The University of Louisville held its annual Leadoff Dinner on Friday night at the Hyatt Regency and welcomed a trio of former Cardinals that made their Major League Baseball debut's during the 2014 season.
Justin Marks, Chris Dominguez and Adam Duvall each shared experiences from their journey's to the big league's, along with the thoughts and memories from their time wearing a Louisville uniform.
Prior to the dinner in the sold out Regency Ballroom, each player and U of L head coach Dan McDonnell visited with members of the media.
Chris Dominguez (San Francisco Giants)
A two-time All-American and two-time Big East Player of the Year during his collegiate career at Louisville, Dominguez played in his first MLB game on Sept. 3, 2014 with a pinch hit appearance against the Colorado Rockies. Overall, the Miami native played in eight games, highlighted by connecting for a home run on Sept. 21 at San Diego.
Dominguez was among the nation's top power hitters and played a key role as a redshirt freshman during the program's first-ever appearance in the College World Series during the 2007 season.
Justin Marks (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Among the most decorated pitchers ever to wear the Louisville uniform, Marks was a two-time All-American, a Freshman All-American and Big East Pitcher of the Year before starting his professional career in the summer of 2009. A native of Owensboro, Ky., Marks made his MLB debut on April 20, 2014 with two innings of relief for the Royals. He signed a contract with the Diamondbacks for the 2015 season.
Marks established himself among the very best to ever play at Louisville ranking as the Cardinals' career leader in wins (29), strikeouts (305) and starts (48) while ranking fourth in innings pitched (300.2) and ninth in ERA (2.96). He was the winning pitcher as a freshman in the Cardinals' first CWS victory in 2007 against Mississippi State.
Adam Duvall (San Francisco Giants)
A two-time All-Big East selection during his two-year career at Louisville, Duvall had a truly memorable MLB debut connecting for a solo home run in his first big league game as the Giants' starting first baseman against the Cincinnati Reds on June 26, 2014 at AT&T Park. Duvall played in 28 games for San Francisco in 2014 connecting for three homers and adding five RBI.
A Louisville native and a graduate of Butler High School, Duvall was an important infielder and impact bat for the Cardinals during the 2009 NCAA Super Regional season and the 2010 season, when U of L earned its first ever national seed. He set a school record with 27 doubles during the Cardinals' 2010 season.
Louisville began practice for the 2015 season on Friday afternoon and will conduct open scrimmages on Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 pm at Jim Patterson Stadium.
The Cardinals open their season on Jan. 13 in the three-day Clearwater Tournament. Louisville will face Alabama State (Feb. 13), South Florida (Feb. 14) and No. 17 Cal State Fullerton (Feb. 15) at Bright House Field.
Support your Cardinals and check out our retro Louisville gear here!
Get tickets to a Louisville basketball game here!