NCAA Super Regional Preview: Louisville vs. Kennesaw State - GoCards.com | Official Website of University of Louisville Athletics
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NCAA Super Regional Preview: Louisville vs. Kennesaw State

 



June 5, 2014

Louisville opened the postseason with three wins at Jim Patterson Stadium during last weekend's NCAA Regional.

GAME DAY INFO: #4 Louisville (48-15, 19-5 American) vs. #12 Kennesaw State (40-22, 17-9 Atlantic Sun)

Date: June 6-8, 2014
Times: 6:30 p.m. ET | 7 p.m. ET | 6 p.m. ET
Location: Louisville, Ky.
Venue: Patterson Stadium (4,000)
Radio: News/Talk 1570 AM (WNDA)
TV: ESPNU/ESPN2
Internet: CardsTV (Audio) at GoCards.com
Live Stats: Gametracker at GoCards.com
Twitter Updates: @UofLBaseball

Friday, 6:30 p.m. ET CardsTV: Listen / WatchESPN: Watch Gametracker
Saturday, 7 p.m. ET CardsTV: Listen / WatchESPN: Watch Gametracker
Sunday, 6 p.m. ET CardsTV: Listen / WatchESPN: Watch Gametracker

Louisville Baseball Game Notes (NCAA Super Regional) | 2014 NCAA Louisville Super Regional Daily Schedule

Photo Gallery: 2014 NCAA Super Regional Practice Day

CardsTV Practice Day News Conference Video
UofL Head Coach | UofL Student-Athletes | Kennesaw State Head Coach | Kennesaw State Student-Athletes

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The fourth-ranked Louisville baseball team continues the pursuit of a return to the College World Series with an NCAA Super Regional matchup against 12th-ranked Kennesaw State at Jim Patterson Stadium.

The best-of-three series is scheduled to begin on Friday at 6:30 p.m., ET while Saturday's second game is set for a 7 p.m., start. If necessary, the deciding third game is set for Sunday at 6 p.m. ESPNU will televise each of the first two games of the weekend, while ESPN2 is slated to provide coverage for the third game. Carter Blackburn (play-by-play) and Alex Cora (analyst) will be on the call throughout the series.

Live play-by-play of all of the Cardinals' postseason games can be heard on News/Talk 1570 AM while live audio will be available through CardsTV at GoCards.com. Live scoring will be available through Gametracker at GoCards.com.

PRACTICE DAY AT PATTERSON STADIUM
The Cardinals conducted their final practice session ahead of the NCAA Super Regional working 90 minutes on Thursday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium prior to meeting with the media. Selected players and head coach Dan McDonnell also met with members of the ESPNU production team to discuss and preview the weekend series with Kennesaw State.

PARKING/SHUTTLE
Ample free parking will be available throughout the Louisville Super Regional at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium (PJCS), home of the reigning Russell Athletic Bowl champion UofL football team. Fans should park in the Bronze Lot, entering at lot D off Floyd Street on the south end of the stadium. 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 lot located at Central Avenue and Third Street across from the stadium.

ALL-SESSION TICKETS
Limited all-session tickets for the Louisville Super Regional are available. Fans can purchase all-session tickets online at GoCards.com, by phone (502-GO-CARDS), or through the Louisville Cardinals Ticket Office. All-session tickets for the Super Regional are $45 for reserved chairback seats, $25 for general admission and outfield berm seating, and $15 for college students. Click here to purchase all-session tickets.

SINGLE SESSION TICKETS
Single-session tickets for Game 1 of the Louisville Super Regional will go on sale beginning Friday, June 6 at 9 a.m. ET. Tickets may be purchased online at GoCards.com or at the Louisville Cardinals Ticket Office located at Gate 2 of Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Remaining tickets will also be available at the Jim Patterson Stadium ticket windows on Friday beginning three hours prior to first pitch at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Single-session tickets for the remaining session(s) will be available immediately following the final out of the last game of the day. Fans exiting Jim Patterson Stadium can purchase tickets for the next day from the stadium's ticket windows up to 30 minutes following the completion of the session that day. Tickets will also be available on GoCards.com. The Jim Patterson Stadium ticket windows will open three hours prior to first pitch on each game day including Friday at 3:30 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m.

PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday
LOU: So. RHP Kyle Funkhouser (13-2, 1.68 ERA)
KSU: So. RHP Jordan Hillyer (7-3, 3.55 ERA)

Saturday
LOU: So. RHP Anthony Kidston (8-0, 3.30 ERA)
KSU: So. LHP Travis Bergen (9-4, 2.39 ERA)

Sunday
LOU: Fr. LHP Josh Rogers (3-3, 3.63 ERA)
KSU: Fr. LHP Gabe Friese (2-2, 3.19 ERA)

NCAA SUPER REGIONAL OVERVIEW
For the second time in school history, Louisville will host the Super Regional round of the NCAA Championship. In the Cardinals' only previous NCAA Super Regional in 2007, they clinched their first College World Series berth with a 2-1 series win against Oklahoma State at Patterson Stadium. Kennesaw State is making its first NCAA Super Regional appearance after winning the Tallahassee Regional last week. The Cardinals and Owls have never met previously on the diamond.

LOUISVILLE NOTES AND TRENDS
- Louisville is 41-0 this season when leading after the eighth inning and has won 96 straight games when entering the ninth with the lead going back to May 2012.
- The Cardinals are 37-2 this season when out-hitting their opponents and 10-11 when being out-hit.
- Louisville has won 53 straight games dating back to last season when scoring five runs or more including a 37-0 record this season.
- The Cardinals are 31-6 this season against righty starters and 17-9 against lefties.
- The Cardinals have allowed two or fewer earned runs in 38 of 63 games this season, something they did in 36 of 65 in 2013.
- Having won 21 of the last 25 games, the bullpen has a 2.37 ERA in 79.2 innings in that stretch. Overall, the pitching staff has a 2.30 ERA in the last 25 games with 213 strikeouts in 223.0 innings.
- Louisville enters the weekend ranked second in the nation in stolen bases with 127 and fourth in stolen bases per game at 2.02.
- The Cardinals are also 8th nationally in HBP (105), 9th in runs (401) and 23rd in scoring (6.4 per game).
- The Louisville pitching staff is ranked 5th in strikeouts per 9 IP (8.4), 11th nationally in hits allowed per 9 IP (7.38) and 19th in ERA (2.78).

LOUISVILLE BASEBALL NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES
- The Cardinals are making their eighth NCAA Championship appearance, including their seventh in eight seasons under the direction of head coach Dan McDonnell.
- After sweeping through last weekend's NCAA Regional, the Cardinals are 22-17 all-time in NCAA Championship games.
- The Cardinals enter the weekend with a 4-3 record in their three previous NCAA Super Regional series defeating Oklahoma State 2-1 in 2007, falling 0-2 at Cal State Fullerton in 2009 and winning 2-0 at Vanderbilt in 2013.
- Louisville has a 13-4 all-time record at home in NCAA postseason games, including six straight wins.
- Following last weekend's NCAA Regional action, Louisville is the only program from last year's College World Series field still playing in this year's NCAA Championship.
- In 14 career NCAA postseason games, senior Cole Sturgeon has a .352 career average (18-for-51) with eight runs scored and five RBI.
- Entering this weekend's NCAA Super Regional, senior Jeff Gardner is hitting .305 (11-for-36) with four doubles, one triple and four RBI in 11 career NCAA postseason games.
- In four previous NCAA postseason appearances on the mound, sophomore righty Kyle Funkhouser has a 1.62 ERA (2 ER in 11.1 IP) with 14 strikeouts.
- In 10 career NCAA postseason starts at shortstop, junior Sutton Whiting has scored nine runs with five stolen bases in five tries, two doubles and four RBI.
- During the Cardinals' last two seasons, junior righty Nick Burdi has made six shutout relief appearances allowing just three hits with seven strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work.
- In his NCAA postseason debut, freshman Corey Ray hit .417 (5-for-12) with three doubles and three RBI in three starts during the NCAA Regional sweep.
- Junior second baseman Zach Lucas was 5-for-10 with four doubles and two RBI in three starts during last weekend's NCAA Regional. Prior to that showing, he had just two hits in four career starts and seven total postseason appearances.
- Only seven Louisville pitchers were used in the three NCAA Regional games last week, with only Nick Burdi and Kyle McGrath making multiple appearances. Burdi earned two saves in 1.1 innings of shutout relief, while McGrath allowed only one hit in 3.0 innings of scoreless bullpen work.
- The Cardinals' three starting pitchers (Kyle Funkhouser, Anthony Kidston, Josh Rogers) last weekend combined to allow only three earned runs in 21.0 innings (1.28 ERA) with 21 strikeouts.

