Tate Kuehner and Garrett Schmeltz announced on Thursday evening that they will both be returning to Louisville for one more season. It cannot be overstated how critical this is for the bullpen heading into 2023. Adding two experienced arms to an already deep pitching staff has pitching coach, Roger Williams, salivating. (Not confirmed, but probably.)
Kuehner, a Junior from Marshalltown, Iowa, will return for his senior year after entering the 2022 season in the weekend rotation. After a few ups and downs, he was moved to the bullpen where he truly embraced the middle reliever role.
His name was called time and time again, making 8 starts in 25 appearances with a 7-3 record, compiling a 3.57 ERA. Kuehner was an absolute workhorse this season, finishing second on the team in innings pitched, strikeouts, and appearances.
Schmeltz, the local product from PRP, also announced that he will be returning for one more season. Like Kuehner, his number was called upon quite often during the 2022 campaign.
Schmeltz made 20 appearances, including 3 starts, while positing a 3.99 ERA, striking out 40 batters in 29.1 innings of work. He finished with a 2-0 record.
As the season progressed, his role increased, picking up all three of his starts in the postseason. His first start came against Pittsburgh in the ACC Tournament with the two following starts coming in the NCAA Regional.
Schmeltz has proven that he can start games as well as settle in as a middle reliever. It is hard to tell what his role will be in 2023, but having his experience and versatility, I can assure you that the coaching staff is on cloud nine with the announcements from tonight.
One side note on the recruiting side of things - Rocko Brzezniak, who was a member of the 2022 recruiting class, will not be attending Louisville. His future is currently unknown, but he joins Cam Collier, Jacob Miller, and Logan Wagner as the four members of the class that will not make it to campus.
As mentioned before, Collier, Miller, and Wagner have all signed professional contracts.
Go Cards. The College World Series begins June 16th next year. Pack your bags.