Michael McCammon

Louisville hosts ACC foe Duke at Patterson Stadium this weekend

Louisville is 31-5 overall and 15-3 in ACC play

No.2 Louisville returns to Patterson Stadium this weekend to resume ACC play.  The Cardinals will look to bounce back following it's loss at rival Kentucky on Tuesday night.

Learn from Loss

Louisville suffered through a number of miscues in the 11-7 loss at Kentucky on Tuesday night.  There were multiple fielding errors and base running mistakes added to the poor start in Lexington that saw the Cardinals trail 11-0 after four innings.

Instead of waiting until the usual day before the next game to go over the team game notes, head coach Dan McDonnell brought the group together on Wednesday in an effort to quickly put the difficult loss behind them.

"We tried to teach, educate, let's be accountable and let's move on," he said.  "Let's have a great practice on Thursday and get ready for another big ACC weekend."

While the loss stings, the ability to overcome the loss to a rival team comes easier for the players than it does for the coaches and fans.

"The kids hurt, but its the fans who probably hurt a little more," McDonnell said.  "The coaches have a little less sleep at night, but the ballplayers just want to move on and play somebody else.  They trust their ability and they want to get out there and compete again."

The team's ability to fight back, scoring seven straight, provided some positive from the loss.

"We're never out of a ballgame," said junior Drew Ellis.  "In the postseason there's going to be times where we're going to get down.  We're going to make an error or mental mistake and other teams are going to capitalize on them.  That shows us that we can put together big innings, big runs, in key situations."

Watch the Weather

With a 100 percent chance of rain forcast for Saturday, Dan McDonnell is preparing for the possibly of a double-header on Friday.

"I'm always a weatherman," he joked on Thursday.

A decision to adjust the weekend series with Duke may not be made until late Thursday or Friday morning.

If a double-header were to occur it would be the first of the season for the Cardinals.

Stay tuned.

Riley Thompson Bouncing Back

Following a strong start to the season, which saw him not allow a run in his first three appearances, redshirt freshman Riley Thompson had some struggles through the month of March.  His ERA ballooned to 9.00 following a difficult outing against Boston College and it sat at 6.23 after an outing at NC State on Apr. 9.

The performance of the 6-foot-3 righty appeared to turn the corner at Georgia Tech last Friday when he struck out two in an inning.  The trend continued on Tuesday night in Lexington.

Entering the game with his team trailing 11-0 in the fifth inning, Thompson equaled his best outing of the season.  In two innings he faced just seven batters, allowing one hit while striking out four to limit the damage.

Up Next

Duke visits Jim Patterson Stadium for a three-game set this weekend.  The Blue Devils are 20-19 overall and 7-11 in ACC play.  They have won just one ACC series this season, taking two of three against Virginia Tech in early March.

"I don't know to much about them," Ellis said.  "They're a pretty good team.  I know that they won at Virginia and the guy we face tomorrow beat Virginia.  We're going to come and play our game and be prepared."

This marks just the second series between the two programs, with Louisville winning two of three games at Duke in the 2015 season.

ACC Standings

At 31-5 overall, Louisville currently holds the best record in the ACC and tops the Atlantic Division by one game over Clemson.

The ACC Championship will be held at Louisville's Slugger Field May 23-28.  More information here and here.

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