As one watches Brendan McKay go into his windup, the mind moves forward, envisioning the big lefthander on the mound as the University of Louisville baseball team goes for a College World Series championship. It’s unavoidable, dreaming, looking forward. He’s one of those rare individual who radiates confidence.
There’s nothing flashy about how McKay goes about his job, rarely showing any emotion or seeming to be in a hurry. He just appears to be totally zoned in on the next pitch, his next at-bat, or the next play. Not much of a conversationalist either from what we’ve heard, not one for horseplay, rarely smiling, never laughing, just totally focused on baseball. The basics, the fundamentals, they work for him.
He’s off to relatively slow start at the plate this season, with his 292 batting average. He has two home runs, eight doubles and 16 runs batted in. Forget about stolen bases or triples, he is not a gambler or fleet of foot. Expect his batting average to improve, however, because he’s always striving to get better at everything he does. His future is as a pitcher. Expect him to do well at that position in professional baseball.
Last season, McKay finished 9-3 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 as a hitter
The soft spoken sophomore is the logical choice to be No. 1 in the pitching rotation because he always seems to be in control. He earned the assignment after Kyle Funkhouser, one of UofL’s always winningest pitchers, got off to a shaky beginning. Brendan was ready, eager to bear the responsibility, embracing the challenge.
With his impressive 1.70 earned run average, McKay is off to a 6-1 start this season, third in the nation in 61 strikeouts, having recorded eight or more whiffs in six of his seven starts this season. Earlier this season, he had a career-best 13 strikeouts against Notre Dame, the most for a UofL pitcher since 2003.