Sky High Expectations For Louisville Baseball

Dan McDonnell is setting his sights high for Louisville baseball.

“When a young man commits to the University of Louisville, he knows we’re trying to win championships. The goal is to get to Omaha. More than than ever, I’m talking about winning it. When we get to Omaha, I want our kids to be prepared. I don’t want to get to Omaha, take a deep breath and say, okay, we accomplished our goal.”

In other words, the coach wants his team to win the College World Series.

The 2010 baseball season begins for U of L Friday at 2 p.m. against Bowling Green University, defending champs of the Mid Atlantic Conference. Thanks to Shannon over at Cardinal Dominance for the video snippet:

(You can view all 22 minutes of the video at Cardinal Dominance.)

Louisville Baseball Brings Expectations

Six inches of snow, but time moves on.

University of Louisville baseball begins next week. Why fans should care:

  • Four game series at home against Bowling Green starting Friday 19th.
  • Then off to Florida for three Big 10 foes — Michigan, Michigan State and Minnesota — in three days, Feb. 26-28.
  • Louisville is ranked 12th in the pre-season coaches’ poll.
  • Ranked 13th by Baseball America magazine.
  • Picked to win conference by Big East coaches.
  • Pitcher Dan Shaw named to National Stopper of the Year Watch List by National College Baseball Writers Assocation.
  • Third baseman Phil Wunderlich named pre-season All America by NCBWA.

Mingo Signs With Giants

Chris Dominguez is a professional now. The popular former University of Louisville third baseball signed a contract Wednesday with the San Francisco Giants.

Chris Dominguez
Chris Dominguez

A San Francisco Chronicle sportswriter indicates that Dominguez will probably be assigned to a rookie league this summer:

Dominguez was the one the Giants really needed to sign soonest because, being a college player, he is presumably closer to the bigs than the two picks ahead of him. Now, he will be able to get a lot of at-bats in the summer rookie leagues.

The Giants’ minor league system includes these franchises: Fresno Grizzlies (AAA), Pacific Coast League; Connecticut Defenders (AA), Eastern League; San Jose Giants (HiA), California League; Augusta Greenjackets (LoA), South Atlantic; Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (SS), Arizona Giants (Rookie League), Arizona League; DSL Giants (Rookie League), Dominican League.

Dominguez, his big bat and his million dollar smile, will be missed at Jim Patterson Field. The road to Major League baseball is a long and winding one, and the first stop is obscurity.

Make it Mingo. See you around in a couple of years if all goes well.

Wright Makes Might, Louisville 5, Vanderbilt 3

Freshman’s Home Run Gets Cards Back On Track

None of these hitting malaise issues for Ryan Wright. Too much at stake.

The University of Louisville right fielder stepping up in the fourth inning, hammering a Mike Minor pitch 402 feet easily clearing the center field wall. Who knew he had that in him? The fifth home run for the freshman from Fort Wayne, Ind., and the biggest hit of his young life. 

Could not have happened at a better time.ryan-wright

Hello possibilities. Possibility City here, you know. Flick on the dream switch, open the door for Louisville’s 5-3 win over Vanderbilt. The Louisville Cardinals claim the NCAA’s Louisville Region honors.

The boncaa-logottom third of U of L’s batting order was 1-of-12. John Dao, he with the recovering knee pain, made the one hit one that mattered, a slasher to left center, pushing Phil Wunderlich home. John Dao, clutch hitter, golden glover this game.

Thanks to the designer of Jim Patterson Stadium and the placement of the lights, giving Vanderbilt fits in the eighth inning, resulting in two errors and an insurance run. Good night and goodbye Vandy.

The Louisville Region belongs to Louisville. Next stop California Fullerton and the best two out of three at the Super Regional against the nation’s No. 5 team.

Vanderbilt Quiets Louisville Bats, 8-4

When the highlight of an evening at a baseball game is meeting the man  in the stadium that bears his name, one has to have been looking high and low for the positive in the University of Louisville’s 8-4 loss to Vanderbilt.

Jim Patterson was at Jim Patterson Field, agonizing with fellow U of L fans about lethargic hitting and inadequate fielding in a drawn-out affair that consumed three hours and 15 minutes. The observer thanked the man for the umpteenth time for his generous gift (the stadium opened in 2005), then returned to his seat for some harsh reality.

Jim Patterson and wife Dot were on hand for the sleeper.
Jim Patterson and wife Dot were on hand for the three-hour sleepover.

The Cards played like the observer felt after missing his Sunday afternoon nap, groggy, going through the motions, a step off here, a slow reaction there, a team of sleepwalkers with little sense of direction. An unnecessarily long second inning set the tone for the evening. Vanderbilt capitalizing on painful-to-watch errors by John Dao and Chris Dominguez mixing in four singles with a bevy of bunts and bobbles .

U of L partisans were forced to keep reminding themselves that this was a powerful Louisville team, capable of offensive fireworks, that fact keeping the majority of the 4,006 fans in the park through the bottom of the ninth.

A eerily quiet game,  the silence interrupted only by a tiny but rowdy group of Vanderbilt fans (they don’t travel well) with their S-E-C chants and stomping on the metal bleachers. Nowhere near enough noise to wake up the slumping Louisville bats.