Posted on August 15, 2009 at 6:45 PM
Thursday, Oct 22 at 5:03 PM
The University of Louisville baseball team earned another preseason top 20 ranking this week as the Cardinals debuted at No. 11 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Preseason Top 35 Poll released on Monday.
It is the third 2009 preseason Top 20 ranking for the Cards, who are No. 8 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll and No. 20 in the Ping!Baseball rankings released last month.
Louisville is the only BIG EAST team ranked in the top 25 of the NCBWA Preseason Top 35. Louisville returns eight of nine position starters for 2009, including All-American third baseman Chris Dominguez.
Third-year head coach Dan McDonnell's squad also returns a deep stable of talented pitchers, led by All-American lefty starter Justin Marks.
Last season, Louisville earned its second straight NCAA Championship bid after winning the program's first ever BIG EAST Tournament title.
The Cards finished 41-21 overall in 2008 after being eliminated from the Athens Regional by eventual College World Series runner-up Georgia. Dominguez (Miami, Fla.), who elected to return to Louisville for his junior season despite being drafted in the fifth round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies, was named to five All-America teams in 2008 and earned BIG EAST Co-Player of the Year honors after hitting .365 with a team-leading 21 home runs and 75 RBI. Marks (Owensboro, Ky.) was named to a pair of All-America teams and earned All-BIG EAST First Team honors last season with a 9-2 record, a 2.37 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 91 innings of work.
Earlier this month, both Dominguez and Marks were named to the NCBWA, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Ping!Baseball Preseason All-America teams as well as the Brooks Wallace National Player of the Year Award Watch List. Louisville will open the 2009 season with a three-game series against the Florida Gators, ranked 24th in the NCBWA Preseason Poll, on Feb. 20-22 in Gainesville, while the Cards' 2009 home-opener is set for Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. ET, against Eastern Kentucky.