NCAA Tournament Super Regional Preview: Louisville Vs. Kennesaw State

USA TODAY Sports

LOUISVILLE (48-15, 19-5) vs. KENNESAW STATE (40-22, 17-9)

PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS

Louisville

Pos. Name Bats Yr. AVG OBP SLG HR RBI BB SO SB
C Kyle Gibson R Sr. .313 .358 .375 1 19 6 9 4
1B Grant Kay R Jr. .284 .402 .407 5 35 25 26 22
2B Zach Lucas R Jr. .267 .325 .404 5 44 18 51 7
3B Alex Chittenden R Sr. .299 .405 .376 1 29 22 38 2
SS Sutton Whiting L Jr. .215 .373 .283 2 17 42 49 36
LF Jeff Gardner L Sr. .326 .403 .551 9 67 19 41 1
CF Cole Sturgeon L Sr. .325 .410 .468 2 31 25 35 18
RF Corey Ray L Fr. .328 .416 .507 1 17 10 18 3
DH Nick Solak R Fr. .349 .456 .422 1 18 14 11 8

Kennesaw State

Pos. Name Bats Yr. AVG OBP SLG HR RBI BB SO SB
C Max Pentecost R Jr. .423 .483 .631 9 58 29 25 17
1B Chris McGowan L Jr. .271 .337 .376 4 44 22 42 2
2B Cornell Nixon R Fr. .230 .315 .254 0 15 13 27 4
3B Matt Bahnick R Jr. .269 .299 .346 2 15 8 30 1
SS Kal Simmons B So. .268 .328 .307 1 26 22 32 3
LF Jacob Bruce L Jr. .277 .327 .367 1 28 15 31 12
CF Bo Way L Sr. .358 .404 .470 2 31 16 21 6
RF Alex Liquori L So. .366 .427 .517 1 42 17 36 7
DH Brennan Morgan R So. .291 .368 .399 4 40 20 31 2


PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS

Louisville

Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
SP Kyle Funkhouser R So. 13 2 0 1.68 107 54 110 .201
SP Anthony Kidston R So. 8 0 0 3.30 63 33 57 .199
SP Josh Rogers L Fr. 3 3 0 3.63 52 12 47 .237

Kennesaw State

Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
SP Travis Bergen L So. 9 4 0 2.39 94 14 75 .257
SP Jordan Hillyer R So. 7 3 0 3.55 96 37 73 .258
SP Gabe Friese R Fr. 2 2 0 3.19 73 15 41 .262


STATISTICAL LEADERS

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PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS

Friday
LOU: So. RHP Kyle Funkhouser (13-2, 1.68 ERA)
KSU: So. RHP Jordan Hillyer (7-3, 3.55 ERA)

Saturday
LOU: So. RHP Anthony Kidston (8-0, 3.30 ERA)
KSU: So. LHP Travis Bergen (9-4, 2.39 ERA)

Sunday
LOU: Fr. LHP Josh Rogers (3-3, 3.63 ERA)
KSU: Fr. LHP Gabe Friese (2-2, 3.19 ERA)

NOTABLE:

--Louisville and Kennesaw State have never played before.

--This is just Kennesaw State's ninth season as a Division-I participant. Last weekend they became the fifth team in college baseball history to win a regional in their first NCAA Tournament appearance. The previous four teams to achieve the feat all went on to play in the College World Series.

--Louisville will be hosting a super regional for the second time this weekend. The Cards defeated Oklahoma State in 2007 to advance to their first College World Series.

--Heading into this weekend, Kennesaw State has won 26 of its last 28 games. The Owls defeated Alabama twice to win the Tallahassee Regional.

--After Thursday's opening day of the MLB Draft, both teams can lay claim to owning the highest draft pick in the history of their program. Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost was taken with the 11th overall pick, while Cardinal closer Nick Burdi was selected with pick 46.

--Louisville holds one of the top pitching staffs in the country, holding a team ERA of just 2.78. The Cardinals have six pitchers below a 2.75 ERA with 30 or more innings pitched along with Burdi, who holds a 0.54 ERA and 16 saves this season.

--U of L has won 96 straight games in which they've carried a lead into the 9th inning, a streak which dates back to May 2012.

--Kennesaw State ranks third in the nation with 661 total hits. The Owls have produced double-digit hits in 37 games this season.

--The Cardinals are 37-2 this season when out-hitting their opponents and 10-11 when being out-hit.

--Pentecost will be tested early and often this weekend, as Louisville enters the super regional ranked second in the nation in stolen bases with 127 and fourth in stolen bases per game at 2.02.

--Louisville has won six straight postseason games at Jim Patterson Stadium. The Cards are 13-4 all-time in NCAA Tournament games played at home.

CARD CHRONICLE PREDICTION: Louisville in 3

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