Cincinnati Reds shortstop and former collegiate All-American Zack Cozart and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher and former Cardinals’ standout B.J. Rosenberg will be the featured guests at the 2013 Republic Bank University of Louisville Baseball Leadoff Dinner on Friday, Jan. 18.
The annual event, which is the primary fund-raising event for the UofL baseball team, is set to begin at 7 p.m., ET in the Regency Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Louisville. Tickets for the event can be purchased for $50 each by calling (502) 852-0706 or by completing the form at GoCards.com and emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to register is Jan. 11, 2013.
Cozart completed his first full season as the Reds’ everyday shortstop in 2012 playing in 138 games and hitting .246 with 15 home runs, 35 RBI and 33 doubles. Cozart made his MLB debut on July 7, 2011 after a highly impressive and successful rise through the Reds’ minor league farm system. Prior to being called up to the big league club, Cozart hit .310 with seven home runs and 32 RBI in 77 games for the AAA Louisville Bats.
A native of Collierville, Tenn., Cozart was selected in the second round of the 2007 MLB Draft by the Reds following an outstanding collegiate career at Ole Miss, where he was recruited and played for current Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell. With the Rebels, Cozart earned All-America honors in 2007 and was a two-time First Team All-SEC performer while playing in three straight NCAA Super Regionals for Ole Miss. He ranks in the Rebels’ career top 10 in RBI and runs scored.
Rosenberg made his debut for the Phillies on June 9, 2012, and closed out the summer making 22 appearances on the mound, including a start in the final week of the season. Overall, he had a 1-2 record with 24 strikeouts in his 25.0 innings of work in the big leagues in 2012. Prior to being called up, Rosenberg spent more than four seasons working his way through the Phillies’ farm system winning 22 games with a career minor league ERA of 2.83 in 152 appearances and 296 innings pitched.
A native of Vine Grove, Ky., Rosenberg was selected in the 13th round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the Phillies following a successful collegiate career at Louisville. A five-year member of the Cardinals, Rosenberg earned All-BIG EAST Third Team honors in 2008 as a key contributor for the Cards' BIG EAST Tournament champion and NCAA Regional squad. He currently ranks second in career starts at Louisville with 47, third in career innings pitched with 306.2, sixth in career wins with 18, eighth in career strikeouts with 212 and 10th in career saves with nine.
Last year's Leadoff Dinner was headlined by New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte and former UofL pitcher Trystan Magnuson, while other previous featured guests have included Joe Girardi, Derek Jeter, Don Mattingly, Alex Rodriguez, Tino Martinez, Scott Rolen, Tommy Lasorda, Chris Coghlan, Jeff Francoeur, Sean Green, Nick Swisher, Adam Wainwright, Chris Burke and Rick Sweet among others.
The 2013 Republic Bank Leadoff Dinner will be the seventh under the guidance of head coach Dan McDonnell, who has directed Louisville to 258 wins, three BIG EAST regular season titles, two BIG EAST Tournament titles, five NCAA Regional appearances, two NCAA Super Regional berths and one College World Series appearance in 2007.
About Louisville Baseball in 2013
Louisville, which won its third BIG EAST regular season title in the last four seasons in 2012, is led in 2013 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.