Update: The Louisville Cardinals won Friday’s game against Kennesaw State. The teams play the second game in the best-of-three series at 7 p.m. Saturday in Louisville.
Earlier: This afternoon, the Louisville Cardinals begin a best-of-three series against Kennesaw State in the NCAA baseball Super Regional. The series winner goes on to the College World Series.
But much like Carmen Sandiego, college baseball fans may wonder: “Where in the world is Kennesaw State?”
Kennesaw State University in Georgia, and is the third-largest university in the area. It is home to more than 24,600 undergraduate and graduate students.
The team’s mascot is Scrappy the Owl, and according to the school’s athletic website.
As for Kennesaw State’s team colors, its website said:
“In respect to the state’s two longest established collegiate institutions, Georgia and Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State respectfully combined gold like Georgia Tech with the black of Georgia for the Owls black and gold colors.”
In 2006, The Owls made the switch from Division II to Division I, and this is the team’s first NCAA tournament at the highest level. Louisville Coach Dan McDonnell said in a press conference that the team reminded him of Louisville in 2007, when he was hired and charged with making the team tournament contenders.
“Everybody’s selling a bright future,” McDonnell said. “Nobody’s recruiting a kid saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to stink the next few years.’ Everybody’s got this vision, and so kids have to believe your vision.”
While having laid low for awhile, this year The Owls have slowly started making a name for themselves, proving that they shouldn’t be immediately dismissed as underdogs. The team won 26 of its last 28 games, plus the Atlantic Sun title.
Max Pentecost, junior catcher for the Owls, has110 hits this season. He was named Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, and had a 36-game hitting streak.
Bleacher report’s columnist Jesse Clark wrote:
“The Owls are the hottest team in college baseball right now. Although the team didn’t have to play national seed Florida State in the regional, it beat Georgia Southern and won two of three against Alabama to advance to the supers in its first postseason appearance.”