GARDNER NAMED AAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Gardner hit 5 of 12 in the first three games of the season, smacking a walk-off home run in the opener and a three-run triple in the third game of the weekend for the Cardinals.
He was named American Athletic Conference Player of the Week for his performance. He had a home run, two doubles, a triple and six RBIs in three starts in left field during a tournament in Charleston, S.C.
Gardner's walk-off home run gave U of L a 7-6 win over West Virginia in the opener.
"I'm ready for a good year," Gardner said last week. "I'm confident. I hope to help out in left field but I'll just do what I can for the team.
"If it's out in the field, that's fine whatever it takes. If it's on the bench or as a DH that's fine as well. I'll do what I need to do for the team."
Gardner, the team's designated hitter last season, started all three games in left field. He's a senior out of Whitefield Academy.
He now has 15 career home runs.
JUCO STARTS OFF STRONG
Another big start came from junior-college transfer Grant Kay, who started a game as the designated hitter and two at second base.
The former Iowa Western Community College standout hit .455 (5-for-11) from the plate with a home run, a double. three RBIs and five runs scored during the weekend.
Kay also stole two bases for the Cardinals, batting the first game in the three spot and the final two games in the second spot in the order.
WHITING INJURED IN OPENER
U of L junior shortstop Sutton Whiting, the team's leadoff batter, was hit by a pitch on Friday in the opener.
Whiting was hit in the ninth inning of the 10-inning win over West Virginia and was taken to the hospital. He suffered a broken nose.
He returned to the dugout with his teammates for Saturday and Sunday but a timeline for his return is still undecided. He was expected to see a specialist when he returned to Louisville.
Whiting was 0-for-4 in the game and was hit by the pitch in the ninth.
CARDS ON THE BASE PATHS
One of the top teams nationally in stolen bases last season, the Cardinals started off with a solid effort on the base paths this season.
U of L went 6 of 8 as a team this weekend, while opponents were just 1-for-4.
Grant Kay and Collin Lyman had two stolen bases apiece, while Cole Sturgeon and Danny Rosenbaum had one apiece.
CARDS COMING BACK HOME FOR A WHILE
U of L will open 36-game home slate on the season Wednesday at 3 p.m. when Eastern Kentucky University visits Jim Patterson Stadium.
It will be the first of 17 straight home games, including a three-game series this weekend with Western Michigan.
Admission is free.