May 6, 2014
Louisville returns to Nashville in a rematch of last season's NCAA Super Regional won by the Cardinals.
GAME DAY INFO: #5 Louisville (37-11, 14-4 American) at #10 Vanderbilt (36-12, 14-10 SEC)
Date: May 6, 2014
Times: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
Venue: Hawkins Field (3,626)
Radio: News/Talk 1570 AM (WNDA)
Internet: CardsTV (Audio) at GoCards.com
Live Stats: Gametracker at GoCards.com
Twitter Updates: @UofLBaseball
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The fifth-ranked Louisville baseball team continues its seven-game road stretch with a midweek visit to No. 10 Vanderbilt on Tuesday night in a rematch of last season's NCAA Super Regional.
First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m., ET at Hawkins Field where the Cardinals defeated the Commodores in back-to-back games in 2013 to earn the program's second College World Series berth. Live play-by-play can be heard on News/Talk 1570 AM (WNDA) while live audio will be available to subscribers of CardsTV at GoCards.com. Live scoring will be available through the Gametracker feature at GoCards.com.
BATTLE OF THE BARREL
For the third straight season, the winning team in Tuesday's game will be presented with the traveling barrel trophy immediately following the game. Vanderbilt has maintained the Barrel in each of the two seasons with its regular season wins over Louisville.
LOU: Fr. LHP Josh Rogers (1-2, 3.45 ERA)
VU: So. RHP Walker Buehler (8-1, 1.49 ERA)
ABOUT THE CARDINALS
Louisville is 37-11 overall and atop the American Conference standings with a 14-4 mark after sweeping a three-game series at USF last weekend. The Cardinals will play four road games this week before closing the regular season with four home games next week.
ABOUT THE COMMODORES
Vanderbilt is 36-12 overall and in second place in the SEC East with a 14-10 league mark after sweeping a three-game set at Missouri last weekend. The Commodores were 54-12 last season, including a 26-3 league mark to win the SEC title.
Louisville is 6-22 all-time against Vanderbilt in a series that dates back to 1971. The programs have met in the postseason three times in the last five seasons.
LOUISVILLE NOTES AND TRENDS
- Louisville is 33-0 this season when leading after the eighth inning and has won 88 straight games when entering the ninth with the lead going back to May 2012.
- The Cardinals are 28-2 this season when out-hitting their opponents and 8-7 when being out-hit.
- Louisville has won 44 straight games dating back to last season when scoring five runs or more including a 28-0 record this season.
- The Cardinals are 23-3 this season against righty starters and 14-8 against lefties.
- The Cardinals have allowed two or fewer earned runs in 29 of 48 games this season (including nine of the last 10), something they did in 36 of 65 in 2013.
- During the current 10-game winning streak, the bullpen has allowed just five earned runs in 34.2 innings. Overall, the pitching staff has a 1.66 ERA in the last 10 games with 80 strikeouts in 92.0 innings.
- Louisville enters the week ranked second in the nation in stolen bases with 102 and third in stolen bases per game at 2.13.
- The Cardinals are also 12th nationally in HBP (81), 16th in runs (316), and 23rd in scoring (6.6 per game).
- The Louisville pitching staff is ranked 13th nationally in hits allowed per 9 IP (7.33), 14th in strikeouts per 9 IP (8.2) and 22nd in ERA (2.79).
- Sutton Whiting is ranked fourth in the nation with 30 stolen bases in 35 attempts while also ranking 26th nationally in walks per game at 0.79.
- Jeff Gardner is 14th nationally in RBI with 52 and Cole Sturgeon is eighth in triples with six.
CARDINALS RANKED IN TOP 20 IN ALL FIVE MAJOR POLLS
After opening 2014 in the same position it ended the 2013 season with a top 10 national ranking, Louisville earned its highest ranking of the season with two weeks left in the regular season. Entering the 13th week, the Cardinals are ranked as highly as No. 5 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top 30 and they continue to be ranked in all five major polls. Prior to the season, Louisville was tabbed at No. 8 in the Collegiate Baseball newspaper preseason poll, 13th in the USA Today coaches' poll, 14th in the NCBWA preseason poll, 16th in the Perfect Game Top 25 and 20th in the Baseball America Top 25. Louisville has earned preseason top 25 rankings in seven straight seasons.
LOUISVILLE MOVES INTO FIRST PLACE IN THE CONFERENCE RACE
With only two weeks remaining in the regular season, Louisville has taken over the top spot in the American Conference standings with a 14-4 league mark (.778 winning percentage), while UCF dropped to second second place at 16-5 (.762) after dropping two of three at Houston last week. Houston moved into third at 10-8 with the series win, while Rutgers is fourth at 9-8. Louisville is looking to win its fifth regular season conference championship in the last six years.
