U of L baseball gets up more preseason honors

The University of Louisville baseball season doesn't officially begin until next month but the program keeps getting good news. One week after reliever Nick Burdi was named a first-team All-American and the team was ranked in the top 10, Burdi gets another honor and the team is picked to win the American Athletic Conference.

The preseason good news just keeps rolling in for the University of Louisville baseball program, which made it to the College World Series last season.

The Cardinals were picked to win the American Athletic Conference on Monday with six first-team All-Conference players, while reliever Nick Burdi was picked on another All-American team for the preseason.

Burdi, who was one of three unanimous All-AAC selections, was tabbed a Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball newspaper. Last week, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association of America tabbed Burdi as a first-team All-American.

The hard-throwing junior had 16 saves last season for the Cardinals with a 0.76 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 35.2 innings. Opposing batters hit just .192 against Burdi, who allowed just 13 walks and had a 3-3 record.

In the AAC preseason poll, the Cardinals received eight of nine first-place votes and were picked to win the league title. Houston received the other vote and tied with Central Florida and Connecticut as the second choice in the league

U of L outfielder Jeff Gardner, who hit .337 last season with a team-high nine home runs, was tabbed as the AAC Offensive Player of the Year. He and Burdi were joined on the first team by shortstop Sutton Whiting, pitchers Anthony Kidston and Kyle Funkhouser and outfielder Cole Sturgeon.

The Cardinals first games will be Feb. 14-16 at a tournament in Charleston, S.C., with the first home game slated for Feb. 19 against Eastern Kentucky.

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