Sports Page: Bozich and Crawford talk McKay's future after four-HR day for Louisville
WDRB's Rick Bozich and Eric Crawford talk about Louisville slugger Brendan McKay's future after his four home-run game at Eastern Kentucky.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Louisville All-American Brendan McKay matched a school record with four home runs in the Cardinals’ 14-4 win over Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday.
It was the most for an NCAA Division I player this season. He drove in nine runs, third-most in a game this season and most for a U of L player since 2009. Tuesday’s 4-for-5 outing lifted his bating average to .405 and his slugging percentage to .746.
"When a player is having a day like the one Brendan had today, you just want to make sure you appreciate it because those performances are not a common occurrence," said Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell. “Brendan is a special player and when he's at his best, he can make the game look so easy, at the plate and on the mound, and that's a rare combination in a player at this level."
McKay said, “It’s neat to do, but you can’t get caught up in it. Every time you hit a home run, you can’t be worried about going out the next time and trying to match yourself. Baseball is hard enough as it is. To hit one home run is hard enough. To hit four, you better go buy a lottery ticket.”
McKay also is one of the nation’s better left-handed pitchers, with a 1.83 earned run average and 83 strikeouts in 59 innings pitched this season.
On today’s Sports Page segment, WDRB sports writers Rick Bozich and Eric Crawford talk about the Major League Draft options awaiting the Louisville standout . . .
RICK BOZICH: Eric we’re going to have fun tonight, we’re going to pretend to be Brendan McKay, Louisville’s first baseman and pitcher, who hit four home runs against Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday. You’re going to be the first pick in the Major League Baseball Draft. When you sign and go pro, do you want to be a pitcher, or do you want to be a first baseman?
ERIC CRAWFORD: I’d even have fun pretending to be his agent at this point. I think that would be pretty good. In my mind, I think he’s going to be a first baseman. The great thing about Brendan McKay is I don’t think he’s got a preference at this point. He’s willing to go wherever the scouts say he fits the best, wherever, maybe, he goes the highest in the draft, and do whatever they want to do with hit. But I think as a hitter, he showed that he can be special. Four home runs in a game, and I know it was Eastern Kentucky and all of that, but he’s been a consistently good hitter, he’s one of the best hitters in college baseball now. Of course, the only problem is he’s one of the best pitchers in college baseball, too.
BOZICH: Yeah, I think he should be a pitcher, and I’ll tell you why. You look at some of the signature players in baseball – Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner, Chris Sale – all left-handed guys. If you’re a good left-handed guy in baseball, you can play a long, long time and make a bunch of money. And if you try pitching and it doesn’t work out, I think it’s easier to go back to hitting from pitching than it is to give up pitching and be a hitter, and if that doesn’t work, then become a pitcher. But, hey, you know what? He’s going to have fun and a great career either way.
CRAWFORD: Yeah, you just want to work every fifth game. That’s the only thing. I can see the appeal of that. But we’ll see. He’s got a lot great options. We’ll keep an eye on Brendan McKay as the season goes forward, and you can do that at our website, WDRB.com, just go there and click on Sports.
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