The University of Louisville baseball team opens play in Clearwater, Fla., later today with what could be one of the most talented rosters in school history.
The Cardinals are gunning for a third consecutive trip to the College World Series and will do it with a roster that includes a bunch of veterans.
But there’s also a talented freshman class on campus.
Head coach Dan McDonnell mentioned a handful of freshmen who could contribute early and often for the Cardinals this season. Here’s a look at five names of freshman you may want to be familiar with heading into the season:
1. Brendan McKay, P-1B – The 6-foot-2, 200-pound newcomer from Darlington, Pa., was one of the prized catches for the U of L coaches in the Class of 2014. He’s a rare player who could excel on the mound and as a position player. The lefty was 8-1 with a 0.55 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 63 innings as a senior and made national headlines with a stretch of 72.1 scoreless innings - equaling the second-longest streak in U.S. high school baseball history.
2. Devin Hairston, SS – The talented newcomer from Lexington, Ky., is middle infielder of the future for the Cardinals. He’ll press senior Sutton Whiting for playing time with his quick hands and excellent defensive abilities.
3. Lincoln Henzman, P – Another product of Lexington, Henzman is a 6-foot-2 right-handed with really good stuff for a youngster. Could see a few mid-week starts.
4. Colby Fitch, C – The freshman from Rocheport, Mo., will be the backup to Will Smith behind the plate and has a bright future with the Cardinals. He was the Player of the Year in Missouri and had a solid start in the fall.
5. Kade McClure, P – McClure is a 6-foot-7, 225-pound right-handed pitcher from Mentor, Ohio, who should be a ton of fun to watch him progress. Was ranked as the No. 4 player in the state of Ohio.