The University of Louisville baseball program is nearing the end of its preseason workouts. With the start of the regular season slated for next weekend at the Clearwater (Fla.) Tournament, the nationally-ranked Cardinals are entering their final week of work before the season's first pitch.
Ranked among the top 12 in five major preseason polls, with a high of No.7 in the USA Today coaches poll, the Cardinals enter the season facing the possibility of accomplishing head coach Dan McDonnell's challenge from 2012 to reach the College World Series for three consecutive seasons.
McDonnell has been pleased as the team makes it preparations for the season opening weekend. The competition level has been high amongst the players and focus has been clearly on improving on a daily basis.
The Cardinals, which finished 50-17 in 2014, will face Alabama State, which reached the NCAA Regionals last season, in the season-opener next Friday. U of L will face South Florida on Saturday and then close the weekend with a Sunday tilt against nationally-ranked Cal State Fullerton.
"We've made it clear to our guys that we are playing three southern schools, so we know that they are going to have their reps in and be ready to go," said McDonnell. "We're looking forward to it. It's going to be fun to play someone else."
Cardinals junior righty Kyle Funkhouser continues to receive preseason accolades from basetball publications.
Projected as a Major League Baseball first round draft pick, Funkhouser has received First Team All-America honors from the NCBWA, Baseball America and Perfect Game. D1Baseball selected him as a second team choice.
Following a 2014 season when he finished 13-3 overall with a 1.94 ERA and 122 strikeouts (third most at Louisville) in 120.1 innings pitched (second most at Louisville), Funkhouser collected All-American honors from six different publications.
The baseball program announced a radio partnership that will allow for improved coverage in the local market and online streaming.
Radio coverage will be provided for 53 regular season games and all postseason games for the Cardinals in 2015 with most of those airing on 93.9 The Ville. Selected games within that slate of 53 will be broadcast on 1450 WXVW. The 53 regular season broadcasts are the most ever for Louisville baseball and its radio partners.
U of L baseball will hold its annual media day on Monday and Cardinal Authority will have complete coverage.