Offseason position battle: UofL outfielder

College Baseball

In the sixth University of Louisville post in the “offseason position battle” series we will look at the vacant outfield position.

The departed — Texas Rangers draftee Josh Richmond, a 2010 junior, missed most of last season with a wrist injury but batted .262 with one home run, 10 RBI and 17 runs scored in 23 games for the Cards. Richmond, an outfielder who started in each of his 23 appearances, was the Rangers 12th round pick in the 2010 draft…Tampa Bay Rays draftee Phil Wunderlich, a 2010 junior, started five games in left field last season…First baseman and outfielder Mike Morrison, a 2010 sophomore, and outfielder Drew Fitzpatrick, a 2010 freshman, started 12 games in the outfield for the Cards last season but neither is listed on the 2011 UofL roster

Returning candidates — Outfield stalwarts senior Drew Haynes and redshirt junior Stewart Ijames return to UofL after starting 64 and 63 games respectively for the Cards in 2010. Haynes batted .291 with 15 stolen bases and served as the primary center fielder until Richmond returned from injury late in the season. Ijames, the 29th round pick of the New York Yankees, batted .324 with 14 home runs, 63 RBI and 64 runs scored in 2010…Sophomore utility man Kyle Grieshaber started 23 games in left field for the Cards in 2010 while serving as Richmond’s primary replacement during his injury. Grieshaber batted .239 with one home run, 15 RBI and 24 runs scored in 53 games last season, but he is the leading candidate for the vacant third base position, after starting each of the five Fall Pizza Bowl Series games there…Sophomore outfielder Jarred Clarkson started two games in left field in 2010 but was just 2-16 in 28 games for the Cards last year.

Newcomers to watch — Freshman Cody Edge started each of the five Pizza Bowl Series games in left field, going 4-12 with two runs scored, two RBI and a walk. Edge will also likely pitch for the Cards in 2011. The two-way player was a three-time all-state selection at Cherokee Washington High School in Iowa and batted .456 with nine home runs, 34 RBI and 32 runs scored as a senior…Freshman outfielder and left-handed pitcher Cole Sturgeon started each of the five Pizza Bowl Series games in centerfield and finished the series 7-17 with two runs scored, five RBI and two walks. Sturgeon was named first-team all state by the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association as a senior at Owensboro Catholic High School.

Wildcard — Freshman infielders Ryan Seiz and Adam Engel both have the ability to play outfield but started each Pizza Bowl Series game at third base and second base respectively. Each of those positions is likely to be manned by a veteran when the Cards begin the 2011 season so head coach Dan McDonnell could elect to player either newcomer in the outfield to get some playing time. The vacant outfield position will also be heavily effect by the corner infield battles as McDonnell is likely to make sure sophomores Grieshaber, Zak Wasserman and Cade Stallings are each in the lineup in some combination at first base, third base, outfield and designated hitter.

UofL loses Clark and Richmond to injury for 3-5 weeks

College Baseball

The eighth-ranked undefeated University of Louisville will have to go without senior first baseman Andrew Clark and junior outfielder Josh Richmond for the next three to five weeks after both players suffered recent injuries. Clark, one of the country’s top seniors, is out with a stress fracture in his rib cage, and Richmond, the Cards’ leadoff hitter and right-fielder, broke his hand in Wednesday’s win over Evansville. Clark is batting .364 with two home runs, 10 RBI and 10 walks this season after turning down the Chicago Cubs as their 34-round pick in 2009 to return to UofL. Richmond is batting .333 with nine runs scored and two RBI. (UofL Release)

The Cards replaced Clark with senior All-American Phil Wunderlich at first Wednesday and moved freshman Cade Stallings into the lineup at third. Sophomore outfielder Mike Morrison was 2-3 with two runs scored and two RBI after replacing Richmond following his injury against Evansville.

UofL moves to 8-0 with 13-6 win over Evansville

College Baseball

The University of Louisville stretch a one-run lead to a five-run margin with a four-run fifth inning en route to a 13-6 drubbing of Evansville Wednesday. Senior shortstop Adam Duvall was 4-5 with three runs scored for the Cards, and sophomore left fielder Mike Morrison was 2-3 with a home run in his first start of the season. Redshirt senior right-handed reliever Matt Lea earned his second victory of the season after allowing one run on no hits in two innings of work.

Sophomore outfielder Stewart Ijames drove in four runs for the Cards, and senior first baseman Phil Wunderlich was 3-4 with a triple, RBI and two runs scored. Four UofL relievers combined to hold Evansville scoreless over the final five innings. UofL improved to 8-0 on the season with the win. (Box Score)

BluGrass Baseball POG: Adam Duvall — The senior middle infielder moved to shortstop in the midweek game as typical shortstop Ryan Wright got the start at designated hitter and pounded out four doubles in the game. Duvall scored three of the Cards’ 13 runs and recorded one putout and three assists at his new position.