In a teleconference with reporters on Tuesday, University of Louisville head baseball coach Dan McDonnell confirmed that sophomore infielder Andrew Benefield had entered the transfer portal and would be leaving the program. The news was first reported by D1Baseball.com.
Before the season was unceremoniously cut short due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Benefield appeared in 14 of the 17 games played including six starts at third base. He posted a slash line of .286/.303/.393 and drove in 6 RBI in 28 at-bats.
"Andrew's a bright kid. He had a lot of positive things to say, he loved his time with us," McDonnell told reporters. "I think from an offensive standpoint, he looked at a lot of returners."
Despite showing that he was a capable asset, he unfortunately found himself buried on the depth chart. Also manning the hot corner for the Cards in 2019 was sophomore Ben Metzinger, who had been starting to put together a breakout caliber year, batting .349 and sporting a .929 OPS. However both Benefield and Metzinger were merely biding their time until preseason All-American third baseman Alex Binelas returned from hamate surgery.
Another factor that played into his decision to transfer was the desire to play at shortstop, another deep spot on the roster for Louisville. If senior Justin Lavey or junior Lucas Dunn both decide to return to Louisville in 2020, finding a consistent role would have been even harder for Benefield.
"He would love to go play shortstop somewhere," McDonnell said. "He was just looking for an opportunity where he was going to get more at-bats and maybe of a chance to plat the middle"
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