NCAA POSTSEASON HISTORY AT JIM PATTERSON STADIUM
The 2014 Louisville Super Regional marks the sixth time Jim Patterson Stadium has hosted NCAA postseason games. Overall, the Cardinals are 13-4 all-time in postseason home games after going 3-0 in the 2014 NCAA Regional, 3-0 in the 2013 NCAA Regional, 2-2 in the 2010 NCAA Regional, 3-1 in the 2009 NCAA Regional and 2-1 in the 2007 NCAA Super Regional.

Last season, the Cardinals swept through a trio of games against Bowling Green, Miami (Fla.) and Oklahoma State to begin its run to Omaha. 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 and dropped game two in 12 innings before winning 20-2 in the deciding third game to earn the program's first College World Series berth.

CARDINALS IN A GROUP OF 16 SCHOOLS WITH FOUR OR MORE NCAA SUPER REGIONAL APPEARANCES IN LAST EIGHT SEASONS
Louisville is one of 16 Division I schools with four or more NCAA Super Regional appearances in the last eight seasons (since 2007). Joining the Cardinals on this impressive list is Florida State (7), Arizona State (5), Cal State Fullerton (5), North Carolina (5), South Carolina (5), Virginia (5), Florida (4), LSU (4), Rice (4), Stanford (4), Texas (4), TCU (4), UC Irvine (4) UCLA (4) and Vanderbilt (4).

BURDI, FUNKHOUSER AND GARDNER EARN LOUISVILLE SLUGGER ALL-AMERICA HONORS FROM COLLEGIATE BASEBALL NEWSPAPER
On the eve of the opening day of the 2014 NCAA Baseball Championship, Louisville's Nick Burdi, Kyle Funkhouser and Jeff Gardner were chosen as Louisville Slugger All-Americans by Collegiate Baseball newspaper on May 29. Burdi, a junior righty from Downers Grove, Ill., was named First Team All-America, while Funkhouser, a sophomore righty from Oak Forest, Ill., and Gardner, a senior outfielder from Louisville, Ky., were tabbed as Second Team All-Americans. This year's honors marks the second time in school history three Cardinals have earned Louisville Slugger All-American accolades matching the 2010 season when Neil Holland, Thomas Royse and Phil Wunderlich were Third Team selections.

LOUISVILLE AMONG 11 SCHOOLS TO HOST FOUR OR MORE NCAA REGIONALS IN LAST SIX YEARS
Louisville is one of just 11 Division I schools to have hosted four or more NCAA Regionals over the last six seasons (since 2009). That list includes seven schools serving as hosts for 2014 Regionals -- Florida (5), Florida State (5), Louisville (4), LSU (4), Rice (4), South Carolina (5), TCU (4) and Virginia (5). Also joining that group are Cal State Fullerton (4), North Carolina (4) and UCLA (4).

CARDINALS IN SELECT COMPANY WITH ANOTHER 40-WIN SEASON
With the victorious series finale at Temple on May 11, Louisville clinched its seventh 40-win season in Dan McDonnell's eight years as head coach. Entering this week's NCAA Regional action, Louisville is one of only five programs in the nation to accomplish the feat of seven or more 40-win campaigns in the last eight seasons. Joining the Cardinals on that list are Florida State (8), Rice (8) and South Carolina (8) and TCU (7).

LOUISVILLE 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 remained in the top 10 this week in three of the five major polls. Entering the NCAA Regional, the Cardinals were ranked as highly as No. 8 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top 30 and they continue to be ranked in all five 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.