BURDI TAKES THE 101 TO JIM PATERSON STADIUM
As the only person to ever hit the 100 mph plateau on the mound at Jim Patterson Stadium, junior closer Nick Burdi took it to a new level on April 25 when his final pitch of the night in the Cardinals' 2-0 win over UConn registered at 101 mph on the ballpark scoreboard and produced a swing-and-miss for the final out of the game. Last season, the talented righthander became the only pitcher to ever reach the centuary mark at Patterson Stadium when his first three pitches in a save against Akron on Feb. 24 hit 100 mph. Burdi has used that very live arm to become Louisville's career saves leader with 28, including 12 this season.
GARDNER, STURGEON CONTINUE WHERE THEY LEFT OFF IN 2013
After finishing the 2013 College World Series season as the Cardinals' top two hitters for average, senior outfielders and team captains Jeff Gardner and Cole Sturgeon have continued to pace the way for the Louisville offense in 2014. Gardner leads the team in average (.343), RBI (52), home runs (5), doubles (17) and slugging (.552) while starting 46 games. Sturgeon leads the team in triples (6), ranks second in hitting (.307), runs scored (41) and doubles (11) and is third in stolen bases (16) while starting all 48 games in the outfield in right and center.
RUXER RETURNS TO DOMINATE FORM EARLY IN JUNIOR SEASON
Following a disappointing sophomore season, junior righthander Jared Ruxer has returned to his freshman form early in 2014 winning seven of 12 starts and registering an ERA of 2.36. A Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American in 2012 with an 8-3 mark, Ruxer was winless last season while finishing with an ERA above five. However, he's been strong this season with a 7-1 record and 64 strikeouts (including a career-high 11 against Toledo on March 1) in 72.1 innings. He has 33 starts, 15 wins and 188.0 innings pitched in his collegiate career.
KAY SHOWS EARLY OFFENSE, VERSATILITY ON DEFENSE IN FIRST SEASON
In his first season with the Cardinals after transferring from Iowa Western Community College, junior infielder Grant Kay has shown flashes of terrific offense while proving to be very versatile defensively. In the 13th week of action, Kay is hitting .302 with five home runs, 35 RBI, eight doubles, 42 runs scored and 20 stolen bases. In addition to his work at the plate, he has 27 starts at first base, eight starts at second base, two starts at third base, four starts in right field and five starts as the designated hitter while also seeing playing time in center field.
ROSENBAUM CHOSEN AS CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK ON APRIL 28
Danny Rosenbaum was selected as the American Conference Player of the Week on April 28 following his best week of the season at the plate. A native of Lafayette Hill, Pa., Rosenbaum hit .778 with a home run, two doubles, five RBI, four runs scored and a 1.333 slugging percentage in four starts as the Cardinals' designated hitter from April 22-27. His best game came in the 8-2 victory over UConn on April 27 to complete a series sweep when he belted his second home run of the season and drove in three runs overall in a 2-for-2 day at the plate.
BURDI NAMED TO STOPPER OF THE YEAR AWARD MIDSEASON WATCH LIST
Junior righty Nick Burdi was among 50 players named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award midseaston watch list released on April 23. GIven annually to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball, nominations for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award were made by baseball sports information/media relations contacts. At the conclusion of the regular season, the Division I national saves leader and four other relief pitching standouts will be selected as finalists and released Wednesday, June 4, prior to start of NCAA Super Regional tournament competition. The NCBWA's All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year's recipient to be announced during the 2014 College World Series.
LOUISVILLE PLAYS AGGRESSIVE ON THE BASES AGAIN IN 2014
After ranking second in the nation in stolen bases in last season with 150 in 196 attempts, Louisville has continued the aggressiveness on the bases in 2014 ranking second nationally with 102 steals in 128 attempts entering the week. The Cardinals are paced by junior Sutton Whiting, who ranks second in the nation in stolen bases with 30 in 35 attempts despite missing six games with an injury. Grant Kay is 20-for-21 on steals to rank 37th nationally, while Cole Sturgeon's 16 steals in 20 attempts give Louisville three players with 16 or more stolen bases.
BURDI, GARDNER ON GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD MIDSEASON WATCH LIST
Jeff Gardner and Nick Burdi were among the 50 players named to the Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list released on April 10. Since 1978, USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country with the Golden Spikes Award. The watch list will continue to be a "rolling" list until May 27 -- when the semifinalists for the award are announced -- ensuring that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award. The Golden Spikes Award trophy will be awarded live in Los Angeles on July 17. Louisville is one of nine schools with two players on the midseason watch list joining Cal State Fullerton, Florida State, Indiana, Kentucky, LSU, Oregon State, Pepperdine and Virginia.
GARDNER SELECTED AS FINALIST FOR 2014 SENIOR CLASS AWARD®
Louisville senior outfielder Jeff Gardner was one of 10 finalists announced on April 30 for the prestigious 2014 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate baseball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Finalists were chosen by national media from the list of 30 candidates announced in March. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website through June 9. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2014 College World Series® in June. To vote for Gardner, visit http://www.seniorclassaward.com/athletes/jeff_gardner/ and click on the "Vote Now" button.
FOLLOWING THE CARDINALS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Fans can follow Louisville baseball on Twitter (@UofLBaseball) at http://twitter.com/uoflbaseball and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ulbaseball.