I remember when coach McDonnell first got things rolling with the Louisville Baseball program, and remember the first time the Cardinals made it to the College World Series. Then Louisville baseball fans were just happy to be a part of the June Classic. Now here we are on the cusp of making the trip back to the College World Series for a third consecutive year and this time I think most of us including the team expect to contend for College Baseball’s ultimate crown.
Third year and winners of three conference regular season crowns our Cardinals did what most pundits said couldn’t be done and just made a mockery of the powerful ACC. The only team still alive to have appeared in the last two College World Series events our guys just reloaded this season and got the job done. They went through fourteen weeks of playing in every type of climate, they battled slumps, injuries but were able to maintain that level of consistency and now find themselves knocking on the door of a legendary run that could end with three consecutive College World Series appearances and hopefully a Championship.
This Louisville baseball team is here because of grit, intensity and determination passed down to them by a great coaching staff. They have made this incredible run with clutch hitting from guys like Nick Solak, speed from guys like Corey Ray, and the power arms of guys like Kyle Funkhouser, Brendan McKay and Zack Burdi. It will take these things and getting the bats hot at the right time for this Louisville team to make history over the next couple of weeks.
For the seniors four years of hard work hang in the balance and for the younger guys the building of something very special will continue. For all of these guys this is the time to prove to themselves that they are ready physically, mentally, and emotionally to challenge the big boys of college baseball and prove yet again how Louisville belongs with that group. Coach McDonnell and his staff have these guys well prepared and this whole program has put in the work, now it’s time play. Bring it home guys! GO CARDS!
Two legendary coaches in Rick Pitino and Tom Izzo along with two elite college basketball teams in Louisville and Michigan State we’ve seen some great battles between these coaches and teams in the NCAA Tourney in recent years. With the latest coming a few months ago in the Elite 8 when Michigan State evened up the tourney series to 2-2 when they beat our Cards in overtime to advance to the Final Four.
We have grown accustomed to the possibility of these teams facing off in the NCAA Tournament every year, but now these teams are headed for an early match-up in the 2015 season. This morning on Twitter the Courier Journal’s Jeff Greer said that per a source we could see a Louisville vs Michigan State match-up in this coming season’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Then not too much later it was made official.
The Louisville vs Michigan State head to head record stands at 5-4. These teams first met in 1959 in the Mideast Regional final with the Cards winning that game 88-81 with the most recent game back on March 29th in the Regional Finals where Michigan State prevailed in Overtime 76-70 against the Cards.
Now these teams are set to face off on December 2nd in East Lansing. It will top off one of the best and toughest road game seasons in the history of Louisville basketball. That would mean Louisville has games at UK, at Michigan State, at Duke, at UVA, at UNC, at Pitt, at Notre Dame, at Miami, and at NC State. That is some great basketball indeed. Stay tuned for more details about this match-up with Michigan State and more about 2015 Louisville basketball later this summer. Go Cards!
The last time the Cardinals and Commodores met was in the opening round of the 2014 College World Series. It was Vandy who walked away with the win in that game 5-3 and eventually went on to win their first National Championship. That is a grand trophy indeed, but when it comes to the Louisville Vs Vanderbilt series there is another trophy that is one of the coolest in all of college baseball “The Barrel”
The Cardinals and the Commodores are far from strangers to one another. In fact this has become one of the most competitive rivalries in college baseball. The programs, separated by only 175 miles, became regular foes in the NCAA Regionals due to the close proximity. From that “The Battle of the Barrel” game was born in 2012. What started as a typical midweek game has evolved into something much larger a true rivalry.
Louisville is just 7-23 all-time against Vanderbilt in a series that dates back to 1953, but our Cardinals have come out on the winning end lately and currently hold a three to one edge against them in recent contest. The Cards swept them in 2 games in the 2013 Regionals and won the “Battle of the Barrel” game back last May. They lost their match-up in the CWS and it was the 4th time the programs have met in the postseason in the last five seasons.
Today at 6:00pm this great new college baseball rivalry will again take center stage its “The Battle of the Barrel”. Be sure to tune in to see who walks away with this super masculine emblem of greatness. Go Cards!
You can hear the game on FM 93.9 The Ville or tune into ESPN3.