LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WBKO) --- The University of Louisville baseball program had four players selected during day two of the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday.
Michael McAvene was taken in the third round as the 103rd overall pick by the Chicago Cubs, Tyler Fitzgerald followed in the fourth at 116th to the San Francisco Giants, Nick Bennett went in the sixth at 193rd to the Milwaukee Brewers and Bryan Hoeing was selected 201st in the seventh round by the Miami Marlins.
The quartet of players join Logan Wyatt, who was drafted 51st overall on Monday night by the Giants.
This is the eighth season the Cardinals have had at least five players selected in the draft, all during Dan McDonnell’s 13-year tenure as the head coach. Five players taken in the top seven rounds has only happened two other times in program history, with five also being taken in 2017 and seven in 2016.
McAvene has blossomed as Louisville’s closer in his junior season, dominating opponents at the end of games. The second team All-ACC selection is 2-0 on the season with seven saves, sporting a 2.67 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 30.1 innings. McAvene had arguably his best moment in a Cardinal uniform last Friday night in the NCAA Regional opener against UIC, entering the game with the tying runs on second and third and nobody out in the ninth inning. The Camby, Indiana, native proceeded to strike out three consecutive hitters to secure the win for the Cardinals. For his career, McAvene has pitched in 39 games, striking out 87 in just 58 innings of work.
Fitzgerald has started 159 games over his three-year career with the Cardinals. The junior shortstop has made strides offensively each year, culminating in his best season in the program. Fitzgerald currently leads Louisville with a .321 average, tallying 78 hits and 62 RBIs. He also has 14 doubles, seven homers and 18 stolen bases on the year. The native of Rochester, Illinois, earned third team All-ACC honors this season and was a semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace Award, which recognizes the top shortstop in the country. Fitzgerald was previously selected in the 30th round of the 2016 draft by the Boston Red Sox before enrolling at UofL.
Bennett has been a staple in the Louisville weekend rotation in each of his three seasons. The southpaw was thrown into the fire early in his career and was a freshman All-American in 2017. He is a two-time All-ACC selection as well and is planting his name alongside some of the best pitchers to play in the UofL program. Bennett is ninth on Louisville’s career wins list with 20 and games started with 38. The Cincinnati, Ohio, product has a career 3.49 ERA with 206 punchouts in 211.2 innings. Bennett took the ball twice for the Cardinals during the NCAA Regional last weekend, picking up the win over UIC in Friday’s opener before tossing two shutout frames in Monday’s regional final. Bennett was taken in the 40th round by the Giants in 2016 before he joined the Louisville program.
Hoeing has now had his name called in the MLB draft on three separate occasions. The senior was selected in the 32nd round by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015 before he came to Louisville, and was then drafted by the Giants in the 36th round last season before electing not to sign and return to school. Hoeing has made 55 career appearances on the mound for the Cardinals, working as both a starter and reliever. The right-hander holds a 10-5 career record with a 3.12 ERA in 150 innings. He opened the 2019 season in the weekend rotation, but has since moved to the bullpen and been a large part of Louisville’s success. As a reliever this season, Hoeing has a 2.13 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 38 innings. Hoeing was the first in relief in Monday’s regional-clinching victory over Illinois State, tossing five innings of one-hit baseball.
The 2019 MLB Draft concludes on Wednesday with rounds 11-40 starting at noon ET.
The Cardinals play a best-of-three series against East Carolina in the NCAA Super Regionals starting on Friday at Jim Patterson Stadium, with the winner bound for the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.