After a tough 1-2 weekend series at Mississippi, University of Louisville baseball coach Dan McDonnell challenged his team to improve. He wanted quality starts, solid defense and some timely hitting.
McDonnell got a little bit of all of that last week.
The Cardinals had four quality starts, some huge hitting and good defense as they belted Morehead State 9-5 and then completed a three-game sweep of Princeton on the weekend to go 9-2 on the season.
Here's a recap of the week:
MVP of the week - Blake Tiberi
A ton of candidates for MVP of the week.
But Tiberi is scolding hot and had a huge week. He's hit safely in all 11 games this season and went 9-for-15 last week with seven RBI. He had multiple hits in all four games for the Cardinals.
Tiberi leads the team in hitting at .500 and has eight multi-hit games. He was the leader of the hit parade on Sunday, belting a two-run home run when the game was still in doubt to make it 4-0.
Pitcher of the Week - Drew Harrington
McDonnell noted he had four quality starts on the week but it was Harrington who was extra impressive.
The Cardinals couldn't afford to drop a game during the week and Harrington put the finishing touches on an undefeated week with an impressive outing against Princeton on Sunday.
Harrington finished with seven strikeouts and allowed just four hits with one walk to earn his eighth collegiate victory and improve to 2-1 on the season. He took a loss last weekend at Ole Miss on Sunday.
Senior Kyle Funkhouser struck out 12 in the 4-2 win over Princeton on Friday and earned his second win of the season.
The victory for Funkhouser was the 28th for his career, which puts him just one behind the school's all-time wins leader Justin Marks. He had 29 wins during his time at U of L from 2007-09.
Funkhouser, who will get the start on Friday against Notre Dame, struck out more than eight in a game for the 14th time during his career. He now has 302 career strikeouts and trails Marks (305) as the school's leader.
Over 100 runs scored
Louisville has already scored 101 runs in 11 games this season and the Cardinals have outscored their opponents 101-25.
Second baseman Nick Solak leads the Cardinals with 18 runs scored, while left fielder Corey Ray has scored 17 and center fielder Logan Taylor has scored 12. Tiberi has been plated 10 times.
On the RBI side, Tiberi has 13 and Ray has 14 to lead the team. Three other players have double-digit total for RBIs, including Danny Rosenbaum (11), Brendan McKay (10) and Will Smith (10).
A few leftovers....
Here are a few other things to note from the week:
**Junior right-hander Shane Hummel came out of the bullpen on Sunday and struck out the side in the seventh inning. Hummel could be an x-factor guy this season for the Cardinals as a middle-reliefe type of pitcher.
**Redshirt freshman Austin Clemons picked up his first hit and RBI on Sunday with a single in the eighth.
**The U of L pitchers combined for 27 strikeouts during the weekend series.
**Don't forget about McClure. He's 2-0 in mid-week games and has allowed just three hits and his ERA is 0.00 in 11 innings this season. He has struck out nine and is likely the guy to get the start against Longwood on Tuesday.
**The Cardinals have used 11 pitchers in relief this season, including McClure for one inning.
**U of L already has 32 multi-hit games, including eight from Tiberi and five from Corey Ray. Ray and Tiberi both have four multi-RBI games for the U of L offense, which has 24 guys with multi-RBI games.
Up next for U of L
The Cardinals (9-2) are in the middle of a 10-game homestand and it will continue on Tuesday. U of L will play Longwood at 4 p.m. The Lancers are 7-4 after a weekend sweep of Fairleigh Dickinson.
U of L opens ACC play next weekend with a three-game home series against Notre Dame (6-5). The game on Friday is slated for 3 p.m., while Saturday and Sunday will both start a 1 o'clock.
Admission is free.