Following a busy summer of competition in wooden bat leagues around the nation, members of the Louisville baseball team returned to campus over the weekend to begin fall semester classes on Monday.
After starting the summer season in mid-June following the Cardinals’ NCAA Championship appearance, more than 20 Louisville players found success competing in six different leagues. The busy summer season officially ended last Friday night when the Wareham Gatemen, with contributions throughout the season from the Louisville trio of Cole Sturgeon (OF/LHP), Jared Ruxer (RHP) and Joe Filomeno (LHP), won the Cape Cod League championship.
The beginning of the semester on Monday also brings the start of a busy fall for the Louisville baseball team in preparation for the 2013 season. Led by head coach Dan McDonnell, who is entering his seventh season at the helm of the Cardinals, the team will conduct a demanding strength and conditioning program throughout the fall. After two weeks of individual work on the field to close the month of August, the team will conduct full-squad fall practices from September to October. The on-field competition will conclude in mid-October with the program’s annual Pizza Bowl (final dates to be announced later in the fall). The strength and conditioning program will hit its peak with the Omaha Challenge in November while leading up to the conclusion of the semester in December.
Fans can follow Louisville baseball on Twitter at twitter.com/uoflbaseball and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ulbaseball.
Listed below are some notes and highlights from the Louisville baseball team’s summer league action.
Cape Cod League
- Along with winning the Cape Cod League title, outfielder/left-handed pitcher Cole Sturgeon was the leadoff hitter in 50 of 51 games for the Wareham Gatemen and was a key ingredient to the team’s success. In seven playoff games, he hit .367 with one home run, four RBI, five runs scored and three doubles. In his 50 total games this summer with Wareham (regular season and playoffs combined), he hit .307 with six home runs, 19 RBI, 43 runs scored, 11 doubles and two triples. On the mound, Sturgeon was 2-0 with one save, 11 strikeouts and a 3.18 ERA in eight relief appearances and 11.1 innings pitched.
- Despite a deceiving overall record (1-4), right-hander Jared Ruxer was good on the mound for Wareham with a 2.90 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 40.1 innings pitched during the regular season and playoffs.
- Lefty Joe Filomeno was 2-1 overall with two saves, 24 strikeouts and a 5.48 ERA in 15 relief appearances and 21.1 innings pitched for Wareham.
- In eight appearances and seven starts for the Bourne Braves, right-hander Chad Green was terrific finishing with 4-0 with 47 strikeouts in 42.0 innings pitched and a 2.79 ERA. On of Green’s best starts came late in the season on Aug. 5 when he had nine strikeouts in 6.0 shutout innings to earn the victory against Hyannis.
- Right-hander Jeff Thompson had one of the most impressive outings of the summer when he finished with nine strikeouts in a six-inning no-hitter on July 29 to lead the Bourne Braves to a win against Harwich. Thompson finished with a 2-4 record overall to go with a 3.95 ERA and 36 strikeouts in nine starts and 41.0 innings pitched.
- Outfielder Adam Engel hit .233 with 25 runs scored, 16 RBI, 16 stolen bases and 21 walks in 43 games this summer for the Chatham Anglers.
- In 43 games for the Mankato MoonDogs, second baseman Nick Ratajczak hit .329 with 38 runs scored, 22 RBI, 22 walks, nine stolen bases, 11 doubles, one home run and a triple. In a game on July 19, Ratajczak was 1-for-2 with four RBI, including a three-run homer, three runs scored and four walks in a win over Rochester.
- In 10 starts on the mound for Mankato, left-hander Kyle McGrath, who sat out the 2012 season after transferring to U of L from Eastern Kentucky, was 5-3 with a 4.97 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 58.0 innings pitched.
- In 25 games played for the Lakeshore Chinooks, infielder Ty Young hit .295 with two home runs, five doubles, four triples, 16 RBI and 21 runs scored.
Perfect Game League
- Catcher Shane Crain capped an All-Star season in the Perfect Game League by hitting .310 with one home run, 23 RBI, eight doubles and 26 runs in 37 games for the Oneonta Outlaws.
- In 39 games played for Oneonta, infielder Zach Lucas hit .266 with four home runs, 27 RBI, 11 doubles, three triples, 29 runs scored, 14 walks and nine stolen bases.
- Infielder Sutton Whiting closed the summer by hitting .260 with 16 runs scored, 18 walks and eight stolen bases in 35 games and 28 starts for Oneonta.
Coastal Plain League
- In 42 games for the Florence RedWolves, outfielder Matt Helms hit .298 with 26 RBI, 15 runs scored, seven doubles, two triples and nine stolen bases.
- During his 37 games with Florence, outfielder Jeff Gardner hit.265 with one home run and 21 runs scored.