The No. 7 Louisville Baseball team will open their 36-game home schedule and kick off a 17-game homestand Wednesday at 3 p.m., vs. Eastern Kentucky. Louisville coach Dan McDonnell said he hopes to see Louisville fans out at the ballpark Wednesday.
Admission to games at Jim Patterson Stadium is free.
GARDNER WINS AWARD Louisville senior outfielder Jeff Gardner was named American Athletic Conference Player of the Week Monday following a strong weekend at the Homewood Suites Tournament in Charleston, S.C. The Louisville native hit .417 (5 of 12) with a walkoff home run, a triple, two doubles and six RBIs in three starts in the three-game tournament.
Tabbed as the AAC Preseason Player of the Year by the league's head coaches, Gardner hit a walk-off solo homer in the 10th inning of Louisville's 7-6 win over West Virginia on Friday and had a three-run triple in the first inning of Sunday's 6-1 win over Delaware. A co-captain on this year's squad, Gardner is a two-time all-conference selection and has 15 career home runs with the Cardinals. In his four seasons, he has a .324 career average with 96 RBI in 117 career starts and 156 games played.
BURDI A GOLDEN SPIKES NOMINEE UofL junior righty Nick Burdi was named to the 60-man preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list last week. Sponsored by Major League Baseball, the Golden Spikes Award honors the nation's top amateur baseball player.
Burdi, a First team Preseason All-American by Baseball America, Perfecr Game, Collegiate Baseball newspaper and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, was among the best relievers in the nation last season. He helped Louisville make the 2013 College World Series with 16 saves and a phenomenal 62 strikeouts in 35.2 innings pitched.
The Downers Grove, Ill., native finished the season with a 0.76 ERA in 29 relief appearances as Louisville won 51 games. Burdi is one of the hardest throwers in college baseball, clocking a fastball in the 95-102 mph range and off-speed pitches in the low-90s.
The Golden Spikes watch list features 60 of the nation's top amateur players, and will be a "rolling" list until May 27 -- when the Golden Spikes Award semifinalists are announced -- ensuring that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award throughout the collegiate and high school seasons.