Leading the list of returnees for Louisville in the 2015 season is junior righthanded pitcher Kyle Funkhouser, a Second Team All-American in 2014 who set a school record for wins finishing 13-3 overall with a 1
Outlook Louisville returns 19 letterwinners from its 2014 squad, which finished 50-17 overall, won the program's fifth regular season conference championship in six seasons and hosted NCAA postseason games for the second straight year. The Cardinals defeated Kennesaw State in the Louisville Super Regional to clinch their third CWS berth in eight seasons under the guidance of head coach Dan McDonnell. Louisville, which has hosted six different rounds of NCAA postseason baseball in the last eight years, ended the season ranked as highly as sixth in the national polls.
Leading the list of returnees for Louisville in the 2015 season is junior righthanded pitcher Kyle Funkhouser, a Second Team All-American in 2014 who set a school record for wins finishing 13-3 overall with a 1.94 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 120.1 innings. The Cardinals also return senior infielder and 2014 All-Conference honoree Zach Lucas, as well as talented starting pitchers Anthony Kidston (junior righty) and Josh Rogers (sophomore lefty).
Captains Senior infielders Zach Lucas and Sutton Whiting and junior righthanded pitcher Anthony Kidston have been chosen by Louisville players and coaches as team captains for the Cardinals baseball team in 2015.
A Third Team All-American Conference selection and a team captain in 2014, Lucas hit .270 with five home runs, 44 RBI, 13 doubles and 38 runs scored in 65 starts as a junior. In three collegiate seasons, the Louisville native and Butler High School product has 120 career starts and has played in 142 games for the Cardinals.
A team captain as a junior last season, Whiting (New Wilmington, Pa.) finished in the top five nationally with 37 stolen bases while hitting .216 with a .369 on-base percentage and 51 runs scored in 2014. Named to the 2014 NCAA Louisville Regional All-Tournament Team, Whiting has 123 career starts and has played in 145 games overall during his first three collegiate seasons. As a sophomore, he earned Second Team All-BIG EAST accolades hitting .308 with one home run, 30 RBI, 41 runs scored and 24 stolen bases in 63 starts.
In two collegiate seasons, Kidston (Defiance, Ohio) has compiled a 14-1 record overall with a 2.60 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 124.2 innings pitched. Last season, he was 9-1 with a 3.40 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 14 starts. In 2013, Kidston was chosen as a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American after finishing 5-0 with one save and a 1.31 ERA while making 13 appearances on the mound, including six starts.
Schedule In its debut season in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the University of Louisville baseball program will play 28 of 56 regular season games in 2015 against programs in last year's NCAA Championship.
Among the most challenging schedules in school history, the Cardinals will follow back-to-back College World Series seasons with a 33-game home slate in 2015 featuring perennial ACC leaders Florida State, Miami and Georgia Tech as well as non-conference matchups against Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. Overall, Louisville will play six games against 2014 CWS clubs with a three-game series at national runner-up Virginia, a two-game home set with Ole Miss and a midweek home contest against reigning NCAA champion Vanderbilt in the annual Battle of the Barrel.
Louisville will open the 2015 season at the Clearwater (Fla.) Tournament where they will face Alabama State (Feb. 13, 3 p.m., ET), USF (Feb. 14, 6 p.m.) and Cal State Fullerton (Feb. 15, 11 a.m.) at Bright House Field. It will mark the fifth time in the last seven years the Cardinals have opened their season in the state of Florida.
The Cardinals' 2015 home-opener at Jim Patterson Stadium is set for Feb. 18 against Eastern Kentucky in a contest that will open an eight-game homestand for Louisville. It will mark the third straight season the Colonels have played in Louisville's home-opener. The homestand will also include a weekend series with Milwaukee (Feb. 20-22), a midweek game against Butler (Feb. 24) and a weekend set versus Xavier (Feb. 27-March 1).
After a visit to EKU on March 3, Louisville will begin its 30-game ACC schedule at home against defending ACC Coastal Division champion Miami on March 6-8. The early-season series will be the second visit to Patterson Stadium in three years for the Hurricanes, who competed in the 2013 NCAA Regional in Louisville won by the Cardinals.
The month of March will continue with a two-game, mid-week home series against Ole Miss (March 10-11), a home weekend series with ACC foe Boston College (March 13-15) and a visit by Purdue (March 17). Following an ACC road series at Notre Dame (March 20-22) and a midweek visit to Indiana (March 24), Louisville closes the month with a three-game conference set at home against Georgia Tech (March 27-29) and a single home game against Miami (Ohio) on March 31.
Louisville begins April with a weekend series at Virginia on April 4-6 before hosting Kentucky on April 8 at Patterson Stadium. The Cardinals then return to the road for a weekend set at Duke (April 10-12) and a midweek game at Ohio State (April 14). On April 17-19, Wake Forest will visit Louisville for a three-game series for the Cardinals travel to Cincinnati for a midweek contest on April 21. Louisville will return home to host Western Kentucky (April 22) and Bethune-Cookman (April 24-26) before closing the month at Kentucky on April 28.
The final month of the regular season will be a challenging slate for the Cardinals with a road series at Clemson (May 2-4), a home series against reigning ACC Atlantic Division champion Florida State (May 8-10) and a midweek visit by Vanderbilt (May 12) for the home finale at Patterson Stadium. Louisville will close the regular season on the road at NC State on May 14-16.
The 2015 ACC Baseball Championship is set for May 19-24 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C., while the 2015 NCAA Championship is scheduled to begin on May 29 with regional play. The College World Series in Omaha, Neb., is slated from June 13-23/24 at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
2015 ACC Baseball Preseason Coaches Poll