Cardinals Baseball Schedule Set, and More…

2007 Louisville Baseball

U of L released the schedule for the Cardinals baseball team for 2008 this afternoon, which includes 34 home games at Jim Patterson Stadium (down the street from Santa Fe, my new favorite Mexican restaurant, where I went Sunday night for dinner). Anticipation for the 2008 team will certainly be high, coming off the Cardinals’ best-ever baseball showing in 2007, when the team advanced to the College World Series for the first time in its history. As the U of L Athletics site notes:

Louisville finished with a school record 47 wins last season, posting a 47-24 record, and a 19-8 mark in the BIG EAST, placing third. The Cards eliminated nationally ranked Miami, Missouri and Oklahoma State on their way to Omaha, where the Cardinals ended Mississippi State’s season before they were eliminated by #2 North Carolina, 3-1. Louisville finished the season ranked in the top ten in all major polls, and have already ben ranked in the top 25 by a pair of publications based on the fall season.

The Cards bring back 17 players from last season, including BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year Zack Pitts and Freshman of the Year Justin Marks, as well as Columbia Regional MVP Chris Dominguez and All-BIG EAST Second Team catcher Derrick Alfonso.

Since watching the Cardinals on ESPN in the College World Series, I’ve definitely become a fan of the team. Looking forward to catching more than a few of their home games, all of which are free to the public. The season opener is February 22 at 2 p.m. against Cleveland State. Okay, so that’s a little earlier than I’m used to for baseball (and it’ll probably be cold!), but hey, why not?

Another major Cardinals story today concerns next year’s recruiting class for the men’s basketball team. U of L has a chance to compile what most analysts think might be the best recruiting class in the country:

On the first day of the early national signing period, U of L is expected to sign four players who recruiting experts rank as one of the top classes in the country. U of L has one other player committed and another major target — Tyreke Evans — who will wait until the spring to make his decision.

“This is a very, very good class,” national analyst Dave Telep said. “This is a group that if you put Tyreke Evans with them will make a strong case to be the No. 1 class in the country.”

The Cardinals are expected to sign Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict center Samardo Samuels, who is considered one of the top five players in the country.

Louisville also expects to sign Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy forward Jared Swopshire and Fitchburg (Mass.) Notre Dame Prep players Melquan Bolding and Terrence Jennings.

A fifth commitment — Evansville (Ind.) guard Kyle Kuric — is likely to wait until the spring to sign with U of L.

“It’s a very good class, and what gets me excited is the inside (Samuels and Jennings),” editor Clark Francis said. “I think it’s a really good one because Samardo Samuels is a beast.

“Terrence Jennings gives you what (Samuels) doesn’t have, and that’s athleticism in the middle. He can be a gazelle. Melquan Bolding is a freakish athlete. He has NBA athleticism and just needs to work on his jump shot. Swopshire has nice size and shoots it well and is extremely skilled. I really like the class.”

My anticipation for this season is at a high, and I’m currently watching the UNC vs. Davidson game on ESPN. Should be a great year!

Finally, in older news concerning horse racing, the C-J reported this past weekend that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, has been on a mare-buying tear:

After buying the top two finishers in the Kentucky Derby this year, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum spent $35.2 million on 10 broodmares and prospects last week, further boosting the stature of his American breeding operation.

The flurry of buying at the recent breeding-stock auctions was driven by the availability of attractive horses and a desire to complement stallion purchases like Derby winner Street Sense and runner-up Hard Spun.

Additionally, trainer Kenny McPeek is suing the owners of Curlin, William Gallion and Shirley Cunningham, both of whom are in jail awaiting a January trial on a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They are accused of bilking former clients out of $46 million in Kentucky’s $200 million fen-phen diet drug settlement. Yikes!


2 Responses to “Cardinals Baseball Schedule Set, and More…”

  1. […] team that Kragthorpe needs to prep his D against. Also, despite the snow, don’t forget that the Cardinals baseball season home opener is a week from […]

  2. […] other Cardinal athletic news, don’t forget that Friday is the baseball team’s season opener, 2 pm at Jim Patterson Stadium versus Cleveland […]

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