Al Greener brings vast repertoire to Louisville baseball

Al Greener is back at the organ at Jim Patterson Stadium. He began 11 years ago in 2006, the same year Dan McDonnell came on board (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

“If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands….” the lyrics go, and there was a lot of hand clapping Wednesday at Jim Patterson Stadium as the University of Louisville baseball team crushed Eastern Kentucky 19-3.

With that tune and many others orchestrating the game, organist Al Greener pulled out all the stops (pun intended) as one after another batter tried to subdue the Cards’ 2017 home opener energy. Greener, a University of Iowa grad, has been doing UofL baseball games for 11 years, coming on board with Coach Dan McDonnell in 2006.

Fans were in for a musical blast when the stirring Sandstorm rumbled from the loudspeakers, revving up the crowd on a beautiful springlike winter day. And also when All-American Brendan McKay hit his first Grand Slam of the season, giving the Cardinals a 4-0 lead in the first inning.

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Louisville baseball wins home opener, observer gets tacos

The Cardinal Bird shows off his new batting gloves during the University of Louisville baseball team’s home opener Wednesday at Jim Patterson Stadium.

Freshman righthander Nick Burdi launched what may be an impressive career, allowing no runs and three hits in three innings in a 7-2 win over Eastern Kentucky University.  The radar gun indicating most of his pitches were over 90 miles per hour.

First baseman Stewart Ijames had a two-run home run in the seventh inning. Ty Young three hits. U of L plays the next eight games at home, three this weekend hosting Oakland (Mich.) University.

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Among the highlights was the observer correctly picking centerfielder Adam Engel to score the first run, winning the door prize, coupons for freebies at Taco Bell, Puccini’s and Buckhead’s. Hey, these are major awards.

Engel, by the way, had a magical defensive play, robbing EKU of a home run. He reached over the fence, snagging a ball that that had cleared the field.  He was the only one to see the catch.