Louisville sophomore RHP Matt Koch
March 11, 2011
MALIBU, Calif. - Sophomore right-hander Matt Koch pitched 8.0 strong innings while the offense provided timely hitting as the 20th-ranked Louisville baseball team opened its UBS Spring Trip with a 4-2 win over Pepperdine on Friday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
With Friday's win, Louisville improved to 9-3 on the season, while Pepperdine dropped to 6-7 overall with the loss. The Cardinals and Waves will continue their series on Saturday at 4 p.m., ET, while Sunday's series finale is also set for a 4 p.m., ET first pitch.
Koch (Cherokee, Iowa/Washington HS) allowed just one earned run on four hits with seven strikeouts in 8.0 innings pitched to earn the win and improve to 2-1 on the season and 5-1 in his career. He was followed by junior righty Tony Zych (Monee, Ill./St. Rita HS), who pitched a scoreless ninth inning to close out the win and earn his fifth save of the season.
Offensively, freshman Ryan Seiz (Perkasie, Pa./Christopher Dock HS) led the way for the Cardinals going 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored, while senior catcher J.J. Ethel (Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Pointe HS) was 2-for-3 with an RBI in the win.
Following a pair of scoreless innings to open the game, Pepperdine took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on the first home run of the season for third baseman Miles Silverstein, a two-out solo shot to left field.
The score remained that way until the fifth inning, when Louisville gained its first lead of the day with three runs on two hits against Waves' lefty starter Aaron Gates. After back-to-back walks by freshman Ty Young (Coatesville, Pa./Malvern Prep) and junior second baseman Ryan Wright (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead HS), Seiz sent the first pitch he saw from Gates to the wall in right center to score both baserunners for a 2-1 advantage. One hitter later, Ethel connected for an RBI double to left field to score Seiz for a 3-1 lead.
After Pepperdine cut the deficit to 3-2 with an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth inning, Louisville pushed its lead to the final 4-2 margin in the sixth inning on a two-out, RBI single to left field by Wright to score senior outfielder Drew Haynes (New Albany, Ind./New Albany HS). The scoring chance for the Cardinals was setup after Haynes led off the inning with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman outfielder Adam Engel (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland HS) and then advanced to third on a groundout to the right side by Young.
Gates took the loss for the Waves after allowing four runs, all earned, on four hits with eight strikeouts and six walks in 5.0 innings pitched and dropped to 0-3 this season.
- With Friday's win, Louisville evened the all-time series with Pepperdine at 1-1. The Cardinals also improved to 2-7 overall in games played in the state of California.
- Louisville starting pitchers have allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of the team's last 13 games going back to last year's season-finale. Cardinal starters have allowed just four earned runs in their last 37.0 innings (0.97 ERA) overall.
- The Cardinals have won seven straight games away from home during the regular season. Louisville is also 13-2 overall in its last 15 true road games.
- Friday's game was played in 2 hours, 23 minutes, which is also the average time of play for Louisville's first 12 games this season.
- With his performance on Friday, Matt Koch lowered his ERA this season to 2.00. He has 20 strikeouts with just five walks in 27.0 innings pitched this season.
- Through 12 games this season, Louisville's pitching staff has an overall ERA of only 1.39 with 81 strikeouts and just 28 walks 110.0 innings pitched. Opposing batters are hitting only .181 on the season against Cardinal pitchers.
- The 2011 UBS Spring Trip is Louisville's first regular season visit to the state of California since 2004. After closing the series at Pepperdine on Sunday afternoon, the Cardinals will play mid-week games at USC on Tuesday (9 p.m., ET) and Wednesday (6 p.m., ET).