U of L Baseball: NCAA Notebook

A few notebook items from a first-round victory by the University of Louisville baseball team in the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals downed Morehead State 7-2 in the opener at Jim Patterson Stadium.

TAYLOR WITH A LIFT

Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell said Logan Taylor has been so good against right-handed pitchers that he felt like he needed to get him in the lineup. So, Taylor started in center field and batted in the No. 9 spot.

The sophomore from Lexington Catholic High School delivered.

Taylor had an RBI single in the second inning and finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. He and Devin Hairston, who batted in the No. 8 spot, combined for six of U of L's 10 hits.

"I love starting but whatever the team needs is what I am here for," Taylor said. "If he needs me to start, I'm here. It was a lot of fun to be i there with the atmosphere but I'm just trying to do whatever the team needs me to do.

"Whatever my team needs."

McDonnell said he had a feeling Taylor was going to have a good night. He's played in 54 games but it was just his 11th start of the season and Taylor is now hitting .296 on the season.

"Logan is one of those players that if you could start 10 or 11 players every game he would start every game," McDonnell said. "But you can only start nine. But if you notice, and I don't have our stats in front of us, Logan has played in almost every game. He's close because he might not start the game but we're hoping to get him in the game as a pinch runner and then as a defensive replacement.

"So, sometimes he starts and plays the whole game but if not we're going to bring him off the bench. You know the last month we've given Logan these spot starts and he's been very good against the righties."

HENZMAN DOES IT AGAIN

Freshman pitcher Lincoln Henzman retired the side in order in the final two innings on just 13 pitches to close the game out for Kyle Funkhouser. He did not get a save, but kept a streak going.

Henzman has thrown 24 innings of relief without allowing an earned run.

"Lincoln's had a great year," McDonnell said. "You know, once you extend the lead he has the ability to close games out because he works so fast. Sometimes you just want to let him keep going because he gets in a rhythm.

Henzman, who had Tommy John surgery as a junior in high school at Lexington Christian, said he's felt great this season and hopes to keep building on the progress. He has a 5-1 record with a 1.95 ERA and two saves.

Opponents are hitting just .208 against Henzman this season.

"Right now is probably the best I have been in two or three years," Henzman said. "I'm controlling all of my pitches in the strike zone. If I just pound the zone, I feel good with the defense behind me."

A LEAD IS SAFE

U of L is now 30-0 this season when scoring the first run of the game. The Cardinals scored two in the second and two more in the third against the Eagles on Friday.

The Cardinals have also now won 137 straight games when entering the ninth inning with a lead, dating back to May of 2012.

The win was also the ninth straight NCAA Tournament game at Jim Patterson, dating back to the final game of the 2010 Louisville Regional when Vanderbilt beat the Cardinals.

FOURTH LARGEST CROWD

The attendance was 5,143 for the night game against the Eagles.

It was the second largest crowd of the season and the fourth largest crowd in the history of the stadium, which was built in 2005 and had an expansion prior to last season.

The largest crowd was 6,138 for the Friday night game earlier this month against Florida State. The second largest was 6,007 last season in the Super Regional against Kennesaw State with the other Super Regional game last year third at 5,351.

Louisville is 26-6 at home this season.


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