After adding two players on offensive side of things a few weeks ago, the Louisville pitching staff landed a massive transfer from Wright State University, Sebastian Gongora (LHP), who was named Pitcher of the Year in the Horizon League in 2023.
Gongora, the Raiders ace, compiled a 10-1 record with a 3.17 ERA, striking out 89 batters over 93.2 innings. The 6’5, 215 lbs lefty works up to 94 MPH that is complimented by a change-up and slider in his three-pitch mix.
It is very early, but the Cardinals rotation just got a lot better as Gongora is likely to be a weekend starter along with Carson Liggett in 2024 when the season begins. Here is a video of his outing against Indiana State in the NCAA Regional a few weeks ago:
Horizon League Pitcher of the Year Sebastian Gongora definitely looks the part on the mound, throwing consistently 90-91 with a low-80s change against a right handed heavy ISU lineup, has a pair of Ks thru 2 including this one to open B1 ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/Msf9QjRAhF— Patrick Ebert (@PatrickEbert44) June 2, 2023
Looking through his game log, one game in particular stands out. At the beginning of the season, Gongora was responsible for handing Kentucky a loss after spinning 5 innings of 2 run baseball against the Wildcats, striking out 4 batters along the way. Something we can all get behind.
Dan McDonnell and Co. have also added another big time arm in Jake Karaba (RHP), a D2 pitcher from Lewis University. Karaba put up eye-popping numbers this season, striking out 119 batters in 66.2 innings on his way to a 7-2 record and 1.62 ERA. Due to his efforts, he was named ABCA/Rawlings Midwest Pitcher of the Year in D2 and Pitcher of the Year in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC).
It is also worth noting that Karaba tossed four complete games and two shutouts this season, exceeding 90 pitches in 7 of his 11 starts. You can’t put a price on how valuable it is to have a pitcher that can stretch into the later innings and preserve bullpen arms. Would be a huge boost for the Louisville pitching staff in 2024 if that can be replicated.
As for as players transferring from Louisville, news has been fairly quiet. Alex Galvan, who I mentioned in the first update, has found a new school. He will be spending next season at Central Florida as they transition to the Big 12.
We are still waiting on destinatioms from Ben Wiegman, Brantley Bamberg, Noah Smith, Tyler Hawkins, and Jameson Richmond.
Will Cook momentarily put his name in the portal but made the decision to return to Louisville in 2024.
Ethan Patera, who spent one season with the Cardinals, has thrown his name in the portal as well. He was the 60th ranked RHP in the class of 2022 and held many P5 offers but did not record any stats during his lone season in Louisville. I don't foresee Patera having issues finding a new home.
More to come as it becomes available.