#2 Louisville Baseball 2020 Preview

Louisville Cardinals
Overall Rank: #2
Conference Rank: #1 ACC
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Louisville started off the 2019 season by losing two out of three games against a very good UConn team. It would have been easy for the Cardinals to let that series derail the early part of the season, but they didn’t let that happen. Louisville responded by earning a national seed and, when facing a back against the wall type of situation in Regionals, they responded and went all the way to Omaha. Heading into 2020, the Cardinals bring back another talented squad that appears to be on a collision course with Vanderbilt to get their shot at revenge against the Commodores in Omaha.
2019: 51-18, 21-9
2019 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Dan McDonnell
Key Departed Players:
Tyler Fitzgerald, INF, .315 BA, 8 HR, 65 RBI, 18 SB
Drew Campbell, OF, .309 BA, 2 HR, 39 RBI, 9 SB
Jake Snider, OF, .283 BA, 1 HR, 34 RBI, 13 SB
Logan Wyatt, INF, .283 BA, 9 HR, 53 RBI, 8 SB
Shay Smiddy, P, 2.31 ERA, 1-0 W/L, 23.1 IP, 18 BB, 28 SO
Michael McAvene, P, 2.73 ERA, 2-0 W/L, 33.0 IP, 11 BB, 50 SO
Bryan Hoeing, P, 3.00 ERA, 3-4 W/L, 63.0 IP, 17 BB, 75 SO
Nick Bennett, P, 4.40 ERA, 7-3 W/L, 77.2 IP, 32 BB, 76 SO
Key Returning Players:
Alex Binelas, INF, .291 BA, 14 HR 59 RBI
Danny Oriente, OF, .332 BA, 1 HR, 49 RBI
Lucas Dunn, INF/OF, .309 BA, 1 HR, 25 RBI, 15 SB
Justin Lavey, INF, .286 BA, 3 HR, 33 RBI, 20 SB
Zach Britton, OF, .288 BA, 5 HR, 28 RBI
Henry Davis, C, .280 BA, 3 HR, 23 RBI
Reid Detmers, P, 2.78 ERA, 13-4 W/L, 113.1 IP, 33 BB, 167 SO
Bobby Miller, P, 3.83 ERA, 7-1 W/L, 80.0 IP, 38 BB, 86 SO
Luke Smith, P, 4.24 ERA, 6-1 W/L, 68.0 IP, 24 BB, 53 SO
Adam Elliott, P, 2.48 ERA, 3-2 W/L, 32.2 IP, 18 BB, 33 SO
Jared Poland, P, 4.12 ERA, 2-1 W/L, 19.2 IP, 11 BB, 25 SO
Michael Kirian, P, 1.69 ERA, 3-1 W/L, 32.0 IP, 9 BB, 42 SO
Louisville is going to be a deep, balanced team heading into the 2020 across the board. Reid Detmers is the reigning ACC Pitcher of the Year and he will set the tone for the pitching staff as a very dominant ace on Friday nights. Bobby Miller and Luke Smith should be in the mix for weekend rotation spots as well. This type of pitching depth on weekends will set the Cardinals up with a shot to win the majority of their weekend series. Michael Kirian will lead a bullpen that should be pretty rock solid all year long. Kirian had a 1.69 earned run average and went 5-1 last season while having nearly pinpoint command with just nine walks. Adam Elliott and Jared Poland will be back in the bullpen in 2020, which should allow Coach McDonnell to really shorten games during ACC play. Alex Binelas was a Freshman All-American last season as he hit .291 with 14 homeruns and 59 runs batted in. Those numbers for Binelas should only get better in 2020 with having a full season of college softball under his belt. Danny Oriente is coming off a strong 2019 season where he drove in 49 runs and hit .332 and he should complement the speed of Lucas Dunn and Justin Lavey quite nicely this season. Zach Britton and Henry Davis will provide a bit of additional pop in the lineup as they combined for eight homeruns and 51 runs batted in last year. A trip to Ole Miss will kick off the 2020 season as the raucous environment in Oxford will be a fun test for the Cardinals. Vanderbilt, Wright State, and Kentucky are also on the non-conference schedule to create some additional RPI boosting games for Louisville. The ACC schedule is a little road heavy with trips to Wake Forest, North Carolina, Miami and Florida State on the docket. Overall, look for the Cardinals to grind out an ACC conference title, top eight national seed and another trip to Omaha in June.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament