University of Louisville

Fast finish positions Louisville for NCAA tourney run

Louisville's Bobby Miller delivered a pitch during the first inning of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game last weekend.
Louisville's Bobby Miller delivered a pitch during the first inning of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game last weekend. Associated Press

The University of Louisville baseball team will begin its run in this year's NCAA Tournament on Friday at 7 p.m. EDT in Lubbock, Texas.

The Cardinals have reached the NCAA Tournament in 11 of the past 12 years, going 37-25 during that span. They hosted a super regional last year, sweeping Kentucky 2-0 to earn a trip to the College World Series. Joining the Cardinals in the double-elimination Lubbock Regional this year are host Texas Tech, New Mexico State and Kent State. Louisville will face Kent State in Friday's second game. Texas Tech and New Mexico will open the regional at 2 p.m.

The Cardinals, ranked No. 22 in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll, earned an at-large bid after losing to Florida State 11-8 in 10 innings in the championship game of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. They posted an overall record of 43-17 and an 18-12 mark in the ACC. No. 11 Texas Tech (39-17) also received an at-large bid after bowing out of the Big 12 Tournament with a 12-4 loss to West Virginia. Kent State (39-16) won the Mid-American Conference Tournament and New Mexico State (40-20) won the Western Athletic Conference Tournament to earn automatic bids.

Looking to reach the program's fifth College World Series, Louisville enters the NCAA Tournament on a hot streak. The Cardinals have won 23 of their last 29 games. They had won six in a row before falling to the Seminoles last weekend.

Louisville's offense is led by a pair of All-ACC First Team honorees. Junior outfielder Josh Stowers is batting .341 with nine home runs and 59 RBI. He's reached base safely in 43 straight games and is eighth in the country in both stolen bases (33) and runs scored (66). Sophomore infielder Logan Wyatt is batting .336 with four homers and 59 RBI. He's drawn 59 walks this year, fifth-most in the country.

The Cardinals' pitching staff hasn't missed a beat this season after losing star hurler Brendan McKay, who was chosen fourth overall in last year's Major League Baseball Draft. All three of Louisville's regular weekend starters boast sub-3.00 earned run averages and have a combined record of 20-4.

Junior left-hander Adam Wolf is 7-2 with a 2.26 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 95 2/3 innings. Sophomore lefty Nick Bennett is 8-1 with a 2.20 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 69 2/3 innings. Freshman right-hander Bobby Miller is 5-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 58 2/3 innings. Wolf and Bennett were named to the All-ACC second team while Miller was named to the third team.

Friday

Louisville vs. Kent State

What: NCAA Tournament opener in double-elimination Lubbock (Texas) Regional

When: 7 p.m. EDT

Live video broadcast: WatchESPN.com

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