HOME SWEET HOME
The University of Louisville baseball team is elated to be playing this weekends NCAA Tournament regional in Jim Patterson Stadium.
The Cardinals have an eight-game NCAA Tournament winning streak on the line in Friday's 6 o'clock opener against Morehead State. Bradley and Michigan will play at 2 p.m.
"It is big for us," assistant coach Eric Snider said. "It's very positive for us to be able to stay here, not have to worry about travel or anything else. We practiced and the kids slept in their own beds. It's been really nice."
The Cardinals have won 75 percent of their games since Jim Patterson was built in 2005, including a 25-6 mark this season at home.
"We love playing at home," senior Sutton Whiting said. "Our fans are great and they really get us going when we're at home."
U of L coach Dan McDonnell said the fans have changed the game for the Cardinals.
"Our fans have grown in their knowledge of the game," McDonnell said. "It's a great fan base and we know that, if it's basketball or football. But they have really been great for us and they have a real passion for baseball. It's been fun."
A PAIR OF ALL-AMERICANS
Burdi has had a sensational sophomore season with a 5-0 record and nine saves out of the bullpen. He spots a 0.75 ERA for the Cardinals.
Funkhouser, who is second all-time in school history with 25 wins, has a 7-5 record with a 3.29 ERA and 93 strikeouts in 15 starts for the Cardinals.
ANOTHER STAR FRESHMAN
Freshman Brendan McKay was named ACC Freshman of the Year for his stellar on the mound and at first base. But he's not the only freshman starring for the Cardinals.
True freshman pitcher Lincoln Henzman has been amazing out of the bullpen.
The former Lexington Christian standout has a team-high 24 appearances and a 5-1 record with a 2.03 ERA. He did start two games and also has a save on the season.
"He's been really good for us," pitching coach Roger Williams said. "We're excited for him and the role he has played for us this season."
REDSHIRT GUYS IN SUMMER BALL
The NCAA rules prohibit any team for dressing every player on the roster, so the guys who are redshirting this season are now on the sidelines.
In fact, a couple are not even with the team.
With the permission of the U of L staff, third baseman Drew Ellis and first baseman Grant Schreiver are playing already in the Coastal Plain Summer League.
The two left last weekend and have already played two games with Schreiver getting a home run in a game for the High Point-Thomasville HiToms on Wednesday night.
Freshman utility guy Austin Clemons is expected to leave this weekend to play for the Vermont Mountaineers in the New England Collegiate Baseball League.