The curtain falls on the 100th baseball season at the University of Louisville. The Georgia baseball team choosing the elimination game to break out of a hitting slump. Going nowhere, except back to the Ville, the 2007 team still the only team to ever win an NCAA game.

ul-cardinal-head-logo2-thumb11The surprising thing is that U of L was here at all, with 17 new faces, five freshmen in the lineup, and one returning starter.

ul-cardinal-head-logo2-thumb11Georgia lost all respect for the U of L pitching staff during hitting practice against Zack Pitts and B. J. Rosenberg, throwing a wet blanket over the seniors in their final game, soaking them for 12 hits and seven runs.

ul-cardinal-head-logo2-thumb11The silver lining is that freshman starter Bob Revesz allowed the Bulldogs only two runs in the first six innings. McDonnell knew what he was doing by passing over former Cardinal ace Pitts in the Big East and NCAA outings.

ul-cardinal-head-logo2-thumb11One has to love the way Dan McDonnell coaches. Steady improvement was obvious as the season progressed, as were confidence levels. High levels of camaraderie; the kids have fun, they enjoy playing for him.

ul-cardinal-head-logo2-thumb11Some glaring deficiencies need to be alleviated, among them a lack of of speed in the outfield, judgement in the infield, and quickness on the base paths. Can’t coach speed, have to recruit speedsters.

ul-cardinal-head-logo2-thumb11With Justin McClanahan and Chris Dominguez departing, the power and intimidation factors will take a huge hit. These two were fun to watch, providing great value for the entertainment dollar (especially for free games). Replacing them will be a monumental challenge.

ul-cardinal-head-logo2-thumb11The larger challenge may be holding to Dan McDonnell, with Mississippi in the market for a new baseball coach. The Rebels may offer serious money, along with their tradition (four trips to the College World Series), warmer weather and recruiting advantages.

Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.