Louisville sophomore RHP Mike Nastold
March 6, 2011
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Sophomore righty Mike Nastold pitched 5.0 shutout innings while sophomore first baseman Zak Wasserman had the only RBI of the day as the 23rd-ranked Louisville baseball team completed its weekend series sweep of Kent State with a 1-0 triumph on Sunday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With their fifth straight win, the Cardinals improved to 8-2 overall, while the Golden Flashes dropped to 5-5 with the loss.
Nastold (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder HS) scattered four hits with three strikeouts in his 5.0 shutout innings to improve to 1-0 on the season and earn his first win since March 21, 2009. The 6-3, 230-pound Nastold missed the entire 2010 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, which ended his 2009 season in mid-April. In three starts this season, Nastold has an ERA of 0.75 with 10 strikeouts and just eight hits allowed in 12.0 innings of work.
With Nastold in command on the mound, Louisville scored the only run of the day with two outs in the fourth inning as Wasserman (Stevensville, Mich./Lakeshore HS), who finished 1-for-2 at the plate in the game, sent an 0-2 pitch from Kent State lefty starter David Starn into center field to score sophomore Kyle Grieshaber (Chesterfield, Mo./Marquette HS) from third for the 1-0 advantage. The inning started with junior Ryan Wright reaching base on a throwing error by shortstop Jimmy Rider, which led to the only run of the game being unearned. Starn was saddled with his first loss of the season to fall to 2-1 overall despite allowing just one unearned run on three hits with seven strikeouts in 8.0 innings.
Holding the slim 1-0 advantage, the Cardinals used four pitchers out the bullpen to close out their third shutout win of the season. Freshman Chad Green (Effingham, Ill./Effingham HS) followed Nastold by allowing just two hits with one strikeout in his 2.2 innings of shutout relief. With two outs and the tying run on second base, Green gave way to senior lefty Joe Stilphen (Bay Village, Ohio/Bay HS), who successfully forced Kent State outfielder Ben Klafczynski into a fly out to right field for the final out of the eighth inning before retiring left-handed hitting Travis Shaw on a pop-up for the first out of the ninth.
Freshman righty Jeff Thompson (Greenville, Ind./Floyd Central HS) recorded the second out of the ninth before allowing two base runners on a walk and HBP to set the stage for junior righty Travis Tingle (Louisville, Ky./Cleveland State CC). Tingle, a graduate of Butler High School in Louisville, then forced Joe Koch into a groundout to third base to end the inning and clinch his first save as a Cardinal.
Louisville won Sunday's series finale despite being out-hit 6-3 by Kent State, an NCAA Regional team in each of the last two seasons. It was the lowest hit total for Louisville in a win since May 16, 2008, when the Cardinals earned a 4-3 home win over Rutgers despite finishing with only two hits in the game.
Overall, the Cardinals have a team ERA of just 1.47 with 70 strikeouts and just 21 walks in 92 innings and opposing batters are hitting only .179 against Louisville through the first 10 games this season. The Cardinals extended their school record by allowing four runs or fewer for the 11th straight game (going back to last season's finale), which is tied for second in the nation to Virginia's 13-game run.
Up next, Louisville will conclude its eight-game homestand at Jim Patterson Stadium against Purdue on Tuesday at 3 p.m., ET and admission is free.