LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The expectations were high. UofL baseball started the season ranked #1 in a few preseason polls and after 17 games, the Cards were 13-4.
It all ended last Thursday. The NCAA not only cancelled the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, but all spring championships as well, including the College World Series.
“I drove in on Thursday morning preparing to play an ACC opponent and get our guys ready for practice and we had a pretty good practice and I drove home Thursday night and the season was over,” UofL head coach Dan McDonnell said. “I mean, just, just bizarre.”
“As you take a deep breath, you talk to many people throughout college baseball and the athletic world, you realize a championship in June has preparation throughout the year,” he added. “People would be preparing now to play in Omaha. Realizing now how this situation has changed daily, yeah it was the right decision, but I’m human and I didn’t want to hear that. College baseball didn’t want to hear that. Our student-athletes didn’t want to hear that, but it’s life, it’s real and we’ve handled it and we’ve moved on.”
McDonnell has stressed to his kids that they have to prepare to play good baseball whenever that next chance on the diamond may come.
“Curve balls are a part of life and this is obviously a big curve ball and so let’s just win the day,” he said.
He expects a few of his pitchers to move on to pro baseball. A rotation that was among the most feared in all of college baseball will not return in tact.
“It’ll always be a what if? What if this year had played out? But I’m not one to live in the past, we have to move on,” McDonnell said. “It’s like a dream, it’s like a bad dream, it’s like a movie, just stunned. I just trust my faith, a lot of prayer, a lot of great support, a lot of great leadership and just stay in communication with everybody. As we say, the real world is tough and as the saying goes, you’re either in a storm, you just got out of a storm or you’re about to go in one. We’re in the middle of a storm right now, but I’d like to think our kids are prepared to handle it as best that they can and come out okay on the other side.”