April 11, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Louisville starter Thomas Royse was dominant as the sophomore righty allowed only one hit and faced the minimum, while sophomore outfielder Josh Richmond scored the game-winning run in the Cardinals' 1-0 walk-off win over Pittsburgh in the first game of a doubleheader between the two teams on Saturday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.
The game, which was postponed on Friday night because of rain, was scheduled for seven innings as directed by the BIG EAST Conference's doubleheader rules for the final day of a weekend series. However, eight innings of baseball was needed to complete the game, which was no problem for Royse, who earned his second straight BIG EAST win in just his fourth career start.
A native of Lexington, Ky., Royse threw 58 strikes in his 72 pitches and struck out six in his career-long 8.0 innings of work to improve to 2-2 on the season. After retiring the first 16 hitters he faced, Royse allowed a one-out single inning to right field in the sixth inning by catcher Kevan Smith for the only hit of the day for the Panthers. After Smith was replaced by pinch runner Chris Tonte, Royse got back on a track with a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of centerfielder Zach Duggan and from there, Royse was perfect through the seventh and eight innings to set the stage for the Cards' eighth inning rally.
"It was a great day on the mound for Thomas and one of the most impressive performances I've witnessed as a coach," said Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell. "He had great command of the plate and really dominated throughout."
With no runs on the board for either squad, Richmond led off the eighth by taking a pitch off his left shoulder from Pittsburgh starter Corey Baker. After Baker was replaced on the mound by reliever Ricky Breymier, Richmond moved to second on a single through the right side by junior second baseman Adam Duvall, and then to third on an intentional walk to junior first baseman Andrew Clark. With the bases loaded full of Cards, junior third baseman Chris Dominguez hit a bouncing ball to Pitt third baseman Joe Leonard, whose throw home was not in time to get Richmond for the game-winning RBI.
With the win, the Cardinals clinched their second straight BIG EAST series victory, improved to 7-4 in BIG EAST games and 23-9 overall this season and 19-2 at Jim Patterson Stadium in 2009. The shutout was the first for Louisville since a 2-0 win over Morehead State on April 29 in Louisville.
Baker took the loss for the Panthers (17-12, 4-7) after allowing the one earned run on five hits to fall to 4-2 on the season, while Breymier allowed one hit and one walk in his appearance.
Louisville will conclude its five-game homestand at Jim Patterson Stadium on Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET, against Kentucky.