LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - High expectations? That’s nothing for the U of L baseball team who has pictures of each of their visits to the College World Series all over their meeting room. The Cards are ranked either #1 or #2 in the country by every publication. “It’s the expectation, that’s why they came here,” said head coach, Dan McDonnell.
After making yet another visit to Omaha last year and finishing the season ranked third in the country, this team feels like they still have more to prove. "We want to go somewhere higher than last year, and we made top three last year, so we want to make it higher than that. National championship is our goal, said sophomore pitcher, Bobby Miller.
One of the reasons for that high ranking in the preseason for U of L baseball is the wealth of talent in the pitching staff. One of those pitchers is Luke Smith who learned a valuable life lesson in the College World Series last summer after yelling a few profanities to the Vanderbilt bench following an inning ending strike out in the eighth inning. In the ninth, the Commodores rallied to beat U of L, eliminating them from the tournament. “The moment in the World Series is something I regret because of my language, but I don’t regret the competitive edge that I play with,” said Smith. “Luke Smith, man, you flip him the ball you feel really good about the competitive edge he’s going to give you. And so, he learned from it, and he’s got a big heart. Great kid,” said McDonnell. “Trying to fuel that fire I have more to help benefit my team, rather than kind of lighting the spark for the other guys,” said Smith.
The Cards open the season at Ole Miss on February 14th...the home opener set for the 19th against Wright State.