Dan McDonnell joined The Drew Deener Show last Tuesday morning (8/22) and had plenty to talk about, including the fall schedule, facility updates, the 2024 roster, plus he discussed his comments following the 2023 season about the commitment from the athletic department.
One of the few things the NCAA has made a positive effect on is the addition of fall baseball scrimmages. This year is no different as Louisville has an exciting few months ahead, with scrimmages against Xavier and Purdue, plus a trip to the Dominican Republic.
Louisville will host Purdue on the weekend of September 23rd/24th, the exact date and time will be announced once the football game time is determined. The football team also hosts Boston College that weekend. The following Saturday, the Cards will host Xavier on September 30th.
Admission will be free for both events.
Although the sample size is limited, these scrimmages give the coaching staff an opportunity to place some of the younger guys in game-like situations to see how they respond.
For example, Louisville faced Miami (OH) last fall, clinging on to a slim 1-0 lead in the bottom of the final inning. The Redhawks loaded the bases when Coach McDonnell opted to leave freshman Patrick Forbes on the mound. Forbes recorded a big-time strikeout to end the game. You just can’t replicate these situations in an intrasquad scrimmage.
Not only will the Cards participate in two scrimmages on their home turf, they will also be playing a few games in the Dominican Republic as part of their trip with SCORE International Ministries in the beginning of November. For those not familiar, SCORE is a 501(c)(3) that visits the Dominican Republic each fall. Here is a description of the trip from the official website:
We will be hosting several free baseball clinics for local youth in various communities. There will also be opportunities for community outreach and service projects. We will have worship services each day with amazing guest speakers. You might even get to meet a few current and former professional baseball players!
This trip will include individuals and groups from all over the US with various knowledge of baseball. Some will be high school or college coaches, some will be former players, and some are just fans. Whatever your experience or skill level, we would love to have you join us for this unforgettable trip!
Aside from the two scrimmages and trip to the Dominican Republic, the Pizza Bowl is also slated to take place this fall. Dates have not been announced, but I anticipate it will fall sometime in the month of October like years past.
I encourage you to go back and listen to Coach McDonnell’s interview which you can find here. The interview begins around the 27 minute mark in the second hour of the show.
Many have asked about the facility upgrades, which Coach McDonnell briefly addressed. He again mentioned that Henry Davis gave a sizeable gift, as well as Dalton Rushing, to kick start some of the projects including weight room and hack shack upgrades. He also reassured that they would like to get the indoor facility project back on track.
He was very positive, affirmed his commitment to the program and players, but acknowledged that they need support based on the climate of college baseball on other campuses around the country. You could tell from his tone of voice that this coaching staff is fired up and they seem to have a new sense of urgency to get their program back to the elite level that Louisville fans have become accustomed to.
Pissed off Dan will be no fun for the rest of the ACC.