Louisville's Gardner, Burdi Sweep Weekly BIG EAST Baseball Honors
Gardner hit .333 with three home runs and seven RBI; Burdi earned three saves in 3.2 innings of shutout relief
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - University of Louisville junior designated hitter Jeff Gardner was named BIG EAST Player of the Week on Monday, while sophomore righthander Nick Burdi was chosen as the BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week as the Cardinals swept the conference's weekly honors for the first time in school history.
Gardner (Louisville, Ky./Whitefield Academy) hit .333 with three home runs, a triple and seven RBI to lead the Cardinals to a 4-0 week. Gardner, who earned the weekly honor for the second time this season, was very good in the series sweep of No. 16 Pittsburgh, which clinched Louisville's fourth BIG EAST regular season title in five years, connecting for all four extra-base hits and all seven RBI in the Cardinals' final series of the season. His best performance came in the game two win when he had two home runs and four RBI for Louisville, which has won 16 straight games overall. For the season, Gardner is hitting .341 with nine home runs, 40 RBI and a .659 slugging percentage.
Burdi (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South HS) earned three saves during the week, including two in the series sweep of No. 16 Pittsburgh. After 1.1 innings of shutout relief in the Cardinals' win at Ohio State on Tuesday, the hard-throwing righty had another 1.1 of scoreless work in Louisville's series-opener against the Panthers. Burdi closed his stretch of three saves in five days with a scoreless ninth inning, including three strikeouts, in the Cards' closing victory against Pitt. In the three outings, Burdi had seven strikeouts in 3.2 innings of shutout relief. For the season, Burdi has 14 saves, a 0.64 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 24 appearances and 28.1 innings pitched.
This week's pair of honors takes the overall total to seven times a Louisville player has earned one of the league's weekly awards this season. Along with Gardner's earlier honor this season, junior infielder Ty Young and junior outfielder Adam Engel have each been selected at BIG EAST Player of the Week, while junior right-hander Jeff Thompson has been named BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week on two occasions.
On Monday, the No. 8 Louisville baseball team conducted a 90-minute morning practice session at Jim Patterson Stadium and met with reporters before departing for Clearwater, Fla., in preparation for the 2013 BIG EAST Championship. Top-seeded Louisville will continue the countdown to its opening round game against No. 8 seed Connecticut (Wednesday, 5 p.m., ET, ESPN3) on Tuesday with a midday practice at Bright House Field before attending the BIG EAST Championship opening ceremonies later that evening.