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Bastrop Daily Enterprise - Bastrop, LA
  • Baseball team adds to Louisville's banner year

  • (Part 4 on an 8-part College World Series preview)
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  • What a year it's been for the University of Louisville's athletic program.
    Louisville spanked Florida 33-23 in the Sugar Bowl, won the national championship in men's basketball and finished runner-up to Connecticut in women's basketball.
    Not to be outdone, the Cardinals' baseball team has reached the College World Series for the second time in school history. Louisville also qualified for the CWS in 2007.
    Following up a 3-0 run in the Louisville Regional, the Cardinals swept No. 2 seed Vanderbilt 5-3 and 2-1 in the Nashville Super Regional.
    In the process, the Cardinals (51-12) have set a school record for victories.
    Junior left fielder Coco Johnson, the Miami Marlins' 11th-round draft pick, is batting .438 (7-for-16) with a pair of home runs, six RBI and a .550 on base percentage in five NCAA Tournament games.
    Led by Johnson, who has been hit by a pitch on 23 occasions, Cardinals' batters have been plunked an NCAA-leading 128 times.
    A transfer from Central Arizona Community College, Johnson (.333-8-50) has a .438 on base mark.
    Junior third baseman Ty Young (.339-4-57) has clubbed seven triples and 13 doubles en route to racking up a team-high 116 total bases.
    Junior designated hitter Jeff Gardner (.335-9-43) tops the team with a .639 slugging mark.
    Louisville's pitching staff has given up two or fewer runs in 35 of the team's 63 games.
    Big East Pitcher of the Year Jeff Thompson (11-1, 2.00) has tied the school record for wins. Amassing a staff high 103 1/3 innings, the junior righthander has allowed 60 hits, with 109 punchouts against 33 walks. Holding the opposition to a .169 batting average, Thompson yields an NCAA-best 5.2 hits per nine innings.
    Junior righty Chad Green (10-3, 2.29), the Detroit Tigers' 11th-round draft choice, has fanned 70 and walked 23 through 102 1/3 innings.
    Freshman righty Anthony Kidston is 5-0 with a 1.31 ERA in 16 appearances (five starts).
    Junior lefty Cody Ege (4-1, 1.19) has limited opposing batters to a .106 average in 30 1/3 innings out of the bullpen.
    Sophomore righty Nick Budi (3-3, 0.78) has notched 16 saves as the Cardinals' closer.
     
     
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