Battle of the Barrel: No. 11 Baseball Hosts No. 3 Vanderbilt

 
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April 22, 2013

GAME DAY INFORMATION: #11 Louisville (30-9) vs. #3 Vanderbilt (35-6)

Date: April 23, 2013
Times: 6:30 p.m. ET
Location: Louisville, Ky.
Venue: Jim Patterson Stadium (4,000)
Radio: News/Talk 1570 AM (WNDA)
TV: CBS Sports Network
Internet: CardsTV (Audio) at GoCards.com
Live Stats: Gametracker at GoCards.com
Twitter Updates: @UofLBaseball

Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. ET CardsTV Listen Gametracker

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The No. 11 Louisville baseball team begins a five-game homestand with a visit from No. 3 Vanderbilt on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., ET in the Battle of the Barrel at Jim Patterson Stadium.

The game will be televised nationally by CBS Sports Network with Andrew Catalon (play-by-play) and Paul LoDuca (analyst) calling the action. Audio play-by-play can be heard on News/Talk 1570 AM in Louisville and will also be available to subscribers of CardsTV at GoCards.com. Live scoring will be available through the Gametracker feature on the baseball schedule page at GoCards.com.

GAME PROMOTIONS
- Battle of the Barrel: Winner of the game will be presented with traveling barrel trophy immediately following the game.

PITCHING MATCHUP
UofL: So. LHP Kyle McGrath (5-0, 1.16 ERA)
VU: Fr. RHP RHP Walker Buehler (2-1, 2.76 ERA)

SERIES OVERVIEW
- The Cardinals trail 21-4 in the all-time series with Vanderbilt. The Commodores also hold a 7-4 edge in games played in Louisville.
- Last season, UofL dropped a narrow 3-2 decision in Nashville in the inaugural Battle of the Barrel.
- During the 2009 and 2010 seasons, the two programs played seven times, including five games in NCAA Regional action at Jim Patterson Stadium.
- The Cardinals defeated the Commodores (5-3) in the title round of the 2009 Louisville Regional, while in 2010, VU earned a 3-2 win in 10 innings to clinch the Louisville Regional.
- The Louisville-Vanderbilt series dates back to 1971.

ABOUT VANDERBILT
Vanderbilt enters the week at 35-6 overall after winning two of three at Georgia. The Commodores lead the SEC with a 16-2 mark. Last season, Vandy was 35-28 overall after advancing to an NCAA Regional where they lost to host NC State in the title round in Raleigh.

LOUISVILLE NOTES AND TRENDS TO TRACK
- The Cardinals' 30-9 mark is the second best record through 39 games in school history trailing only the 32-7 effort of the 2010 team, which set school records for regular season wins (46) and total wins (50). - Ranking among the nation's best pitching staffs entering the week, Louisville was seventh in ERA at 2.44 and first in strikeouts per nine innings with 9.4. - The Cardinals rank fifth in the nation in stolen bases with 102 to start the week. - Junior OF Adam Engel paces the UofL running attack with 31 steals (fourth nationally) in 39 attempts. - Louisville has allowed only 25 stolen bases in 41 attempts so far this season. - UofL is 21-3 against righty starters while only 9-6 against lefties this season. - The Cards are 23-5 when scoring first, including 15-2 when scoring in the first inning. - The Cardinals have allowed two or fewer earned runs in 22 of 39 games this season. - Louisville is 26-0 this season when leading after the eighth inning. - Nick Ratajczak is the second toughest player in the nation to strikeout doing so once for every 25.3 at-bats. - The UofL bullpen has allowed only 31 earned runs (1.89 ERA) and has 199 strikeouts in 147.1 innings.

LAST OUTING FOR THE CARDINALS
After allowing four runs in the eighth inning and being unable to capitalize on a scoring chance in the ninth, the No. 8 Louisville baseball team dropped a 6-5 road loss at St. John's in the deciding game of a weekend series on Sunday afternoon at Jack Kaiser Stadium.

LOUISVILLE OUTSIDE TOP 10 FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 2013
The Cardinals enter week 11 of the baseball season tabbed as high as No. 11 and no lower than 13th in the five major national rankings. Louisville, ranked in at least one national poll for 25 straight weeks in the regular season dating back to the 2012 preseason rankings, is 11th in the Perfect Game Top 25, 12th in the Baseball America, NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball newspaper polls and 13th in the USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll. This week marks the first time this season the Cardinals, who went 2-2 last week, have been ranked outside the top 10 all five major polls.

GARDNER CHOSEN BIG EAST PLAYER OF THE WEEK ON APRIL 22
Junior designated hitter Jeff Gardner was selected as BIG EAST Player of the Week on April 22 following his outstanding work at the plate for the nationally ranked Cardinals. Gardner hit .692 (9-for-13) with two home runs, three doubles, six RBI and three runs scored in four games during the week of April 15-21. His best game came on April 16 when he was 4-for-4 with a home run, two doubles, four RBI and two runs scored to lead Louisville to a 12-5 road win over then-No. 15 Kentucky. For the season, Gardner has lifted his average to .360 overall with three home runs, 20 RBI and seven doubles.

YOUNG LEADS THE WAY FOR THE CARDINALS' OFFENSE
The Cardinals' top hitter in 2012, junior infielder Ty Young is pacing the Louisville offensive attack in five major hitting categories in 2013 -- hitting (.390), home runs (3) RBI (42), on-base percentage (.466) and triples (5) while ranking second in stolen bases (18-of-22) and slugging (.574). A Third Team All-BIG EAST selection last season, Young has started all 39 games in 2013 with 36 of those coming at third base.

