LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – With the first ten rounds of the Major League Baseball Draft in the books, and with five Louisville Cardinals chosen over the course of those picks, it’s time now for the team to fully focus on upcoming College World Series.
The Cardinals (52-10) open pool play in Omaha against Texas A&M (41-21) Sunday at 2pm eastern time.
“A lot of distractions, good and bad, it’s a lot of fun, that balance of celebration. Let these kids enjoy this. They’ve earned it,” U of L head baseball coach Dan McDonnell said before Tuesday’s practice at Jim Patterson Stadium.
McDonnell seems to be enjoying the postseason experience. He followed the example of several players, opting to dye his hair blonde before the trip to Omaha.
A little fun before what could be a pressure situation for McDonnell, who led his team to the College World Series in his first season back in 2007 and then to back-to-back appearances in 2013 and 2014. The memories of making it to Omaha are good, but the team wants to make lasting memories by staying in the city a little longer than previous trips.
Louisville has won only one College World Series game in three appearances.
“When I think back to some of the losses, other teams played better than us. They pitched better than us, they made some phenomenal plays against us,” McDonnell said. “It’s the same three factors: pitching, play defense and try to get some timely hits.”
McDonnell says the Aggies are similar to the Cardinals. Like U of L, they missed trips to Omaha the past two seasons after coming up short in the Super Regionals.
McDonnell refused to reveal who he plans to put on the mound for Sunday’s CWS opener. There’s little doubt overall number four pick Brendan McKay will see action sometime in Omaha.
“There’s no secret on who will we probably turn to,” McDonnell said.
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