GARDNER CHOSEN AS AMERICAN CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE YEAR; SEVEN CARDINALS EARN ALL-CONFERENCE HONORS
Louisville outfielder Jeff Gardner was named American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and led a group of seven Cardinals earning All-American Conference honors during the opening ceremonies of the 2014 American Conference Championship at Bright House Field on May 20. This year's honor for Gardner marks the eighth time in the last eight seasons a member of the Cardinals has been selected as conference player or pitcher of the year. Gardner is the first player of the year for the honoree for Louisville since Chris Dominguez earned back-to-back Big East Player of the Year awards in 2008 and 2009.

Joining Gardner as All-American Conference First Team selections were closer Nick Burdi, third baseman Alex Chittenden and righthanded pitcher Kyle Funkhouser. Righty Jared Ruxer and outfielder/lefty pitcher Cole Sturgeon were All-American Conference Second Team honorees, while second baseman Zach Lucas was an All-American Conference Third Team pick.

LOUISVILLE WINS THIRD STRAIGHT CONFERENCE TITLE, FIFTH IN SIX YEARS
With its 5-1 victory over Cincinnati on May 16, Louisville clinched the inaugural American Athletic Conference regular season championship and the top seed in last week's conference championship. The Cardinals have won three straight regular season conference championships and five in the last six seasons overall. Louisville won Big East regular season titles in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013 prior to winning this year's American championship.

BURDI TAKES THE 101 TO JIM PATTERSON 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 century 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 32, including 16 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 is hitting .326 and leads the team in RBI (67), home runs (9), doubles (20) and slugging (.551) while starting 61 games. With a .325 average, Sturgeon leads the team in runs scored (57) and triples (7), ranks second in doubles (16) and is third in stolen bases (18) while starting all 63 games in the outfield.

FUNKHOUSER SETS SCHOOL RECORD FOR WINS AS FRIDAY NIGHT ACE
A year after earning Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America honors as a contributor to the Louisville pitching staff as both a midweek starter and a reliable reliever, sophomore Kyle Funkhouser established himself as the Friday night ace in 2014 while setting a single season school record for wins. Having earned the series-opening start in each of the last 10 weekends of the regular-season, Funkhouser has been terrific throughout 2014 with a 13-2 record and a 1.68 ERA to go with 110 strikeouts in 107.1 innings and 16 total starts. Last season, he was 5-1 with a 2.14 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 54.2 innings pitched.

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 127 steals in 160 attempts entering the week. The Cardinals are paced by junior Sutton Whiting, who ranks fourth in the nation in stolen bases with 36 in 42 attempts despite missing six games with an injury. Grant Kay is 22-for-25 on steals, Cole Sturgeon is 18-of-23 and Colin Lyman is 10-for-13 giving Louisville four players with 10 or more stolen bases.

FUNKHOUSER EARNS INVITATION TO TEAM USA TRAINING CAMP
It was announced on May 19 that Kyle Funkhouser earned an invitation to compete for a roster spot on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. He is slated to participate in the team's training camp starting June 19, while the final 24-man roster will be announced on June 29. Funkhouser becomes the seventh Louisville player to earn an invitation from the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team joining Nick Burdi (2013), Ryan Wright (2010), Phil Wunderlich (2009), Tony Zych (2009), Justin Marks (2008) and Mark Jurich (2002). Overall, Funkhouser is the 14th player coached or signed by Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell to earn international baseball experience. In 2009, McDonnell was as an assistant for Team USA, which finished with a 19-5 record and won the World Baseball Challenge in Canada.

STURGEON NAMED SEMIFINALIST FOR DICK HOWSER AWARD
On May 16, Cole Sturgeon was named as a semifinalist for the 2014 Dick Howser Award, given annually to the top player in collegiate baseball by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. This is the 28th year of the Dick Howser Trophy with two rounds of national voting determining the winner. The finalists will be announced on Thursday, June 5. The 2014 award will be presented at TD Ameritrade Stadium in downtown Omaha, the home of the College World Series for the fourth year. The winner will be unveiled on Saturday, June 14 at 10 a.m. CT, the opening day of the 2014 CWS.

GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD 30-MAN WATCH LIST INCLUDED BURDI
Nick Burdi was named to the 30-man Golden Spikes Award watch list released on May 8 by USA Baseball. 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.

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.

 

 

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