Cardinals Ready to Open NCAA Baseball Regional

 
Senior 2B Nick Ratajczak


Senior 2B Nick Ratajczak

May 29, 2013

GAME DAY INFO: #8 Louisville (46-12) at 2013 NCAA Regional

Date: May 31-June 3, 2013
Location: Louisville, Ky.
Venue: Jim Patterson Stadium (4,000)
Radio: News/Talk 1570 AM (WNDA)
TV: ESPN Networks
Internet: CardsTV (Audio) at GoCards.com
Live Stats: Gametracker at GoCards.com
Twitter Updates: @UofLBaseball

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - For the fourth time in seven seasons, postseason baseball is set to return to Jim Patterson Stadium this weekend as eighth-ranked Louisville will host one of 16 regionals for the 2013 NCAA Championship.

Joining the top-seeded Cardinals in the Louisville Regional are No. 2 Miami (Fla.), No. 3 Oklahoma State and No. 4 Bowling Green. Every game of the Louisville Regional will be televised live by the ESPN family of networks. Live play-by-play of all of Louisville's postseason games can be heard on News/Talk 1570 AM 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.

2013 NCAA BASEBALL LOUISVILLE REGIONAL SCHEDULE
Friday, May 31
Game 1: No. 2 Miami (Fla.) vs. No. 3 Oklahoma State - 2 p.m. (ESPN3)
Game 2: No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 4 Bowling Green - 6 p.m. (ESPN3)

 

 

Saturday, June 1
Game 3: Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser - Noon (ESPNU/ESPN3)
Game 4: Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner - 5 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN3)

Sunday, June 2
Game 5: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Loser - Noon (ESPNU/ESPN3)
Game 6: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner - 4 p.m. (ESPNU/ESPN3)

Monday, June 3 - If necessary
Game 7: Game 6 Loser vs. Game 6 Winner - 7 p.m. (ESPNU/ESPN3)

All times are Eastern Daylight Savings

TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR LOUISVILLE REGIONAL
All-session tickets for the Louisville Regional are currently available online here or can be purchased by phone (502-852-5151) through the UofL Ticket Office. All-session tickets for the regional are $70 for reserved chairback seats and $45 for college students.

Fans are encouraged to purchase and pick up tickets in advance to avoid long will call lines on game day. Tickets can be picked up at the UofL Ticket Office, located at Gate 2 of Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. No tickets will be mailed. Single session tickets, including reserved chairback and general admission berm seating, will go on sale Friday, May 31 from 9 a.m., ET at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium Ticket Office or at Jim Patterson Stadium starting at noon ET. Single session tickets will also be available online here on Friday at 9 a.m., with the option to print tickets at home.

PARKING INFORMATION FOR LOUISVILLE REGIONAL
The University of Louisville has announced parking information for this weekend's NCAA Baseball Regional at Jim Patterson Stadium, including details on a free shuttle service from nearby Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

Ample free parking will be available throughout the Louisville Regional at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium (PJCS), home of the reigning Sugar Bowl champion UofL football team. Located just a short walk from Jim Patterson Stadium, fans can also utilize the free shuttle from PJCS with pick-up located near Gate 4. Drop-off at the ballpark will be outside the main gates of Jim Patterson Stadium. Shuttle services, which will run every 5-8 minutes, will begin one hour prior to the first game each day and will continue until approximately 30 minutes following the completion of the final game of the day.

Limited parking will also be available in the additional lots surrounding Jim Patterson Stadium, including the gravel lot at Iowa Avenue and Second Street, and the gravel lot located at Central Avenue and Third Street across from the stadium.

LOUISVILLE BY THE NUMBERS AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
- NCAA Appearances: 7th
- Overall NCAA Record: 14-15
- NCAA Regional Record: 11-10
- CWS Appearances: 1 (2007)

NCAA REGIONAL MATCHUPS OVERVIEW
Along with the 2013 NCAA Regional, Louisville has also hosted the regional round of the NCAA Championship in 2009 and 2010 and hosted an NCAA Super Regional in 2007. Overall, this will mark the Cardinals' sixth NCAA postseason berth in the last seven seasons and the program's seventh NCAA appearance overall.

The Cardinals have NCAA history with two of the three programs at the Louisville Regional. During its 2007 College World Series run, UofL earned a pair of wins over Miami in winning the Columbia (Mo.) Regional. That was followed by a Super Regional showdown with Oklahoma State in Louisville, where the Cardinals won two of three games to advance to Omaha.

