Louisville sophomore RHP Derek Self
April 23, 2010
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Sophomore righty Derek Self came out of the bullpen to pitch 3.1 innings of scoreless relief to earn his sixth win of the season as the No. 11 Louisville baseball team scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to earn a 4-2 series opening victory over Seton Hall on Friday night at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With their seventh straight win, the Cardinals improved to 31-6 overall and 10-3 in BIG EAST Conference games, while the Pirates dropped to 13-21-1 overall and 3-10 in league action. The two teams will continue their weekend series on Saturday at noon ET at Jim Patterson Stadium, while Sunday's series finale is also set for noon p.m. ET.
Self (Cave City, Ky./Caverna HS) entered the 2-2 game with runners on first and third and two outs in the fifth and got Sean Gusrang to groundout to first base to end the threat. From there, he allowed only a single with two strikeouts over three innings to improve to 6-0 on the season and 13-0 in his career. He was replaced in the ninth inning by junior righty Neil Holland (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS), who retired all three batters he faced to earn his team-leading ninth save of the season.
At the plate, senior first baseman Andrew Clark (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine HS) finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored, including the game-winner in the eighth inning. After reaching third base with a one-out triple to center field, Clark scored as Seton Hall catcher Frank Esposito took a throw from Pirates' second baseman Chris Fontenelli on a ground ball off the bat of Cardinals' sophomore second baseman Ryan Wright (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead HS) but was unable to hold onto the ball after Clark's slide into home plate.
Louisville added a final run moments later as Wright scored from first on an RBI double to right center by junior third baseman Phil Wunderlich (Chicago, Ill./Downers Grove HS) off Pirates' starter Joe DiRocco for the final 4-2 margin. Wunderlich finished the game 2-for-4 with the one RBI, while Wright was 1-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored in the win. DiRocco took the loss after allowing four earned runs on nine hits in 7.1 innings to fall to 4-4 on the season.
After three scoreless innings to start the game, Seton Hall opened the scoring in the fourth inning with an RBI single to left by Gusrang for a 1-0 lead.
Louisville then gained its first lead of the night with two runs on three hits in the bottom of the fourth. Clark led off the inning with a double to left center and then scored on an RBI single to right field by Wright to even the score. Two batters later, Wright scored on an RBI double off the wall in right field by freshman Zak Wasserman (Stevensville, Mich./Lakeshore HS) to give the Cardinals a 2-1 advantage.
An inning later, the Pirates pulled even at 2-2 as Fontenelli reached base with an infield single, moved to second on a bunt single by Michael Rogers and then scored on an RBI single to right field by Chris Spagnuolo. The two teams then exchanged scoreless frames in the sixth and seventh before the Cardinals plated the final two runs of the night in the eighth inning.
- With their seventh straight win overall, the Cardinals continued their second longest winning streak of the season behind only the 13 straight victories to open 2010.
- Junior righty Thomas Royse, the Cardinals' Friday night starter, left the game with two outs in the fifth inning due to a blister on his foot. The injury for the Lexington, Ky., native is not serious and he is expected to be ready for his next scheduled start on April 30 against Rutgers.
- With Friday's win, Louisville improved to 19-2 at Jim Patterson Stadium this season and 127-45 all-time in the facility, which officially opened on April 15, 2005.
- Along with his nine saves this season, junior righty Neil Holland is 6-0 overall with an ERA of just 1.46 with 40 strikeouts in 37.0 innings of work. Opposing batters are hitting just .142 against the Owensboro, Ky., native.
- With his 2-for-4 day at the plate, senior first baseman Andrew Clark leads the Cardinals in hitting at .388 overall.
- With two RBI in Friday's win, sophomore Ryan Wright leads the Cardinals in that category with 46 on the season. He is also second on the team with a .370 average and 11 home runs.