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Looking ahead: Five games in seven days for Cardinal Baseball

By on February 24, 2014
Photo by Annie Moore

By Annie Moore

Coming off of a successful weekend at home, the Louisville baseball team

is headed into a daunting week. Five games in seven days. Four teams will

come to town in what head coach Dan McDonnell says would be “A tough

stretch for anyone in college baseball.”

 

First coming to town is Eastern Illinois University on Tuesday. The

Panthers are 1-6 on the season, including a dropped four-game series

against No. 14 Louisiana-Lafayette. Each of Eastern Illinois’ first seven

games has been against ranked opponents, with its only win of the season

in the first game of the Louisiana-Lafayette series. The Panthers come to

town, in a game that should get the Cardinals back on a winning streak.

 

Next up, Morehead State University comes to Jim Patterson Stadium on

Wednesday. The Eagles have played eight games this season, with a

split record of 4-4. MSU began the season with three consecutive losses,

but has won four of its last five games. Look for junior Brandon Rawe,

who is leading the team in batting average this season. The outfielder is

batting .346 in the first eight games of the season.

 

Headed in to weekend play, the University of Toledo Rockets come to

town for two games, on Friday and Sunday, with No. 11 Indiana University

sandwiched in the middle for a Saturday headliner game.

 

Toledo has a 2-3 record on the season, and has not faced a ranked

opponent. But catcher Tyler Baar has come out swinging early in the

season. The junior leads the team in runs scored and is hitting .250, with

an on-base percentage of .412. Toledo specializes in scoring later in

games, scoring 17 of its 21 runs this season in or after the fifth inning.

The game against Louisville will be Toledo’s second of the day, so fatigue

could be a factor.

 

Finally, the Indiana Hoosiers are coming to town for Louisville’s first game

of the season against a ranked opponent. But, Indiana isn’t exactly coming

in hot, the Hoosiers have lost five of the last six games. The season has

started a dismal 2-5 and Indiana is looking for a quality win to get back on

pace. It will take on Toledo on Friday morning, before facing the Cardinals.

 

The early games should be wins for Louisville, defeating Eastern Illinois

and Morehead State will build confidence going into the weekend. But the

biggest challenge for coach McDonnell and the rest of the team will be

figuring out a pitching rotation that will carry the Cards through the long

five-day stretch.

 

My prediction: The Cards win four of five, dropping one game against

Toledo to advance to 9-3 on the season.

About Annie Moore

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