The University of Louisville baseball team heads to Texas this weekend to play in the 2023 Shriners Children’s College Classic. Louisville will square off against Texas A&M, TCU and Michigan at Minute Maid Park in Houston. All three games will be streamed on Astros.com along with the Astros Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts and the MLB app. Radio coverage will be available on 970 WGTK all weekend and 93.9 The Ville when play doesn’t overlap with basketball.
ABOUT THE CARDINALS
Louisville closed out a season-opening eight-game homestand at 7-1 overall after an 11-0 victory over Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday. UofL pitchers dominated the Colonels, allowing just four baserunners in nine shutout innings.
The Cardinals will be playing in a Major League Baseball stadium for the second time under Dan McDonnell. Louisville defeated Cincinnati 4-1 on April 6, 2013 at Great American Ball Park, home of the Cincinnati Reds.
2023 SHRINERS CHILDREN’S COLLEGE CLASSIC
The 2023 Shriners Children’s College Classic features six teams with a storied history of success. All six teams (Louisville, Michigan, Rice, TCU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech) have been to the College World Series in the last 15 years, with five of the six appearing in Omaha since 2017.
- Louisville has an .848 winning percentage (139-25) in regular season non-conference games since the start of 2016, including a 114-13 (.898) mark in regular season non-conference home games.
- The Cardinals have recorded at least 10 hits in six of the first eight games. Louisville tallied double-digit hits 41 times during the 2022 season.
- Louisville has been excellent early in games this spring, outscoring opponents 18-3 in the first two innings.
- The Cardinals have launched 13 home runs over the first eight games, the most for a Louisville team through eight games under Dan McDonnell.
- UofL pitchers retired the first 14 batters in the win over Eastern Kentucky. It was Louisville’s longest streak to start a game since Feb. 22, 2019 when Reid Detmers retired the first 16 hitters against Brown.
- 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 four in his last five games. However, Payton has shown more power this spring with three home runs already in eight games. Payton is 10-for-19 (.526) over the last five games and has his average up to .462.
- Ryan McCoy has announced his presence in the middle of the Louisville lineup immediately. The junior is tied for the team-lead or leads in runs, hits, home runs, RBIs and total bases through eight games. McCoy homered three times last week, including first-inning home runs in the final two games of the series against Bowling Green.
- Patrick Forbes came to Louisville with high expectations as the 2022 Kentucky Mr. Baseball winner. Forbes has exploded at the plate in the last two contests, going 5-for-6 with a double, two homers, five RBIs and five runs scored. The freshman recorded his first and second career home runs in consecutive plate appearances against Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday. Forbes was the first Louisville true freshman to homer twice in a game since Alex Binelas did so against Florida State on May 16, 2019.
- Eddie King Jr. sat out the 2022 season with an injury, but his playing career started with a bang. The outfielder got off to a blistering start with hits in seven of his first 11 at-bats and reaching base in 11 of his first 15 plate appearances.
- Christian Knapczyk picked up right where he left off last spring hitting .379 to start the season, reaching base 19 times and stealing three bases. Knapczyk was the sparkplug at the top of the order in 2022 with the Cardinals averaging 9.1 runs in the 53 games he started versus just 6.2 in the 11 games he did not start.
- Ryan Hawks drew the Opening Day start for the Cardinals, just the second start of his collegiate career. The senior has been dominant through his first two starts this spring, allowing just one earned run in 13.2 innings with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 17-1.
- Greg Farone dominated junior college hitters in 2022, striking out 139 in just 60 innings on the mound. He has had similar success early in his time with the Cards, taking the mound three times and punching out 12 batters in 5.1 innings.
FAMILIAR OPPONENTS AWAIT CARDINALS IN HOUSTON
Louisville is traveling nearly 800 miles to participate in the 2023 Shriners Children’s College Classic in Houston. However, three familiar opponents are on the schedule for the Cards this weekend.
UofL will take on Texas A&M, TCU and Michigan at Minute Maid Park, all of which were on Louisville’s schedule in 2023, including two as postseason opponents.
The Cardinals and Texas A&M met in the College Station Super Regional, with Louisville losing a pair of one-run games. Louisville and Michigan squared off six times in 2023 with the Cards taking 2-of-3 during a regular season series and then winning 2-of-3 against the Wolverines in the Louisville Regional, including an 11-9 victory in the regional final. Louisville defeated TCU 9-8 in a midweek contest at Jim Patterson Stadium in March.