CRAWFORD | Five Louisville baseball players named preseason All- - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Five Louisville baseball players named preseason All-Americans

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WDRB photo by Eric Crawford WDRB photo by Eric Crawford

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — When we last left the University of Louisville baseball program, it was in heartbreak after a Cal Fullerton upset in the Super Regional — on a disputed home run — cost the Cardinals a trip to the College World Series.

Heading into the 2016 season, the Cardinals’ should be well-stocked to try to write a happier ending.

On Monday, the scouting and baseball website Perfect Game named five Louisville players preseason All-Americans, including four on the first team.

No other team in the NCAA had more first-teamers, and Louisville, which was ranked No. 2 by Collegiate Baseball in its preseason poll released last month, shared the overall team recognition.

A rundown of the honorees, from Louisville sports information’s Garrett Wall:

Junior pitcher Zack Burdi, senior pitcher Kyle Funkhouser, sophomore pitcher/first baseman Brendan McKay and junior outfielder Corey Ray were tabbed as first-team selections for 2016 and junior infielder Nick Solak was named to the third team.
 
-- Last season, Burdi (Downers Grove, Ill.) was a Third Team Louisville Slugger All-American and an All-ACC First Team selection earning a 6-1 record with nine saves and a 0.92 ERA in 20 relief appearances. A member of the 2015 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, Burdi finished with 30 strikeouts and issued just eight walks in 29.1 innings of work on the mound for Louisville during his sophomore season.
 
-- Funkhouser (Oak Forest, Ill.) ranks second in career wins with his 26-9 collegiate record, including an 8-5 mark and 104 strikeouts in 17 starts and 112.1 innings pitched in 2015. An All-America honoree during both his sophomore and junior seasons, Funkhouser has a 2.47 career ERA with the Cardinals and ranks second in career strikeouts with 281, fourth in career starts with 41 and sixth in career innings pitched at 287.1. In June, Funkhouser was chosen in the first round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft but elected to return to Louisville for his senior season with the Cardinals.
 
-- McKay was tabbed last season as the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year and was named national Freshman of the Year by Baseball America, D1Baseball, Collegiate Baseball newspaper and Perfect Game. He was also chosen as a First Team All-American by Baseball America, D1Baseball, the NCBWA and Perfect Game, was named as the ACC Freshman of the Year and was an All-ACC First Team selection. A member of the USA Collegiate National Team over the summer, McKay had a 9-3 record with a 1.77 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 96.2 innings and 20 appearances on the mound for the Cardinals, including 13 straight weekend starts, while also hitting .308 with four home runs, 34 RBI, 38 walks and 32 runs scored in 58 starts as a hitter.
 
-- Ray (Chicago, Ill.) earned Second Team All-America honors last season from Baseball America and the NCBWA and was a Third Team All-America selection by D1Baseball after hitting .325 with 11 home runs, 56 RBI, 15 doubles, five triples and 34 stolen bases while starting all 65 games in the outfield. A standout performer over the summer with the USA Collegiate National Team, Ray was also an All-ACC First Team honoree during his sophomore season in 2015.
 
-- Solak (Woodridge, Ill.) emerged last season as one of the key components in the Louisville lineup hitting .324 with three home runs, 40 RBI, 15 doubles, 18 stolen bases and 47 runs scored. Holding down the No. 2 spot for the Cardinals in all 65 games in 2015, Solak was named to the NCAA Louisville Regional All-Tournament Team and the ACC Championship All-Tournament Team before earning Cape Cod League All-Star accolades during his summer.

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