Overall, Louisville owns a 6-0 advantage in the all-time series with Bowling Green, a 2-1 edge in the series with Miami and a 3-2 lead all-time against Oklahoma State.

LOUISVILLE ALL-TIME RESULTS vs. 2013 LOUISVILLE REGIONAL TEAMS
Bowling Green (6-0)
2/27/09 - H - W 15-6
2/28/09 - H - W 8-5
3/1/09 - H - W 9-2
2/19/10 - H - W 13-1
2/20/10 - H - W 5-2
2/21/10 - H - W 8-7(10)

Miami (2-1)
2/15/06 - A - L 13-4
6/1/07 - N - W 13-7
6/3/07 - N - W 8-7

Oklahoma State (3-2)
3/20/02 - A - L 5-2
3/20/02 - A - W 10-2
6/8/07 - H - W 9-0
6/9/07 - H - L 3-2(12)
6/10/07 - H - W 20-2

LOUISVILLE NOTES AND TRENDS TO TRACK
- The Cardinals' 46 wins are just four shy of the school record of 50 set during the 2010 season.
- Among the nation's best pitching staffs entering the week, Louisville is fifth in the NCAA in ERA at 2.52 and first in strikeouts per nine innings with 9.7.
- The Cardinals are third in the nation in stolen bases with 142. Adam Engel paces UofL with 40 steals (third nationally) in 51 attempts.
- Louisville has allowed only 34 stolen bases in 57 attempts so far this season.
- UofL is 32-6 against righty starters and 14-6 against lefties this season.
- The Cards are 37-5 when scoring first, including 21-3 when scoring in the first inning.
- The Cardinals have allowed two or fewer earned runs in 33 of 58 games this season.
- UofL is 41-0 when leading after the eighth inning.
- Nick Ratajczak is the toughest player in the nation to strike out doing so just once every 28.3 at-bats.
- Louisville is ranked fourth nationally in hit-by-pitch starting the week with 113. Coco Johnson (19 HBPs, 23rd in NCAA) and Nick Ratajczak (18 HBPs, 34th in NCAA) lead the way for the Cardinals.
- With a 10-1 record overall, righty Jeff Thompson has won four straight starts. During that stretch, he has 34 strikeouts and a 2.79 in 34 innings pitched.
- In 36 home games this season, the Cards hit .301 overall with Ty Young leading the way with a .390 average, two HR, eight doubles, four triples and 42 RBI.
- Jeff Thompson is 6-0 with a 2.01 ERA at home in 2013 while Chad Green is 7-1 with a 1.84 ERA.
- In 15 appearances and 18.1 innings at home, Nick Burdi has 38 strikeouts and zero earned runs allowed.

NCAA POSTSEASON HISTORY AT JIM PATTERSON STADIUM
The 2013 Louisville Regional marks the fourth time Jim Patterson Stadium has hosted NCAA postseason games. Overall, the Cardinals are 7-4 all-time in postseason home games going 2-2 in the 2010 NCAA Regional, 3-1 in the 2009 NCAA Regional and 2-1 in the 2007 NCAA Super Regional. In 2010, Louisville earned wins over Saint Louis and Vanderbilt in the first two games before dropping back-to-back contests to the Commodores in the championship round. In 2009, the Cardinals opened with wins over Indiana and Vanderbilt, dropped a title game matchup with Vandy before winning the Monday night rematch to advance to a Super Regional. In its 2007 Super Regional matchup with Oklahoma State, Louisville won the opener 9-0 and dropped game two 3-2 in 12 innings before winning 20-2 in the deciding third game to earn the program's first College World Series berth.

CARDINALS WIN FOURTH BIG EAST REGULAR SEASON TITLE IN FIVE YEARS
With the most impressive finish to a regular season in school history, Louisville clinched sole possession of the 2013 BIG EAST Conference regular season championship and won its 16th straight game overall with a 7-4 triumph over Pittsburgh on May 18. Matching the school record for regular season wins first set in 2010, the Cardinals improved to 46-10 overall and finished at 20-4 in conference. The 16-game winning streak was the second longest in school history. While winning four BIG EAST regular season titles in five seasons, the Cardinals earned season-ending series sweeps in three of those.

