Brendan McKay makes it look so easy

He’s the National Player of the Year in collegiate baseball, and his career at the University of Louisville is winding down to a precious few games. Time has passed quickly but he has taken advantage of every opportunity to get better.

Seems like yesterday Brendan McKay first appeared in Cardinal uniform, making his debut as a relief pitcher against Arkansas State in February 2015. He would hurl four shutout innings while striking out eight batters and giving up two runs that day.

Only the beginning, getting better every season.

During his freshman year, he would compile a 9-3 record with a 1.77 ERA, four saves and 117 strikeouts in 96.2 innings while starting 13 games and making 20 appearances overall on the mound. Had a .308 average with four home runs, 34 RBI and 14 doubles in 58 starts.

Next season he was 12-4 on the mound with 2.30 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 17 starts on the mound. He was batting .333 with six home runs, 19 doubles and 41 RBI at the plate

As NCAA play begins in 2017, McKay has a .363 batting average, 17 home runs, 52 RBI, .705 slugging percentage and .481 on-base percentage. On the mound, McKay owns a 9-3 record with a 2.37 ERA and 124 strikeouts in 91.0 innings. Opposing batters are hitting just .181 against him.

Never take Brendan McKay for granted.

Brendan McKay sets tone for Louisville baseball in home opener

Never any doubt about where this ball was going for Brendan McKay, a 400-foot-plus grand slam (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Brendan McKay never gets excited, just an even keel type of guy, taking everything in stride, knowing baseball has lots of ups and downs from one day to the next. 

No big deal with the bases loaded in the first inning. But not just another at bat this time. The Louisville slugger sending the first pitch high and deep over the centerfield fence, quickly getting UofL off to a 4-0 start.

Devin Hairston continues his two-season sizzle, going four-for-four at the plate (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

The Cardinals would go on to 19-3 win over Eastern Kentucky University before a crowd of 2,154 Wednesday, improving its record to 4-0 on a 75-degree day at Jim Patterson Stadium.

McKay, a junior, would also get one other hit  and a base on balls. After four games, he is batting an even .500 with three home runs and nine runs batted in. Never changing his expression, even when mobbed by his teammates at plate after his latest four-bagger.

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