LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The second-ranked University of Louisville baseball team continues its homestand by welcoming Xavier to Jim Patterson Stadium on Tuesday with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m., ET. The game will be televised on ACC Network Extra and can be heard locally on 1450 WXVW.
· Cardinals Cap Day: Wear your Cardinals hat to the ballpark and get rewarded! During select non-conference games this season, fans who enter the stadium wearing any Louisville ball cap will receive a voucher for your choice of FREE popcorn or soft pretzel.
ABOUT THE CARDINALS
The Cardinals completed a three-game sweep of Valparaiso over the weekend, dominating on the mound the first two games before the offense came to life in the finale. Louisville recorded its first shutout of the season in Friday’s victory and then set season-highs for runs and hits offensively on Sunday.
The Louisville pitching staff owned the weekend series against Valpo, especially through the first two games. The Cardinals recorded a nine-inning program-record 22 strikeouts in the opener, tied for the 10th-most in NCAA Division I history in a nine-inning contest. They followed it up with 18 more on Saturday and closed out the weekend with 45 overall, tied for the most in a series in program history.
Louisville and Xavier are meeting for the 61st time, with the Cardinals leading the series 39-21. The two teams have played at least once each of the last eight years with Dan McDonnell owning a 17-5 record in 22 contests against the Musketeers.
· Louisville has an .856 winning percentage (95-16) in non-conference games over the last four-plus seasons, including a 75-6 (.926) mark in non-conference home games.
· he Cardinals’ pitching staff combined to strike out 45 hitters in the weekend sweep of Valparaiso, tied for the most in a three-game series in program history (Alabama A&M, 2019).
· In Friday’s win over Valparaiso, Louisville pitchers struck out 22 batters, a program record for a nine-inning game. The 22 Ks were tied for the 10th-most in NCAA Division I history in a nine-inning game and are tied with Texas A&M for the most in a single game this season.
· After failing to swipe a bag in the opening series at Ole Miss, the Cardinals were a perfect 13-for-13 in four games last week. Louisville has stolen at least 100 bases in six of the past seven seasons after swiping 108 bags in 2019. The one year it didn’t reach 100 since 2013, UofL finished with 98 in 2017.
· Michael Kirian has locked down three of Louisville’s four victories this season, including two saves last weekend against Valparaiso. The southpaw has allowed just two baserunners in his three appearances in 2020. Since the start of the 2019 season, Kirian has a 1.53 ERA in 35.1 innings with 49 strikeouts and just nine walks.
· Henry Davis has been a hitting machine through the first two weeks of the season. The sophomore catcher is hitting a team-best .450 and has multiple hits in four of the five games he has started. Davis currently leads the Cards in average, slugging, OPS, hits, doubles and total bases. His five doubles have already matched his total from his freshman campaign.
· Levi Usher showed off his many tools in the weekend sweep of Valparaiso, shining at the plate, in the field and on the bases. Usher was 4-for-10 at the plate, scoring three runs and driving in two. The sophomore also made a diving play in right field and threw a pair of runners out in Sunday’s series finale. On Saturday, Usher tied the Jim Patterson Stadium record with four stolen bases, which is also tied for the most by a Louisville player since 1999.
· Ben Metzinger displayed his versatility over the weekend, starting the second game of the series behind the plate before heading to the hot corner for the finale. After catching Louisville’s 18-strikeout performance on Saturday, the sophomore handled both of his chances on Sunday at third, including a diving stop and throw for an out. At the plate, Metzinger broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning on Saturday with a two-run single and tallied three hits and scored three times in Sunday’s victory.