Nov. 15, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Since the completion of the Louisville baseball team's full-squad fall workouts in mid-October, the Cardinals have remained extremely busy with their preparation for the 2013 season, which is only 92 days away.
On-field work for Louisville players since the finale of the Pizza Bowl on Oct. 13 has consisted of individual workouts and hitting instruction as well as controlled bullpens and throwing schedules for the pitchers. Away from the field, the Cardinals have continued their increased emphasis on fitness with off-season conditioning at both the Marshall Center and the Howard Schnellenberger Football Complex.
Louisville will open the 2013 season on Friday, Feb. 15 against Indiana (7:30 p.m., ET) in Dunedin, Fla., at the BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge. The Cardinals' 36-game home slate at the newly expanded Jim Patterson Stadium is set to open on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 3 p.m., ET against Eastern Kentucky.
Cardinals Host Photo, Video Activities Wednesday
Louisville coaches, players and support staff met with members of the Cardinals' marketing and media relations staff on Wednesday to record videos and take photos in preparation for the 2013 season. Many of the video and photo elements fans will see at Jim Patterson Stadium and throughout the city of Louisville to promote the Cardinals' baseball program in the spring were completed on Wednesday afternoon.
Jim Patterson Stadium Expansion Remains on Track
For those who have not seen Jim Patterson Stadium during the last several weeks or since the completion of the 2012 season, the dynamic visual change in the ballpark due to the ongoing construction expansion is something to behold. Much of the vertical support for the 1,500 additional chair back seats and the 6,400-square-foot terrace accessible from the permanent seats has been constructed providing a footprint of the newly expanded ballpark.
The expansion project, which began on June 15, 2012, will increase the number of chair back seats to 3,000 while increasing the overall seating capacity to more than 4,000 making it the largest ballpark in the BIG EAST Conference and among the top 30 in the nation. Construction on the $4 million facility development plan remains on schedule for the 2013 season.
For more information on the expansion of Jim Patterson Stadium and how you can be involved, visit www.baseballexpansion.com or call 502-852-8921.
Omaha Challenge Begins Sunday
The Cardinals' off-season training will hit another level on Sunday with the start of the annual Omaha Challenge. Prior to the event, captains Adam Engel and Jeff Gardner will draft teams to compete in a five-day series of events, which is scheduled to be completed on Tuesday, Nov. 27. The events will test the athleticism of the teams and individuals and will conclude with the crowning of both team and individual champions at the end of the competition. Sports performance coach Eric Hammer oversees the Omaha Challenge, while also motivating the Cardinals to extend themselves to their limits.
About Louisville Baseball
Louisville, which won its third BIG EAST regular season title in the last four seasons in 2012, is led by the return of seven of its school record 10 All-BIG EAST performers from last season, including second team outfielders Adam Engel and Cole Sturgeon. Most of the Cardinals' pitching staff returns for 2013, led by BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and Freshman All-American right-hander Jared Ruxer.
Overall, Louisville returns 21 letterwinners from the 2012 team, which finished 41-22 and advanced to an NCAA Regional for the fifth time in six seasons.
Head coach Dan McDonnell enters his seventh season leading the Louisville baseball program. In his six previous seasons, McDonnell is 258-122 with three BIG EAST regular-season titles, two BIG EAST Tournament titles, five NCAA Regional berths, two NCAA Super Regional appearances and one College World Series berth.
Fans can follow Louisville baseball on Twitter at http://twitter.com/uoflbaseball and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ulbaseball.