The 6-foot-4 right hander was selected in the 24th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball draft by the Minnesota Twins, but passed on the pros for three years under Williams and Cards head coach Dan McDonnell.
UofL has 15 more home games in March, all with free admission. They host Alabama this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. First pitch is 3 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
KENT TAYLOR: When is the first time that you hit 100 on the radar gun?
NICK BURDI: It was this past summer up at the Cape Cod League for my summer team. It happened during one game and then after that it started coming together and I felt like every outing, I was throwing upper 90s, and then just hitting 100 here and there.
TAYLOR: What went through your mind when you hit 100?
BURDI: It was awesome. It was something that every kid dreams about and to get to this point and be able to say that you’ve thrown 100 miles per hour is something only a handful guys can do.
TAYLOR: That was the goal though, even when you made the decision to go to college and put pro baseball on hold?
BURDI: This was something that I have been working for and to finally get to this point is definitely something that I can check off the list.
TAYLOR: What was the key to going from the mid 90s to 100?
BURDI: It was just getting after it every day in the weight room and making sure I stay on top of everything. Doing all my shoulder stuff and making sure that I didn’t take any days off, so that I could reach this milestone.
TAYLOR: What is the hardest that you have thrown?
BURDI: Every once in awhile I’ll get up to 101, 102. It’s something that you kind of hope for every time you go out there so that you can show people what you’ve been blessed with.
TAYLOR: Can you sense that a batter is intimidated?
BURDI: You kind of just throw it and you know if it gets up there you kind of have a little bit of an edge on them, because they’re already thinking that this is something that they don’t see every day.
TAYLOR: On this team right now, as the closer, do you have to change your mindset when you take the mound?
BURDI: It’s something that Coach Williams has really taught me how to deal with. He’s spent a lot of time teaching me the ways of becoming a closer. It’s something that we worked at every day during the fall. He’s taught me the mentality of just going out there and getting those three outs to help your team win.
TAYLOR: Growing up, who was the pitcher that you looked up to the most?
BURDI: I would have to say probably Josh Beckett. In high school I was starting, so I liked to watch him. Now it’s kind of watching Aroldis Chapman and Mariano Rivera to see what those guys can do.
TAYLOR: How tough was the decision to come to college?
BURDI: Ever since high school I’ve had people coming up to me and asking what my options would be, and ever since day one it’s been come to school and get better and so far it’s been the right decision.
TAYLOR: What was the fastest you threw in high school?
BURDI: There were a few games where I got to 98, 97.