Louisville junior RHP Thomas Royse
April 30, 2010
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The 11th-ranked Louisville baseball opened its weekend series against BIG EAST Conference foe Rutgers with a 5-3 win in game one of Friday's doubleheader at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With the win, the Cardinals improved to 34-7 overall and 12-4 in BIG EAST games, while the Scarlet Knights dropped to 21-18 and 10-6. Louisville junior righty Thomas Royse (Lexington, Ky./Dunbar HS) improved to 8-1 on the season after allowing three runs on eight hits with four strikeouts for the win, while junior righty Neil Holland (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) retired all three batters in the ninth to earn his team-leading 11th save of the season.
At the plate, redshirt sophomore Stewart Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) led the way for Louisville with his game-winning, two-run double down the left field to break a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning. Junior third baseman Phil Wunderlich (Chicago, Ill./Downers Grove HS) hit his team-leading 15th home run of the season, while sophomore second baseman Ryan Wright (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead HS) added his 12th home run of the season and two RBI in the win.
Louisville opened the scoring in the second inning when Wunderlich hammered his home run, a solo shot to right field off Rutgers starter Dennis Hill, for an early 1-0 lead. After a pair of scoreless innings, the Scarlet Knights tied the score at 1-1 on a solo home run to left center by Michael Lang, his 11th of the season.
An inning later, the Cardinals regained the lead as Wright mashed his home run, a two-run shot to left center for a 3-1 advantage. Senior first baseman Andrew Clark (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine HS) also scored on the home run after leading off the inning with a single to right field.
Rutgers cut the Louisville lead in half in the seventh inning on Brandon Boykin's seventh home run of the season, a two-out solo shot to left field, and then tied the game at 3-3 an inning later on a solo home run by Jayson Hernandez, his second of the season.
That set the stage for the eighth inning rally for Louisville, which started with a single to left field by senior shortstop Adam Duvall off Rutgers reliever Nathaniel Roe, who took the loss after allowing one run on one hit in his 1.0 inning of relief. One batter later, Wright earned a one-out walk from reliever Rob Smorol, which was followed by a walk to Wunderlich to load the bases. Ijames then followed that with his two-run double down the left field off reliever Tyler Gebler to plate Duvall and Wright and give the Cardinals' a 5-3 advantage.
Holland entered the game in the ninth inning and recorded three straight ground ball outs to close out the game for Louisville.