No. 11 Cardinals Shut Out Michigan in Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge Opener

 
Louisville junior RHP Thomas Royse


Louisville junior RHP Thomas Royse

Feb. 26, 2010

Box Score

DUNEDIN, Fla. - Junior righty Thomas Royse pitched six shutout innings to open the game, while junior righty Neil Holland pitched three scoreless innings to close the game as the No. 11 Louisville baseball team opened the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge with a 2-0 win over Michigan on a cool Friday night at Dunedin Stadium.

With the win, the Cardinals improved to 5-0 overall to open the 2010 season, while the Wolverines dropped to 2-3 overall. The unbeaten start through five games is Louisville's best start since the 2003 squad opened 6-0.

Royse (Lexington, Ky.) was impressive in his second straight start as he allowed only two hits and finished with nine strikeouts in 6.0 innings to improve to 2-0 on the season. The 6-5, 210-pounder has not allowed an earned run and only given up four hits in 11.0 innings this season.

Following the strong outing from Royse, Cards' head coach Dan McDonnell handed the ball to Holland (Owensboro, Ky.), who earned his first save of 2010 with three strikeouts in three perfect innings of relief. Holland has not allowed a run and has given up just one hit in 8.0 innings of work out of the Louisville bullpen this season.

"Pitching and defense can win you a lot of games," said McDonnell. "Thomas and Neil did an excellent job on the mound and we made big plays as a team to keep Michigan off the bases."

Louisville opened the scoring in Friday's victory with a run in the first inning as junior outfielder Josh Richmond (Cincinnati, Ohio) led off the game with a double down the left field line, moved to third on a wild pitch by Michigan starter Alan Oaks and then scored on an RBI sacrifice fly to centerfield by senior first baseman Andrew Clark (New Palestine, Ind.).

 

 

Following a pair of scoreless innings, the Cardinals added their final run in the fourth as senior second baseman Adam Duvall (Louisville, Ky.) hammered the first pitch from Oaks over the right-centerfield wall for his second home run this season and the final 2-0 margin. Duvall finished the night 2-for-4 to lead the Cards.

Oaks was the tough-luck loser for the Wolverines after allowing two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts in 7.0 innings of work. Louisville will continue the 2010 Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge on Saturday against Michigan State at 4:30 p.m. ET at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater, Fla. On Sunday, the Cards will close out the event against Minnesota at 10 a.m. ET at the Naimoli Complex in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Louisville Notes
- After the first day of the 2010 Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge, the BIG EAST Conference trails 7-3 overall. Along with Louisville, St. John's (5-4 over Minnesota) and Villanova (13-5 over Purdue) earned wins on day one.
- Through five games, the Louisville pitching staff has been outstanding with a team ERA of just 1.76. The Cardinals bullpen has been even better with no earned runs allowed in 28 innings in 2010.
- With his 1-for-3 day at the plate, junior outfielder Drew Haynes continues to lead the Cardinals in hitting with a .471 average overall. Adam Duvall leads Louisville with two home runs and is second with a .417 average.

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