THOMPSON NAMED BIG EAST PITCHER OF THE YEAR; 10 CARDINALS EARN ALL-BIG EAST HONORS
Junior righthander Jeff Thompson was honored as BIG EAST Conference Pitcher of the Year while a school record-tying 10 Cardinals earned All-BIG EAST accolades during the BIG EAST baseball awards ceremony at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort on May 21. Joining Thompson as First Team All-BIG EAST selections were junior designated hitter Jeff Gardner and sophomore righty closer Nick Burdi. The Cardinals, who equaled last year's record-setting 10 All-BIG EAST selections, had four players named Second Team All-BIG EAST on Tuesday -- junior righthanded pitcher Chad Green, junior outfielder Coco Johnson, sophomore shortstop Sutton Whiting and junior third baseman Ty Young. Earning Third Team All-BIG EAST honors from Louisville were senior second baseman Nick Ratajczak and junior outfielders Adam Engel and Cole Sturgeon.

LOUISVILLE MAINTAINS TOP 10 RANKING FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT WEEK
The Cardinals enter the NCAA Championship ranked as highly as No. 8 and no lower than 15th in the four major national polls. UofL, ranked in at least one national poll for 28 straight weeks in the regular season dating back to the 2012 preseason, is eighth in the Collegiate Baseball newspaper poll, 12th in the USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll, 13th in the NCBWA Top 30 and 15th in the Baseball America Top 25. Following two weeks outside the top 10, Louisville returned to a position it held for the first 10 weeks of the 2013 season on May 6.

PITCHING AND DEFENSE LEADS THE WAY IN 16-GAME WINNING STREAK
Closing the regular season with the second longest winning streak in school history, Louisville found success through strong pitching and consistent defense while winning 16 straight overall. During that span, the Cardinals had an ERA of just 2.00 (32 earned runs in 16 games) with 170 strikeouts and just 50 walks in 144.0 innings pitched. Opposing batters hit just .189 against the Cardinals in that stretch. Behind that great pitching was some stellar defense as Louisville committed only eight errors for a .987 fielding percentage.

LOUISVILLE AMONG SELECT COMPANY WITH ANOTHER 40-WIN SEASON
With the series-opening win at Connecticut on May 11, the Cardinals clinched their sixth 40-win season in Dan McDonnell's seven years as head coach. Entering the week, Louisville was one of only seven programs in the nation to accomplish the feat of six or more 40-win campaigns in the last seven seasons. Joining the Cardinals on that list are Coastal Carolina, Florida State, North Carolina, Rice, South Carolina and TCU.

THOMPSON NAMED TO GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD WATCH LIST
Junior righty Jeff Thompson was among the 60 players named to the midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list released on May 2 by USA Baseball. Thompson is now 10-1 overall, including four straight wins, with a 2.09 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 90.1 innings pitched this season. Seven of his 14 starts have been scoreless outings and opposing batters are hitting just .174 against him. For his career, Thompson is 21-6 on the mound as a Cardinal with a 2.94 ERA and 213 strikeouts in 208.1 innings pitched. He has struck out 12 batters in two outings this season -- Feb. 16 against USF and May 4 at Villanova. During the course of four straight starts, Thompson had a career best stretch of 28.0 shutout innings from March 9 to March 29.

BURDI INVITED TO USA BASEBALL COLLEGIATE NATIONAL TEAM
Sophomore righty Nick Burdi has been selected for the 2013 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team as announced on April 24. A native of Downers Grove, Ill., Burdi leads the Cardinals with 14 saves to go with a 0.88 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 25 relief appearances and 30.2 innings pitched this season. Opposing batters are hitting just .200 against the hard-throwing Burdi, who has a 3-3 record overall on the mound. Burdi is the sixth UofL player to earn an invitation to the USA Collegiate National Team. Previous Cardinals to participate in the selection process for Team USA include Ryan Wright (2010), Phil Wunderlich (2009), Tony Zych (2009), Justin Marks (2008) and Mark Jurich (2002). Training for the team is set for June 21-July 2 in Cary, N.C., at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. Team USA will travel to Japan from July 6-11 and is also scheduled to play Cuba from July 18-23 in the U.S.

