Nick Burdi’s baseball career delayed but earns top Louie Award

Celebrating another year on the field and in the classroom, the University of Louisville athletic department honored student-athletes Monday at the second annual Louies.

The adidas High Performance Athlete of the Year top honors were presented to Nick Burdi (baseball) and Kelsi Worrell (swimming and diving).

NIck Burdie was drafted by the MInnesota Twins in the MLB draft.
Nick Burdi was drafted by the MInnesota Twins in the MLB draft.

Burdi produced a 3-1 mark and a school-record 18 saves in 2014. In 37 innings, he had a 0.49 ERA and 65 strikeouts. He was first team All-America honors from four media outlets and was chosen 46th in the Major League Baseball draft – the highest pick in school history.

He was drafted by the Minnesota Twins but recently injured his left ankle in a jogging acccident, tripping over a curb after reporting to a minor-league baseball camp. “When he’s ready, we’ll get him out there,” said Joel Lepel, Twins minor league field coordinator.

Worrell won a pair of titles at this year’s NCAA swiming and diving championships, capturing victories in the 100-fly and 200-fly. She  earned All-America honors in five additional events and secured two individual conference titles.

Gerod Holliman (football) was the male recipient of the record-breaking performance following his NCAA-record tying mark of 14 interceptions, first set in 1968.

The football team had three other award honorees: Lorenzo Mauldin (inspiration), Brandon Radcliff (breakthrough athlete), and DeVante Parker (senior).

Women’s basketball’s Shawnta’ Dyer was named the comeback player of the year. The redshirt senior battled through countless injuries over the course of her career, missing time due to a foot injury, a torn ACL and MCL, and a stress fracture in her hip.

Sebastian Stiefelmeyer (men’s tennis) earned the award for best championship performance. The senior seized the outdoor Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championship in September, winning nine-consecutive matches for the title, including six upset victories.

Women’s golf’s Emily Haas also had a solid championship performance and collected the moment of the year award. The then-junior sank a 10-foot birdie in April 2014, delivering Louisville its fifth conference championship and edging UCF by one stroke. Haas finished runner-up.

The Cardinals’ field hockey team earned the upset of the year, beating top-ranked North Carolina 3-2 for the first ACC win in program history. Becca Maddock broke the tie with five minutes remaining for the program’s first win over a No. 1-ranked opponent.

Men’s basketball’s Wayne Blackshear and women’s lacrosse’s Monica Negron were honored with leadership awards.

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Charlie Springer

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