A week and a few winter storms later than originally anticipated, the University of Louisville baseball team hosts its home-opener on Tuesday afternoon as Butler visits Jim Patterson Stadium. The Cardinals will return to the diamond on Wednesday to host Eastern Kentucky. First pitch for both outings is slated for 3:00 p.m.
The 12th-ranked Cardinals (3-3) snapped a three game losing streak on Saturday after rallying from a forth inning 8-1 deficit against Arkansas State before winning 14-8. Butler (0-6) has opened the season getting swept by Lipscomb and Pepperdine.
A pair of freshman are scheduled to make their first college starts in the two mid-week contests. 6-foot-7 right-hander Kade McClure, who among the nation's top 300 prospects as a senior, will take the mound against Butler, with righty Lincoln Henzman, who ranked as the Bluegrass State's No. 2 player while at Lexington Christian, getting the start against the Colonels.
Louisville is 13-3 all-time against Butler, including 11 straight wins in the series. The Cardinals have won five straight and 13 of the last 14 against EKU while holding a 62-48-1 edge all-time in the series. Louisville has won 14 consecutive home games against the Colonels.
Admission to both games is free. The game broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM.
Early Stat Leaders
- Sutton Whiting has found his confidence at the plate. After hitting .308 as a sophomore, the Louisville Ballard product struggled with his swing throughout his junior campaign, hitting just .216 last season. The senior appears to have fixed what ailed him at the plate and is leading the Cardinals with a .429 average.
- Despite his struggles at the plate last season, Whiting finished among the nation's top five base stealers with 37. He currently leads the Cardinals with three thefts. He also leads the team with six walks.
- Sophomore Corey Ray leads the Cardinals with two home runs and his .423 batting average trails only Whiting. Ray, who has hit safely in all six games, also leads the team in at-bats (26), hits (11), runs (8) and RBI (7).
- Junior Danny Rosenbaum is third on the team with a .412 batting average.
- Ray leads the team with four multi-hit games. Whiting, Rosenbaum and sophomore Nick Solak have enjoyed three multi-hit games. Those four, along with senior Zach Lucas, have all reached base safely in all six games.
- Junior All-American Kyle Funkhouser (1-1) leads the pitching staff with 19 strikeouts. Sophomore Drew Harrington (1-0) is second with 13, with junior Anthony Kidston (0-1) next with 11 strikeouts thrown.
- Harrington and freshman Brendan McKay top the team with a perfect 0.00 ERA. Harrington has allowed just 3 hits in 8 innings of work. McKay has given up two hits, while striking out nine in six innings.
Through the first two weeks of the season, eight Cardinals have made their collegiate debuts. During the Opening Weekend Challenge in Clearwater, Fla., Devin Hairston, Colby Fitch, Lincoln Henzman, Kade McClure, Brendan McKay and Blake Tiberi took the field for Louisville, while Butch Baird and Sean Leland saw their first chances for the Cardinals in the weekend series against Arkansas State.
Louisville welcomes Xavier to Patterson Stadium for a weekend series. The Musketeers (3-4) are coming off a 7-6 loss at Indiana. Friday's game is scheduled for 3:00 p.m., with Saturday and Sunday slated for 1:00 p.m.