LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Louisville baseball team’s fall practice schedule will have a new look this year as the Cardinals will visit the Dominican Republic on Oct. 2-6.
The trip, which will coincide with the university’s mid-term break, will likely include 3-4 games against local academy and winter league teams while also offering community service opportunities for the players and coaches. The tentative game schedule for the Cardinals includes a matchup against the Escogido Lions of the Dominican Winter League at Estadio Quisqueya in Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic.
“This is a unique opportunity for the players, coaches, support staff and families in our program to visit the Dominican Republic, where the game of baseball is truly engrained into the culture,” said Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell, who previously visited the country on a baseball/mission trip. “From a baseball perspective, it will allow our team to play against outside competition during a period of time where we would normally only have intra-squad scrimmages. It will also allow everyone in our program to use the game of baseball to help support and serve the needs of a financially strapped community while also growing as a team.”
This will be Louisville’s first international trip and will occur near the midway point of the team’s fall ball schedule. In preparation for the 2016 season, the Cardinals are slated to begin fall ball in early September, while the annual Pizza Bowl series will close the on-field work during the second half of October.
The Louisville baseball team will partner with SCORE International for its housing, transportation and community service work while on the ground in the Dominican Republic. SCORE International is a short term mission organization with extensive experience providing all-inclusive trips.
“This fall trip is something we’ve been planning for some time and we expect it to be a wonderful experience for our players, both on and off the field,” McDonnell said. “We know there may be some interest from fans to support our team by making their own plans to travel to the Dominican Republic, so it was important to us that we share the dates now so that anyone considering the trip can begin planning now.”
In its inaugural season in the ACC in 2015, Louisville set a conference record for league wins in a single season finishing with a 25-5 mark overall to win the Atlantic Division. Chosen as a national seed for the second time in school history, the Cardinals were 47-18 overall and ranked as highly as No. 8 following the season after advancing to their third straight NCAA Super Regional.