By Matt Bradshaw —
After losing key players to the MLB in 2017, baseball’s sophomore class dominates the current lineup. Among the six who usually make the starting nine, Logan Wyatt catches the eye with the imposing numbers he is posting this season.
The underclassman displayed his skill in this weekend’s series versus North Carolina State, when he led Louisville to a game one victory with his first grand slam as a Cardinal.
“The mindset for me is to stay as relaxed as possible, not to try and do too much,” Wyatt said. “Get a run or two, not all four at once. So it felt great.”
Wyatt reached base safely for 26 consecutive games. The streak ended with the Cardinals’ game two loss against the Wolfpack, but the record remains impressive.
“To be honest, it wasn’t in my head to this point,” Wyatt said. “But it happened, so it was nice.”
With a .167 batting average through 18 games his freshman year, present statistics hearken to the Louisville native’s time on the high school field.
Wyatt played at North Bullitt, 20 minutes from U of L. He helped the Eagles to a state runner-up finish in 2014 and received first team All-State honors 2014-16. The first baseman ended his prep career with a .420 batting average, while also becoming North Bullitt’s career leader in home runs and RBIs.
Head coach Dan McDonnell started Wyatt once in 2017, as the freshman found himself on the bench behind heavy-hitters like Brendan McKay. Fast forward to 2018 and the sophomore hits in the clean-up spot for the Cardinals.
“I’ve always been a Louisville fan growing up,” Wyatt said. “It’s cool to be the clean-up guy so far.”
Midway through this season, Wyatt leads his teammates in batting average (.359), slugging percentage (.563), hits (37), doubles (13) and RBIs (29). Improvement from his freshman season stems from hard work, according to Wyatt.
“Everyone prepares in the fall and the spring,” Wyatt said. “I do the same, then come out here and do my thing.”
Perhaps most notable is Wyatt’s ability to get on base. The 6-foot-4 lefty is ranked third in the nation in walks (31) and twenty-first in on-base percentage (.511). A player who gets on base over fifty percent of the time is someone for opposing pitchers to fear.
Amidst his success at the plate, Wyatt stays humble and acknowledges there are always avenues to improve.
“I’d like to think there’s always stuff to work on,” Wyatt said. “Defensively, maturing as a player at first base.”
Wyatt looks up to teammates Josh Stowers and Devin Mann the most. The pair may not be besting Wyatt’s offensive numbers, but they carry critical postseason experience.
“Stowers and Mann are the leaders of the hitters,” Wyatt said. “They’ve had the most experience.”
Over a month remains on baseball’s schedule, so time will tell whether Wyatt maintains his current level of play. After Louisville’s loss to NC State on April 7, the sophomore prefers to think one game at a time.
“I just say we bounce back, not think about the loss too much and come out tomorrow ready to play,” Wyatt said.
You can follow Matt Bradshaw on Twitter @bradmatt8.
Photo by Taris Smith / The Louisville Cardinal