starting lineup on May 2, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
- Ryan Hawks drew the Opening Day start for the Cardinals, just the second start of his collegiate career. The senior has been the workhorse at the front of the Louisville rotation, ranking fifth in the ACC in innings pitched and seventh in strikeouts. Hawks became the first Louisville pitcher to win all four starts through the first four weekends since Brendan McKay in 2016, and his eight innings against Boston College marked the longest outing by a Louisville pitcher this season.
- Carson Liggett earned the Sunday starting role to open the season and has been terrific this season. The sophomore is 7-0 and ranks third in the ACC with a 2.31 ERA. The right-hander has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 11 of his 12 starts, and is the first Louisville pitcher to win his first seven decisions in a season since Kade McClure finished the 2016 season 12-0.
CARDINALS RUNNING GAUNTLET OF TOP-20 OPPONENTS
Since Early April, the Louisville schedule has featured a strong run of teams currently ranked inside the top 20 of at least one poll in the latest rankings.
Seventeen of Louisville’s last 20 games have been against teams currently ranked in the top 20 and that number will continue to grow with three games at No. 10 Virginia this weekend.
Louisville is 8-9 this season against teams that were ranked at the time of the game.