The 22nd-ranked Louisville baseball team hosts BIG EAST Conference leader and No. 20 St. John's for a weekend showdown at Jim Patterson Stadium. The series-opener is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m., while Saturday's game is set for 11:30 a.m., ET. Sunday's series finale will get underway at 1 p.m., and will be preceded by the Cardinals' Senior Day activities.
Saturday's matchup will be be televised by ESPNU with Mike Gleason (play-by-play) and Kyle Peterson (analyst) calling the action. Live play-by-play of the entire series can be heard on News/Talk 1570 AM (WNDA). Live video (Friday & Sunday) as well as live audio will be available to subscribers of CardsTV online at UofLsports.com. Live scoring will be available through the Gametracker feature on the baseball schedule page at UofLsports.com.
Entering the weekend series, Louisville trails 12-7 in the all-time series with St. John's, which started in 2007. The Red Storm has won six of the last seven in the series, including four of five games last season. After being swept in Queens during the regular season matchup, Louisville avoided elimination in last year's BIG EAST Championship with a 7-5 win before falling 5-1 in the decisive semifinal matchup. The teams are even at 3-3 in games played in Louisville.
LOUISVILLE TWO GAMES OUT OF FIRST IN BIG EAST RACE WITH TWO WEEKS TO GO
After earning a series win against West Virginia last weekend in Morgantown, the Cardinals remain two games out of first and tied for second in the BIG EAST Conference race. With a 14-7 record, U of L is tied with Connecticut and one game ahead of fourth place USF and Seton Hall. No. 20 St. John's, which will visit Louisville for a three-game series this weekend, is atop the BIG EAST standings with a 16-5 record with just two weeks (six games) left in the regular-season race.
ABOUT ST. JOHN'S
St. John's is 31-17 overall and 16-5 in BIG EAST Conference action after winning two of three against USF last weekend in Queens, N.Y. The Red Storm, ranked 20th this week by Collegiate Baseball newspaper, are led by coach Ed Blankmeyer, who is in his 17th season at the helm of SJU. Last season, St. John's finished 36-22 overall and was second in the BIG EAST standings with an 18-8 record. The Red Storm earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship competing in the Charlottesville Regional.
NOTES AND TRENDS TO FOLLOW...
The Cardinals are 16-4 this season against lefty starting pitchers... Louisville is 11-3 in night games... The Cardinals have outscored their opponents 80-10 in the first inning this season... Louisville is 0-12 when trailing after six innings... The Cardinals are 19-2 this season when hitting at least one home run... Louisville batters have been hit by pitches 96 times this season, which ranks second in the nation... Nick Ratajczak is 8th in the nation with 21 HBPs, while Ty Young is 24th with 17... Ratajczak is ranked as the fourth toughest player in the nation to strikeout with one every 26.9 at-bats... Louisville ranks eighth in the nation in scoring at 7.4 runs per game... Jeff Thompson is tied for third in the nation with nine wins... The Cardinals are 33-2 when leading after the seventh inning.
AMLUNG NAMED TO GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD MIDSEASON WATCH LIST
On May 1, junior right-hander Justin Amlung was named to the midseason watch list for the 2012 Golden Spikes Award, which is awarded annually by USA Baseball to the top amateur baseball player in the country. A native of Louisville, Amlung is 7-3 on the season with a 2.16 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 83.1 innings. With his 22nd career win, Amlung moved into a tie for second on Louisville's career win list with Brian Bentley (1997-2000).
USA Baseball officials will announce the 30 semifinalists for the 2012 Golden Spikes Award on Tuesday, May 29. The list of 30 will then be sent to a voting body consisting of past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of media that closely follow the amateur game, select professional baseball personnel and current USA Baseball staff, representing a group of more than 200 voters in total.
STURGEON NAMED TO JOHN OLERUD TWO-WAY PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST
Sophomore outfielder/left-handed pitcher Cole Sturgeon was named to the initial watch list for the 2012 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award on May 3. The award, named for the Washington State star who achieved success as both a first baseman and a right-handed pitcher, will be presented by the National Collegiate Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the annual College Baseball Night of Champions on June 30 in Lubbock, Texas. Sturgeon, a native of Owensboro, Ky., is hitting .333 with one home run, 34 RBI and 32 runs scored while starting all but one game in the outfield. On the mound, he is 0-1 with a 3.29 ERA in 11 relief appearances to go with one save as one of the Cards' key lefties out of the bullpen.
CARDINALS TO HONOR SENIOR CLASS PRIOR TO SUNDAY'S GAME
The Louisville baseball program will honor its senior class prior to Sunday's series finale with the Red Storm. The honorees will include outfielder Stewart Ijames, right-handed pitcher Travis Tingle, righty Derek Self, right-hander Justin Amlung and manager Ryan Warkentien.
WEEKEND PROMOTIONS AT JIM PATTERSON STADIUM
- Baseball Trading Cards Giveaway: Collect the fifth and final set of the exclusive Trading Cards set featuring eight Cardinal players and Head Coach Dan McDonnell. Plus, grab Louie's card for him to sign! (First 150 fans)
- Budweiser Buck Night: Come thirsty and leave happy as all small Pepsi products and draft beer is only $1 each. (served to the final out of the seventh inning)
- Louisville Slugger Mini-Bat Giveaway: Be one of the first people through the gates and receive a free Louisville Slugger Mini-Bat!
- National Television Broadcast: Calling all Cardinals fans! The national spotlight hits Louisville on Saturday afternoon as ESPNU will broadcast the game live. Pack the stadium and show the nation why this is the Best College Sports Town in America!
- Dr. Bizer's Family Fun Day: Every Sunday features special family entertainment and activities including inflatable jumpies. Also, kids can run the bases after the game and select players will sign autographs on the field.
- Mother's Day / Senior Day: Join the Cardinals in celebrating the final homestand for the five Louisville seniors. Plus, bring Mom to the ballpark for her special day and get the 2012 team photo. (First 500 fans)
Free Admission All Weekend!
- Louisville Baseball offers FREE admission with general admission seating. Fans can walk right in, pick their seat, and get close to the action!
Run On The Field With The Cardinals
- Here is your chance to be on the field with the Cardinals! Get your little league team signed up this weekend to be Anthem Buddies and run onto the field with the Louisville Baseball team. As an Anthem Buddy, kids will have the opportunity to run onto the field with the team, get player autographs, and cheer on the Cards to victory all FREE of charge. Call: (502) 852-0675.