Louisville baseball team will pay respects to Muhammad Ali

Members of the University of Louisville baseball team will have an opportunity to pay their respects to the late Muhammad Ali on Thursday, a day before his funeral on Friday.

Dan McDonnell
Dan McDonnell

Especially appropriate for the UofL team to be involved in events surrounding the farewell to the three-time heavyweight champion because he was so close to the team, currently preparing to host an NCAA Super Regional.

“As a program and as a team, we’re going to get together with Lonnie and her family because we can’t attend the funeral on Friday,” said Coach Dan McDonnell during a press conference Wednesday at Jim Patterson Stadium.

Asaad Ali was a catcher on the UofL baseball team from 2009 through 2012.
Asaad Ali was a catcher on the UofL baseball team from 2009 through 2012.

“She has been so gracious to allow the team to get together with her. I think that’s going to be a neat opportunity for our players to meet with Lonnie and help her through this time.”

Asaad Ali, the son of Muhammad and Lonnie Ali, was a member of the UofL baseball team, a catcher from 2009 to 2012. Asaad is currently an assistant coach on the baseball team at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, Iowa.

The Alis contributed a $50,000 scholarship to the baseball program. Muhammad attended numerous games over the years. Some family members intend to go to Omaha if the Cardinals get that far.

The players are also wearing an Ali patch on their caps in a tribute to the champ. The first day of the Super Regional was delayed a day to Saturday because of Ali’s funeral on Friday.

Remember When

Editor’s Note: Through Tuesday, former Louisville Cardinal Adam Duvall was tied for third in home runs in Major League Baseball with 17 of them for Cincinnati. The following, with some insight into Duvall’s personality, is a repost from March 22, 2010:

Remember the first University of Louisville game you attended? Probably not. But Cole Porter Shirley, a one-and-a-half year old, won’t soon forget his first Cardinal baseball game.

The son of Mike and Melissa Shirley of Louisville is also the second cousin of Adam Duvall, the Cards’ hard-hitting shortstop. He was on hand for the opening game of the U of L-Ball State series last Friday at Jim Patterson Stadium. Also wearing his first U of L tee-shirt by the way.

After the game, the youngster tried out Adam’s equipment, his hat, bat and glove and also threw grounders to his cousin.

“Adam was very patient, as he has always been,” says Cole’s mom, “and made Cole feel like he was practically a Cardinal himself. It’s a quality I believe has helped Adam get as far as he has. Right before our goodbyes, Adam put his batting helmet on Cole.”

Cole may not remember the event but he will always have a memento of the occasion, an autographed baseball signed by members of the U of L baseball team.

What a day for everybody involved, and what a fantastic start for a young Cardinal fan. Oh, yeah, U of L won the game, 11-7.

Logan Johnson delivers for Louisville baseball

His mom, a University of Louisville fan, doesn’t remember who the UofL baseball team was playing that day. Just that Coach Dan McDonnell was cheering him on.

Twelve-year-old Logan Johnson was throwing out the honorary first pitch before the UofL-Wake Forest game. He was positioned several feet in front of the mound so he could get the ball to the plate.

A miracle that Logan was there at all.

Continue reading “Logan Johnson delivers for Louisville baseball”

Nick Solak powers Louisville baseball to Super Regional

Nick Solak doesn’t hit many homers but when he does they are worth savoring.

The University of Louisville baseball team is headed back to its fourth consecutive Super Regional this weekend, thanks largely to Solak’s fifth home run of the season — a two-run blast in the fourth inning.

Providing the margin of victory in a 3-1 win over Wright State. He would, in fact, drive in all three of UofL’s runs in the Regional Final in front of 4,295 fans at Jim Patterson Stadium.

A couple of seasons ago, remember, Solak was the guy with the two-run home run that lifted UofL past Kennesaw State and into the College World Series for a second consecutive season.

Drew Harrington was back to his old self again.
Drew Harrington was back to his old self again. Photo by Cindy Rice Shelton.

Left hander Drew Harrington badly needed a good game and he got it. After being chased from the mound in his last outing, he was back to his ACC Pitcher of the Year form. He would pitch into the eighth inning, strike out five batters, allow only five hits, and earn his 12th win against two losses.

Nice game for Will Smith, too, collecting three hits, scoring a run on Solak’s decisive four-bagger.

And another Dan McDonnell team is back in the Super Regionals. That would be six of them, starting in 2007.

Super Regional opponents will be announced Tuesday but Louisville is a lock and UofL is already selling tickets. At a fast pace. As of early Sunday evening, only tickets on the berm were available.

Photos by Cindy Rice Shelton and Charlie Springer:

Rosenbaum leads UofL eruption past Ohio State

The sight of Blake Tiberi greeting Danny Rosenbaum at home plate is a welcome one for University of Louisville baseball fans, occurring twice on Saturday in UofL’s 15-3 romp over Ohio State.

Fun day for Brendan McKay on the mound and at the plate.
Fun day for Brendan McKay on the mound and at the plate.

Rosenbaum had homered and homered again, driving Tiberi across the plate in the third and one more time in the fourth inning.

The Louisville senior would come that close — within about three feet of the left field fence — of doing it still again in the fifth inning.

Batting seventh in the lineup, Rosenbaum is hitting at a .289 clip.  More than a third of his 55 hits this season have been for extra bases.  He now has 10 home runs, 12 doubles and a triple.

Louisville would bat around in third inning, burning Ohio State pitchers for eight hits and eight runs, taking a 10-0 lead in the third, increasing it to 14-0 through the fifth.

Brendan McKay shaking some recent doldrums, putting his pitching and hitting dips behind him, earning his 12th win against three losses.

Brendan set the offensive tone early with a towering two-run home run over the center field fence in the first inning.  Two hits on the day, driving in three runs. On the mound, he was denying the Buckeyes any glimpse of home plate and giving up only only three hits through his five and two-third innings.

Logan Taylor, batting ninth in the lineup, had three hits, including a double, and three runs batted in. Top of the order, bottom of the order, no place to relax for opposing pitchers on Saturday.

Photos and gallery courtesy of Cindy Rice Shelton: