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Friday, May 26, 2017

McKay leads the way in Baseball 10-4 win...Henderson throws today in NCAA Regionals -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


The topic of conversation...when it comes to Louisville junior pitcher Brendan McKay...inevitably turns to whether he'll be both a pitcher and hitter when he goes to the major leagues. Or will he perform both duties? Yesterday, at Louisville Slugger Field, he showed once again that he's perfectly capable of performing both duties with aplomb...delivering a grand slam home run and pitching six innings of three run, eight strikeout ball from the hill in #4 Louisville's 10-3 pool play win over Notre Dame.  

McKay's blast to right field in the third inning plated a bag full of Cards. With two outs, Logan Taylor walked, Josh Stowers beat out an infield single and Devin Hairston took a pitch off the wrist to set the stage for McKay's fence clearer on the first pitch from Irish hurler Michael Hearne. It was McKay's second career grand slam and second home run of the game for UofL...Drew Ellis bagging a solo shot to left-center in the second inning. 

The Irish nibbled away at the 5-0 Cardinal lead with two runs in the third and a run in the fifth to get within two. McKay, scheduled to pitch six innings, gave way to freshman Adam Elliott in the sixth...who put the Irish away scoreless in the seventh and eighth. Another freshman, Shay Smiddy, completed the contest by keeping Notre Dame at bay in the bottom of the ninth. 

The Cards increased the lead to 7-3 in the seventh when Hairston provided a two out, two RBI single that scored Logan and Stowers. Three additional runs crossed the plate in the top of the ninth...keyed by a Stowers double and two sacrifice flies. 

The Cards, 1-0 in pool play, face nemesis Florida State today at 3 p.m. to try and clinch the semifinal berth for Saturday. Game time is 3 p.m. I watched part of it yesterday on Fox Sports South...and the announcers weren't too bad. You can hear Cardinal renaissance man Sean Moth provide the radio call on 93.9 FM...I tuned in for a couple of innings and never cease to be amazed on how smoothly and how easily he relays of all kinds of information during a broadcast.

The pool play concept is an interesting twist to a conference championship. One would also like to see ACC softball adhere to this type of format. Right now, with 11 schools participating in the sports, it would need a bit of tweaking...but Clemson is picking up the sport by 2020 and that's the number of squads that play in the ACC baseball championships. 



Six UofL women's track athletes participated in the NCAA East Regional preliminaries Thursday...but none qualified for the NCAA Championships. 

Morgan Zacharias finished the best of the six...getting 14th. in the pole vault. In the women's hammer, Cyerra Cassell finished 36th and Dolly Nyemah was 39th. Gwen Shaw recorded a 33rd place finish in the 400 meter hurdles. Bre'Yana Wash (26th) and Alexis Gibbons (28th) competed in the long jump.

Emmonnie Henderson will compete in the discus around 2 p.m. today. She has qualified for the NCAA Championships the last two years in the shot put and discus. THe women's shot put events will be held Saturday around 6 p.m. 

Still trying to find a broadcast possibility on these. I'll come back in and update the article if I do. 



We've talked here quite a bit about the ACC's dominance in several women's sports...primarily lacrosse, field hockey and soccer. So it does comes as a bit of a surprise the only one ACC school (Boston College) has advanced to the Final Four of the ACC women's lacrosse championships. 

The Eagles will face Navy in the second semifinal game today. Starting it off will be Penn State vs. Maryland. did the six ACC schools that made the NCAA WLAX Championships do? 

Louisville and Notre Dame were eliminated in the first round. UNC and Virginia made it to the second round...where UNC defeated Virginia...but the Tar Heels lost to Navy in the quarterfinals.   

Syracuse advanced to the second round and lost to Boston College..who bested USC in the quarterfinals to get to the semis. 

A changing of the guard with two B1G schools in the final four? Maryland, of course, was ACC for years before jumping to the B1G. 

There is still the East Coast dominance be sure...with two schools from Maryland in the final four and Boston College on the right coast. Penn State a bit further away from the Atlantic...but Pennsylvania a hotbed of talent for lacrosse...along with Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. 

Best of luck to the Eagles, soar high and take the title! 



  1. Excluding Louisville and Notre Dame, it sounds more like the WLAX issue is more a matter of cannibalism. Impossible for four teams to advance past the second round if they all play each other. Poor (or savvy) bracketing, in my opinion. The creators either didn't want the best possible teams to make it or they didn't want the same conference to overrun the elite eight/final four. I still think having 6 representatives says a lot.

    1. The NCAA should have put ACC schools in each of the four brackets. They did not...putting two each in three brackets. They also put two of the three B1G participants in the same bracket. It's time for WLAX to just go to a 32 team tournament also. The seeding concept is tolerable for conference championships but the NCAA tournament should not have 'byes'.

  2. Not a fan of the four pools because 33% of the games are meaningless. Let's say a two seed, six seed and twelfth seed are in a pool. Sixth seed beats 12 seed in first game. Two seed beats 12 seed in second pool play game. That game was meaningless because even if the two seed loses they can still come back and win their game against six seed and advance to the semifinals if they win because of the better regular season record. Like the Virginia vs. Clemson game today. It's meaningless because Duke, in their bracket, has already beating both of them, is 2-0 and goes to the semis. And, Suke was the lowest seed of the three. Louisville game against Notre Dame was meaningless last night because even if the Cards had lost, they could still go to the semis if they were to bet FSU today. Higher season finish. Another thought. Why throw your best pitcher (McKay) in a meaningless game. Why don't you save him for the FSU game? Just my thoughts.

    Curtis Franklin

    1. i never really gave it much thought but Syracuse doesn't play ACC baseball anymore. I did some checking and found out they dropped the program in 1972. Weather a factor? Not with the Carrier Dome, you would guess. Maybe you could have a single-elimination concept in the ACC Baseball Tournament, where the #1 and #2 seeds get a bye and the other 12 teams fight to fill the other six spots in the second round...but I like the pool play. You're not necessarily eliminated if you lose once.



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