Feb. 16, 2007
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - University of Louisville starter Zack Pitts and relievers Trystan Magnuson and Colby Wark combined on a four-hit shutout, as the Cardinals opened the 2007 season with a 4-0 victory over Northwestern State Friday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park giving Head Coach Dan McDonnell a win in his head coaching debut.
"Our pitching set the tone for us this afternoon," noted McDonnell.
"Our first few times through the lineup offensively we had trouble getting it going, but our pitchers gave us the opportunity to open the season with a win."
The Cardinals broke the scoreless tie in the top half of the fifth inning when Isaiah Howes and Pete Rodriguez hit consecutive singles to put runners at the corners with nobody out. A double play ground ball by Derrick Alfonso plated Howes for a 1-0 Cardinal lead.
Searching for some insurance runs, Logan Johnson was hit by a pitch to open the ninth, and freshman Chris Dominguez followed, hammering a 3-0 offering over the fence in left center for a two-run home run. It the redshirt freshman's first career round-tripper, and extended the U of L lead to 3-0.
Jorge Castillo then singled and pinch runner Boomer Whiting stole second before a pinch-hit single by Greg Del George scored Whiting for the final margin.
It was Whiting's 40th career stolen base, tying him with Rick Siriano for fifth in the Cardinal record books.
Pitts (1-0) twirled five shutout innings, allowing three hits and four walks, striking out three to pick up the win. He retired the first five batters of the ballgame.
Magnuson also retired the first five he faced, giving up a hit and a walk, striking out two in three innings of work. Wark set down the side in order in the ninth, striking out one to seal the win.
Demon starter Jimmy Heard (0-1) was the hard-luck loser, surrendering a run on five hits and a walk, striking out three in seven innings. Jason Troth was touched for three runs on two hits in an inning-plus, fanning three. Ben Rodriguez gave up a hit and struck out two, tossing an inning.
Cardinal pitchers faced just eight over the minimum and did not allow a baserunner to reach third base on the afternoon.
Dominguez was 2 of 4 with a double to go with his home run. Howes was 2 for 2 with a double and a walk.
U of L turned a pair of double plays on the afternoon, with shortstop Chris Cates picking up seven assists.
Johnson was plunked twice, extending his school record to 44.
The Cardinals will face the Coca Cola Southern Miss Classic host Golden Eagles Saturday at 5:00 p.m. ET. Freshman Tyler Mathis is set to make his debut as he faces Barry Bowden.