U of L Baseball: Supers Notebook

Cardinal Authority has a few notebook items from the University of Louisville baseball program heading into the Super Regional, which begins on Saturday at Jim Patterson Stadium. The Cardinals will play Cal State Fullerton in a best-of-three series starting at 11 a.m.

HENZMAN A HUGE KEY

A lot of attention and accolades have come for Louisville freshman Brendan McKay and for good reason. But there's another freshman who has enjoyed a sensational season - Lincoln Henzman.

The freshman from Lexington was also named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American team and is 5-1 on the season with two saves and a 1.93 ERA out of the bullpen.

"He's been really good for is," U of L pitching coach said. "He's been able to go more than a few innings and he's been able to close out some games. Lincoln has a bright future."

Henzman had Tommy John surgery five weeks into his high school junior season and only threw 17 innings his senior season at Lexington Christian. He wasn't 100 percent until late last summer and said his arm "felt really good."

"I was a two-way guy, but hitting tweaked my elbow a little bit," Henzman said. "So, that's when I decided to just concentrate on pitching because that's what I came here for. I wouldn't say I am any different than I was before.

"My arm feels a lot better than it did and I am stronger than ever."

Henzman has started two games this season and his longest outing was six innings against - a game he picked up the victory in - at the ACC Tournament.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Henzman has 44 strikeouts in 55 innings and opponents are hitting .207 against him.

THE EARLY START TIME

The 11 a.m. start on Saturday is 8 a.m. time and coach Rick Vanderhook said his team has been practicing at 7 a.m. each day this week to prepare.

But Vanderhook said the biggest problem is his team has played late night - on the West Coast - games three weeks in a row because of TV. He said there hasn't been a lot of time to rest in between weeks.

U of L coach Dan McDonnell said he doesn't think the start time will bother either team. The two teams met in Clearwater, Fla., earlier this season at 11 a.m.

"They're college kids," McDonnell said.

A HISTORY WITH THE TITANS

The two teams have met at this stage before but it was a two-game sweep by Cal State Fullerton. The Titans swept the Cardinals 20-2 in two games during a 2009 Super Regional in Fullerton, Calif.

The two teams also met this season. Fullerton won 8-6 in Clearwater on Feb. 15.

It was the only loss for Josh Rogers, but freshmen Devin Hairston and Brendan McKay were not in the every day lineup then.

"We're a different team than we were then," U of L assistant Eric Snider said. "But so are they. We're both a lot different."

A NEW HERO THIS WEEK?

It was shortstop Devin Hairston that emerged as a star last week, going from a slump to MOP of the regional.

McDonnell said he expects someone else to step into the role this week because his team has played all season with the motto of the next man up steps up.

"We've always told them they have to be ready," McDonnell said. "When a number is called, step to the plate."

McDonnell said senior Mike White could break out of his slump from last week during the Super Regionals.


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