LOUISVILLE STAYS AGGRESSIVE ON THE BASES IN 2013
After 10 weeks, Louisville has surpassed last season's stolen bases total while remaining among the nation's best in that category ranking fifth (entering the week) with 102 in 135 attempts. Last season, the Cardinals had 96 stolen bases in 63 games, while the school record is 153 stolen bases in 71 games during the 2007 College World Series season. Ranking fourth nationally, Adam Engel leads four Cardinals with 11 or more in stolen bases with 31 steals in 39 tries.

THREE BAGS AND A CLOUD OF DUST FOR THE CARDINALS
With their 20th triple of the season on April 13, the Cardinals have easily surpassed last season's total of 18 three-baggers through the first 36 games of 2013. Five players already have at least two triples this season with Ty Young leading the way with five, which ranks third in the nation overall. Louisville's highest triple total in any of Dan McDonnell's previous six seasons as head coach was 19 in 2009, while the lowest total was just nine in 2010. The school record for triples is 34 set in the 1980 and 1992 seasons.

LOUISVILLE ONE AWAY FROM MATCHING SCHOOL SHUTOUT RECORD
With last their 4-0 win over Elon on April 14, the Cardinals moved within one game of matching the school record for shutouts in a season after claiming their sixth of 2013. The 2007 College World Series squad holds the UofL record for shutouts earning seven en route to advancing to Omaha. Overall, Louisville has 30 shutout wins under the direction of seventh year head coach Dan McDonnell -- four in 2012, six in 2011, five in 2010, one each in 2009 and 2008 and the school record of seven in 2007.

THOMPSON STARTS FAST WITH FIVE STRAIGHT WINS & SIX OVERALL
Junior Jeff Thompson has been among the nation's best pitchers in 2013 with a 6-1 record through 10 starts while allowing only 12 earned runs in 61.1 innings. Along with the 1.76 ERA, Thompson has 63 strikeouts and just 22 walks while opposing batters are hitting just .180 against the 6-6 righty. He set the tone in his first start of the season striking out a career best 12 in five shutout innings against USF. Over the course of four straight starts, Thompson had a career best stretch of 28.0 shutout innings from March 9 to March 29.

GREEN CONSISTENT EARLY AS CARDINALS' FRIDAY STARTER
Having never made a regular season weekend start when the 2013 season opened, junior right-hander Chad Green has handled the role as the Cardinals' Friday starter solidly through the first 10 weekends. With a 5-2 record overall, Green has a 2.25 ERA and 38 strikeouts to only 11 walks in 60.0 innings pitched. Arguably his best start of the early season came on Feb. 22 when he allowed only one hit and issued just one walk with three strikeouts in seven shutout innings against Akron.

KIDSTON EARNS FIVE WINS AND A SAVE TO OPEN COLLEGE CAREER
Freshman righty Anthony Kidston has been impressive and successful early in his UofL career earning wins in each of his first two appearances on the mound, picking up a save in his third outing and adding three more wins in his first four starts. Overall, Kidston is 5-0 with a save, a 1.37 ERA and 54 strikeouts while allowing only 24 hits in 46.0 innings of work. His best start of the season came on April 14 when he matched a school record with seven strikeouts while working a career best eight shutout innings to earn the win against visiting Elon.

ENGEL STARTS OFFENSE, PRESSURES DEFENSE FOR CARDINALS
After ranking among the top five nationally in stolen bases in 2012 with 37 in 39 attempts, junior outfielder and leadoff hitter Adam Engel has picked up where he left off early this season successfully swiping 31 bases (No. 4 nationally) in 39 attempts through the first 39 games. Engel has twice matched a school record with four stolen bases in a game doing it in the win over Akron on Feb. 24 and again in a win over No. 15 Notre Dame on March 30. Having reached base safely in 35 of 39 games, Engel is the table-setter for Louisville offense in 2013.

BURDI BRINGS THE HEAT TO JIM PATTERSON STADIUM
Penciled in as the closer entering the 2013 season, sophomore righty Nick Burdi was impressive in his first ever save situation. With the Cards holding a one-run lead over Akron on Feb. 24, Burdi entered from the Patterson Stadium bullpen and promptly delivered 11 straight strikes to earn his first career save. His first three pitches registered at 100 mph on the stadium radar gun making him the first pitcher in the history of the ballpark to reach triple digits. In 16 outings (20.1 innings pitched) this season, Burdi is 2-2 with seven saves and a 0.89 ERA to go with 41 strikeouts (of his 61 total outs; 67.2 percent of outs by strikeout).

WHITING HELPS PACE OFFENSE IN FIRST SEASON AS A STARTER
Entering 2013, sophomore infielder Sutton Whiting had never made a start and had only played in 20 games total. While being used as a pinch runner for most of his appearances as a freshman, Whiting was hitless in his only five at-bats. However, after a strong fall and even better preseason, Whiting earned the opening day start at shortstop and has been outstanding since. As one of the Cards' top hitters with a .339 average, Whiting has chipped in with 22 RBI, a .444 slugging percentage and 15 stolen bases while hitting in the No. 9 spot in the lineup.

FUNKHOUSER OPENS WITH NO EARNED RUNS IN FIRST 21.1 INNINGS
Freshman right-hander Kyle Funkhouser started his collegiate career in highly impressive fashion allowing no earned runs in his first 21.1 innings overall. Earning a win in his first career start with 5.2 innings of quality baseball against USC on March 20, Funkhouser has a 2-1 record overall with a 2.03 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 26.2 innings of work so far.

FOLLOWING THE CARDINALS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Fans can follow Louisville baseball on Twitter at http://twitter.com/uoflbaseball and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ulbaseball.

 

 

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