U of L baseball honored with three All-Americans Wednesday, Feb 5 2020 

By John McCarthy —

Not only are the Cardinals No. 1 in the preseason baseball polls, but three players were named to the Division-1 baseball preseason all-american teams Jan. 21.

Junior Reid Detmers received first team selection honors. Junior Michael Kirian and sophomore Alex Binelas received second team selection honors.

Junior Danny Oriente set the tone for the 2020 Louisville Cardinals at their open media practice Jan. 24. Oriente said, “The vibe is great just to see everybody out here having fun. It’s just great to be back.” 

Detmers fanned batters throughout the 2019 season, rounding out with a 13-4 record from the mound. He finished with a 2.78 earned run average in 113 innings pitched. Detmers set Louisville’s single-season strikeout record with 167. He also tied the program record for wins accumulated in a season. 

When a tight-game situation was at hand, the Cardinals called Kirian from the bullpen to be the pitcher. Kirian made a team-high 26 relief appearances. He closed with five saves and a team-leading average 1.69 earned run average in 32 innings. 

Binelas slugged for 14 home runs, 59 runs batted in and a batting average of .291 in the 2019 season.

The Cardinals were one of three teams named for having at least three players selected to the preseason all-american list. 

In 2019, Detmers earned all-american recognition by six different platforms, receiving the Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser semifinalist award. Binelas became the first U of L freshman since Chris Dominguez in 2007 to hit 10 home runs in a season. Kirian recorded the final three outs against East Carolina to send the Cardinals to the College World Series and earned the save in the Cardinals’ victory over Auburn in Omaha.

But the Cardinals are not just a Cerberus attack. There are a number of key contributors for Louisville that plan to show up each and every night to ensure a Cardinals win. 

Junior Justin Lavey, who received recognition for 2019 All-ACC third team, played in all 69 games in 2019. He matched his career-highs for home runs and runs batted in. He also has the power of the barrel as well. Lavey was flawless in the 2019 World Series against Vanderbilt going 3-3 with a trio of doubles.

Lavey said, “We just take it day by day, we don’t change a thing. We play our baseball, we practice hard, we practice like every game is a playoff game.”

Expect much of the same hustle in 2020 seen from the 2019 Cardinals on the diamond. 

Another star to keep an eye out for in 2020 is junior Tyler Fitzgerald. The San Francisco Giants selected him in the fourth round of the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft. He smacked the ball for a .315 batting average with eight home runs in 2019. Fitzgerald led all Cardinals in 2019 with 65 runs batted in and 84 total hits. 

Louisville’s season opener will begin with a three-game series against Ole Miss starting Feb. 14. The Cardinals’ first home game will be against Wright State Feb. 19 at Jim Patterson Stadium.

Photo by Cole Emery // The Louisville Cardinal 

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U of L Cardinals defeat Mississippi State Bulldogs in College World Series Friday, Jun 21 2019 

By Gabriel Wiest —

The Cardinals won their second straight College World Series elimination game June 20 in a walk off against Mississippi State 4-3.

Louisville will face off against Vanderbilt June 21. The Cardinals have already lost one game against the team during the tournament and are facing elimination if they lose again.

“I’m super proud of these guys,” said head coach Dan McDonnell. “There was a lot of belief in that dugout. You could hear it in the tone and the comments and the words. They definitely felt like we had a chance. We just had to make it happen, and we were able to.”

Coming off a 5-3 win against Auburn, it was clear Louisville was not going to be eliminated without a fight.

The game started with a three-inning stalemate. Junior Nick Bennett pitched the first four innings, earning an ERA of 4.40.

At the top of the fourth the Bulldogs struck iron with two runs and no answer from the Cards.

The Bulldogs then came back with another run made at the top of the seventh inning.

Juniors Tyler Fitzgerald and Danny Oriente made the first two runs for the Cards at the bottom of the seventh. The Bulldogs did not answer the rest of the game.

In a walk off, Louisville came back in the bottom of the ninth to score two more runs to win the game, with Oriente’s second of the night, and junior Jake Snider’s first.

Oriente and junior Drew Campbell had a combined four at-bats, four hits and three RBI’s opening up the Cards for offensive plays.

“I think you can see a lot from our team in those two at-bats from Oriente and Campbell,” said McDonnell. “Those two at-bats by those guys really showed our toughness.”

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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Louisville baseball answers the bell in CWS elimination game Wednesday, Jun 19 2019 

By Dalton Ray —

Louisville baseball (50-17, 21-9) stays alive in the College World Series with a 5-3 win over Auburn (38-28, 14-16), eliminating the Tigers. The Cardinals held off Auburn’s late surge that included five hits in the final two innings. U of L will play the loser of Vanderbilt and Mississippi State Thursday, June 20.

The game entered a weather delay that postponed play from 2:55 p.m. Tuesday to 11:06 a.m. Wednesday.

Junior Bobby Miller (8-1, 3.91 ERA) recorded the win, striking out three and giving up five hits in his 4.0 innings. Three Cardinals recorded RBIs in juniors Tyler Fitzgerald, Drew Campbell and Justin Lavey.

Fitzgerald zoned in on a fast ball and cranked a two-out home run in the first inning. In the bottom half, an error in right field and a walked batter put runners on the corners. Miller closed out the threat by fielding a liner ripped at the mound.

Auburn jumped on the scoreboard in the second inning following a one-out ground out, scoring the runner from third base.

In the bottom of the third inning with two outs and a runner on second base, Auburn’s Steven Williams dropped one in shallow right. Campbell fielded the ball then sniped Will Holland at home plate to prevent the go-ahead run and end the inning.

The Cardinals loaded the bases on the north side of the fourth inning, causing Auburn to change pitchers as the rain picked up pace. Auburn’s new pitcher Elliott Anderson walked Campbell on five pitches, giving U of L a 2-1 lead. Sophomore Lucas Dunn dribbled a ball to short stop and a fielding error led to a pair of Louisville runs.

Campbell added clip to his highlight reel, ending the fourth inning on a diving catch. Following the catch, the game entered a rain delay.

Junior Adam Elliot (2-2, 2.64 ERA) replaced Miller and recorded three strikeouts in his 2.0 innings of work.

Louisville’s standout junior closer Michael McAvene (seven saves, 2.67 ERA) entered and allowed a two-out RBI, but closed the seventh inning with a strikeout.

The Cards plated another run in the eighth inning, pushing their lead back to three runs. The two-out drama continued for McAvene, allowing three singles to load the bases. The Chicago Cubs’ third round selection dialed up another breaking ball on the outside of the plate, icing the scoring threat.

Sophomore Michael Kirian replaced McAvene and gave up a solo shot to center. Kirian rebounded with a strikeout to end the game and stranding an Auburn runner.

U of L has dropped both games against Vanderbilt during the 2019 campaign. Louisville is 1-1 all time against Mississippi State, last playing in 2007.

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Photo by Adrianna Lynch / The Louisville Cardinal

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