Burdi helps close the door for the Cardinals

Nick Burdi is one of the top closers in college baseball. The University of Louisville sophomore was named a first-team All-American by PerfectGame.org this season and has helped the Cardinals into the College World Series. Cardinal Authority chatted with Burdi and has this story on his season.

Nick Burdi has been a national story in college baseball this season, hitting 100 or 101 miles per hour on his fastball several times.

Several national analysts have called the 6-foot-4, 220-pound sophomore right-handed pitcher for the Louisville has been called the hardest thrower in the country.

But Burdi hasn't let all the attention bother his game.

"I don't worry about what people say," Burdi said. "At the end of the day, it's about this team and ultimately winning a national championship.

"I always feel like if you do your job, then you get praised or whatever. But for me, it's just all about the team and not just about me."

Burdi has done enough to get the attention and help the team get to the College World Series. The Cardinals will open play on Saturday night at 8 o'clock in the 67th annual CWS against Indiana in Omaha, Neb.

And you can expect Burdi will play a key role.

A first-team All-American by PerfectGame.org, Burdi has 16 saves this season with a 0.78 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 28 relief appearances and 34.2 innings. His save total is the second highest in single-season history at U of L.

"He's been good for us and it's nice to have him (at the end of games)," U of L coach Dan McDonnell said. "That's tough for teams to have a guy throwing upwards of 100 coming in late in the game."

A native of Downers Grove, Ill., Burdi said he started throwing 93-94 MPH when he was a sophomore in high school and saw it go up a little the next two years. He said it was always a goal to hit 100.

"It just kept going up and up," he said. "That velocity, it was something I worked for because I knew there are not many guys out there with that kind of velocity."

Burdi was close to 100 last spring a few times and final hit the century mark last summer at the Cape Cod League for the first time. He has hit the mark several times, topping out at 101 this season for the Cardinals.

"My coach (at the Cape) after the game came up and ask if I knew how hard I was throwing," Burdi said. "I was usually hitting 97-98, so I thought that is what it was and he said 100-101.

"I stepped back and it put a little smile on my face. I guess it's good that all of that hard work has paid off for me."

Burdi said he "still feels strong," as the season winds down and expects to see a few innings in the World Series. He said he "will do whatever" the coaches need for him as he tries to help the Cardinals win the World Series.

The week after the World Series, Burdi will train with the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team in Cary, N.C. Team USA will then travel to Japan from July 6-11 and also play Cuba from July 18-23 in several U.S. cities.

And then he'll focus his attention on next season. The Minnesota Twins out of high school selected Burdi in the 24th round of the Major League Baseball draft. He elected to come to U of L and is projected as a first-round pick next season.

"I kind of watched and saw the guys that went in the draft and compared a little," Burdi said. "When the draft comes around, ultimately be a top five pick. That's just a goal of mine for next year."

But for now, his mind is on the World Series.

"That's my No. 1 goal, helping this team," Burdi said.

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