Baseball Preview: Louisville

Louisville came into this season with high expectations after returning most of the team that went 41-21 in 2008 and was the runner-up in the Georgia Regional in a rebuilding year after going to the College World Series in 2007.

Louisville, by the numbers:

  • Overall Record – 47-16
  • Conference Record – 19-7 (1st place)
  • RPI/ISR/SOS – 16/24/89
  • Record against regional teams – 8-5
  • How they qualified for a regional – Won the Big East Conference Tournament (Cincinnati 12-2, Notre Dame 12-2, 5-6, 7-6, UConn 11-3)
  • How they qualified for a super regional – Won the Louisville Regional (Indiana 8-2, Middle Tennessee State 3-2, Vanderbilt 4-8, 5-3).

 

Season Summary

Louisville came into this season with high expectations after returning most of the team that went 41-21 in 2008 and was the runner-up in the Georgia Regional in a rebuilding year after going to the College World Series in 2007.  The Cardinals were ranked in the top 25 in every major pre-season poll before going on the road to Florida to start the season and were swept in a three game series in Gainesville.  Louisville took advantage of a soft schedule to rebound from that series to go 28-8 before losing a home series to Notre Dame.  That series was a wakeup call for the Cardinals because they have gone on an 18-3 streak heading into the super regional at Fullerton.

Louisville has a powerful offense that is in the top 30 in the country in both scoring and HR's but they aren't just a station to station team.  The Cardinals are also in the top 40 in the nation in SB's and have five players with 12+ SB's.  Louisville has a field turf playing surface so they used their good team speed to their advantage to go 27-7 at home.  The Cardinals don't bunt much unless it is an obvious situation with one of their lesser hitters and most of them will be aggressive and come out swinging, although the do have solid plate discipline and average about 4 BB's per game and are in the top 10 in the country in HBP's.

Louisville is a balanced team because they also have a solid pitching staff led by one of the better Fri SP's in the country.  The Cardinals have a deep pitching staff and have nine pitchers that they can rely on to be productive.  Louisville is in the top 20 nationally in ERA, H/9 IP and BB/9 IP and in the top 40 in K/9 IP.  The Cardinals are 33-2 when leading after 7 innings and 37-1 when leading after 8 innings.