GREEN SUCCESSFUL AND CONSISTENT AS CARDINALS' FRIDAY STARTER
Having never made a regular season weekend start when the 2013 season opened, junior righthander Chad Green has handled the role as the Cardinals' Friday starter impressively throughout the regular season. With a 9-3 record overall, Green has a 2.09 ERA and 65 strikeouts to only 19 walks in 90.1 innings pitched. On Feb. 22, he allowed only one hit and issued just one walk with three strikeouts in seven shutout innings against Akron, while on May 3, he struck out a career best nine in 7.1 shutout innings at Villanova. On May 11, he pitched eight shutout innings with six strikeouts in a win at UConn.

YOUNG LEADS THE WAY FOR THE CARDINALS' OFFENSE
The Cardinals' top hitter in 2012, junior infielder Ty Young is among the leaders in numerous hitting categories for Louisville in 2013. With 58 games in the books, he enters the NCAA Regional as the Cardinals' leading hitter with a .357 average while also leading the team in RBI (55), doubles (13), triples (seven), runs scored (50) and on-base percentage (.441). A two-time All-BIG EAST selection, Young has started all 58 games in 2013 with 56 of those at third base.

KIME WINS THREE STRAIGHT STARTS OVER 13 DAYS
Making a trio of starts for the Cardinals from April 30-May 12, junior righty Dace Kime went 3-0 with 25 strikeouts while allowing just two runs in 18.2 dominant innings (0.96 ERA) in wins over Western Kentucky, Villanova and Connecticut. In the April 30 midweek victory over the Hilltoppers, Kime struck out six in five scoreless innings giving up just four hits, while five days later, he had a career-best 10 strikeouts allowing only one run on just three hits in a career-long seven innings against Villanova to earn his second win of the week. On May 12, he struck out nine more and allowed only one run in 6.2 innings to finish the Cardinals' sweep of UConn. Overall, Kime is 5-1 with a 3.08 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 61.1 innings pitched this season.

LOUISVILLE STAYS AGGRESSIVE ON THE BASES IN 2013
Louisville has surpassed last season's stolen bases total while remaining among the nation's best in that category ranking third with 142 in 183 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 third nationally with 40 steals in 51 attempts, Adam Engel leads six Cardinals with nine or more stolen bases this season.

THREE BAGS AND A CLOUD OF DUST FOR THE CARDINALS
With their 24th triple of the season on May 18, the Cardinals (who rank 10th in the NCAA in triples) have already surpassed last season's total of 18 three-baggers. Six players have at least two triples this season with Ty Young leading the way with seven, which places him sixth in the nation overall. Louisville's previous highest triple total in any of Dan McDonnell's first 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 CONTINUES ADDING TO SCHOOL SHUTOUT RECORD
After surpassing the previous school record for shutouts in a season with their eighth in a 4-0 win at EKU on May 7, the Cardinals added to that total with back-to-back shutouts in a doubleheader sweep at Connecticut on May 11. It marked the first time in school history Louisville had shut out an opponent in both games of nine-inning doubleheader. The Cardinals' only previous shutout sweeps of doubleheaders came in seven-inning games in 1981 against Cincinnati and in 1958 against Transylvania.

The 2007 College World Series team set the previous UofL shutouts record earning seven en route to advancing to Omaha. Overall, Louisville has 34 shutout wins under the direction of coach Dan McDonnell -- 10 in 2013, four in 2012, six in 2011, five in 2010, one each in 2009 and 2008 and seven in 2007. During that span, the Cards have been shutout just 10 times.

FUNKHOUSER DELIVERS LOUISVILLE'S FIRST COMPLETE GAME SINCE 2010
After opening his career in impressive fashion allowing no earned runs in his first 21.1 innings, freshman righthander Kyle Funkhouser delivered one of the best starts of the season for the nationally ranked Cardinals on May 7 striking out a career best eight in a four-hit complete game shutout at Eastern Kentucky. Funkhouser did not issue a walk while scattering four singles to deliver the first complete game shutout for a Louisville player since Dean Kiekhefer's five-hit, 7-0 win over Villanova on April 2, 2010. He followed that performance by winning his second straight start in the Cardinals' 6-3 at Ohio State on May 14 to improve to 4-1. He has a 1.93 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 51.1 innings pitched and 19 appearances this season.

WHITING HELPS PACE OFFENSE IN FIRST SEASON AS A STARTER
Entering 2013, sophomore infielder Sutton Whiting had never made a start while only playing 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 .320 average, Whiting has chipped in with 28 RBI and 22 stolen bases while hitting in the No. 9 spot in the lineup.

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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