University of Louisville Sports Information

Cardinals are off to best start in McDonnell era

Cardinal Authority's weekly notebook on Louisville baseball

Best Start in Reach

With it's come-from-behind 13-4 win over Xavier on Wednesday, Louisville improved to 16-0 on the season to mark the second best start to a season in program history.

One more victory will equal the 17-0 start by the 1957 team for best in school history.

Louisville has now won 32 straight contests at Jim Patterson Stadium and has been victorious in 18 consecutive midweek games.

The Cardinals have outscored their opponents 152-36 through 16 games.

Striving to be the Best

As the first U of L squad to reach the number one ranking, the internal competition to become the best team in the history of Louisville baseball has surfaced.

Already off to the best start in the Dan McDonnell era and just one win shy of equaling the best-ever start in program history, this year's Cardinals are building a resume that provides them the opportunity to be considered the top team in school history.

"I think every team wants to be the best team," said McDonnell.  "That's the competition within the program.  It's something that these guys shoot for."

As McDonnell pointed out, the team has played "just a little over 20 percent of a long season," so a lot still remains for this team, which includes the goal of playing in the College World Series this June. 

"I think every team's goal, at least at the University of Louisville, is that we want to be the best team to ever play here," said McDonnell.  "I like helping them try to do that."

ACC

Led by No. 1 Louisville, five ACC programs are in the latest Baseball American Top 25 poll.  Florida State checks in at No. 2 and Clemson at No. 9 give the league three teams in the top ten.  No. 13 North Carolina and No. 15 Virginia round out the ACC presence in the poll. 

Only two programs, both in the Atlantic Division, made it though the opening weekend of ACC play without a loss.  Top-ranked Louisville swept Pittsburgh and No. 9 Clemson took all three from Notre Dame at home.  The Cardinals host Boston College this weekend while the Tigers welcome No. 15 Virginia for a three-game set.

                    
STANDINGS (as of Mar 16, 2017)

Atlantic Division
     
                                ACC                Overall
Team                   W   L   T   Pct       W   L   T   Pct
Louisville............   3   0   0 1.000      16   0   0 1.000
Clemson.............  3   0   0 1.000      14   3   0  .824
Florida State.......   2   1   0  .667      13   5   0  .722
Wake Forest......... 2   1   0  .667      13   5   0  .722
NC State............   1   2   0  .333      10   8   0  .556
Boston College...... 1   2   0  .333       6   8   0  .429
Notre Dame..........  0   3   0  .000       4  11   0  .267

Coastal Division
     
                                  ACC                Overall
Team                     W   L   T   Pct       W   L   T   Pct
North Carolina......   2   1   0  .667      13   4   0  .765
Duke..................    2   1   0  .667      10   9   0  .526
Miami.................    2   1   0  .667       8   9   0  .471
Virginia...............    1   2   0  .333      14   3   0  .824
Georgia Tech.......    1   2   0  .333      11   4   0  .733
Virginia Tech.......    1   2   0  .333      11   8   0  .579
Pitt.....................    0   3   0  .000       7   7   0  .500

Statistical Rankings

The Cardinals remain among the nation's leaders in numerous categories, including top five in batting average, ERA and scoring.

Junior All-American Brendan McKay also continues to provide evidence that he's the nation's top player.  The two-way standout ranks among the nation's best at the plate and on the mound.

"I've said that I don't want to take him for granted and I've challenged our fans not to take him for granted,"  McDonnell said of McKay.  "I'm happy for Brendan.  The expectations are heavily on him and he's doing more than backing it up."

TEAM STAT RANKS

Category Rank Stat ACC Rank
Batting Avg 2nd .342 1st
ERA 2nd 1.76 1st
Fielding % 12th .983 1st
Hits 13th 193 3rd
Home Runs 35th 16 6th
On Base % 3rd .438 1st
Runs 10th 152 3rd
Sac Flies 1st 15 1st
Scoring 2nd 9.5 2nd
Shutouts 2nd 5 1st
Slugging % 9th .515 3rd
Stolen Bases 22nd 29 4th
Triples 6th 9 2nd

INDIVIDUAL STAT RANKS

Player Category NCAA Rank Stat
Brendan McKay Batting Avg 5th .511
Brendan McKay ERA 19th .50
Nick Bennett ERA 22nd .56
Brendan McKay On Base % 5th .587
Logan Taylor On Base % 49th .513
Devin Hairston RBI 31st 22
Logan Taylor Runs 25th 21
Devin Hairston Sac Flies 15th 3
Brendan McKay Sac Flies 15th 3
Brendan McKay Slugging % 12th .830
Drew Ellis Slugging % 40th .722
Logan Taylor Stolen Bases 5th 11

Up Next

Louisville hosts Boston College this weekend at Jim Patterson Stadium.  First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6pm, with Saturday and Sunday slated for 1pm.

The Eagles upset the Cardinals in last year's meeting at Chestnut Hill, taking two of three.  Louisville holds a 4-2 all-time series advantage, which includes a sweep of Boston College in 2015.

Next week's midweek game will take the Cardinals to Cincinnati to face the Bearcats on Tuesday at 6pm.  U of L is 98-80 all-time against Cincinnati, including 12 straight wins. 


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