March 31, 2011
2011 Louisville Baseball Game Notes in PDF Format
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The 23rd-ranked Louisville baseball team will host West Virginia for a three-game BIG EAST Conference series at Jim Patterson Stadium starting Friday at 6 p.m., ET.
The Cardinals (16-8, 2-1) and Mountaineers (16-11, 2-1) will continue their series on Saturday at 1 p.m., while Sunday's series finale is set for a 1 p.m., first pitch. Admission is free for the entire weekend.
Live play-by-play of the series can be heard on KOOL 1570 AM, while CardsTV at www.UofLSports.com will provide live video for the first two games of the weekend and live audio for Sunday's game. Fans can follow live pitch-by-pitch scoring online through the Gametracker feature at www.UofLSports.com.
In Friday's series opener, sophomore right-hander Matt Koch (3-2, 3.13 ERA) will take the mound for the Cardinals against WVU junior lefty Jonathan Jones (2-3, 6.25). On Saturday, Louisville will start sophomore right-handed pitcher Justin Amlung (5-0, 0.65), while Sunday's game will feature sophomore righty Mike Nastold (2-2, 2.10) for the Cardinals. The Mountaineers have not announced starting pitchers for the final two games of the weekend series.
Last Time Out For The Cardinals
Freshman shortstop Alex Chittenden was 2-for-3 at the plate and had the game-winning RBI as the No. 23 Louisville baseball team earned a 3-1 win over Western Kentucky on Tuesday evening at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With two outs and the scored tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Chittenden sent a 2-2 pitch from WKU reliever Taylor Haydel into centerfield to score freshman outfielder Adam Engel from second base for the game-winner. On the mound, junior right-hander Derek Self earned the win to improve to 2-0 on the season and 16-0 in his career after pitching 1.1 innings of perfect relief.
Ijames Named BIG EAST Player of the Week on March 28
Outfielder Stewart Ijames
was named BIG EAST Player of the Week for the week ending March 27. He earned the Player of the Week honor after hitting .438 (7-for-16) with four HRs, 11 RBI, six extra-base hits and a 1.313 slugging percentage to lead the Cards to a 3-1 week. Ijames homered in each of U of L's four games, with his best outing coming in the 11-2 win over Rutgers on March 25. He finished 3-for-5 in the contest with a home run, two doubles and five RBI.
Louisville Pitchers Putting Up Zeros
Through 24 games, the Louisville pitching staff has been very good with six shutout wins and an ERA of 2.09. The Cardinals have 158 strikeouts and only 75 walks in 215.0 innings. The opening weekend included a stretch of 23.2 consecutive shutout innings and 25.2 straight innings without an earned run and included the Cards' first back-to-back shutouts since 2007. The Cardinals followed that early stretch with a streak of 22.0 straight scoreless innings and 24 straight innings without an earned run to end the series at Pepperdine.
2011 Cardinals Slower Out of the Gate Than Record Setting 2010 Team
At 16-8, the 2011 Cardinals are off the pace of the record-setting 2010 team, which opened with a school record 13 straight wins, a 21-3 record through its first 24 games and school records for regular season (46) and overall (50) wins. However, the 2011 start is similar to some recent Louisville teams which went on to find success. The 2009 team, which swept the BIG EAST regular season and tourney titles, was 17-7 through 24 games, while the 2008 squad, which won the BIG EAST Tournament title, was 14-10 through 24 games. Louisville's 2007 team, which reached the College World Series, opened with a 16-8 mark.
Louisville Baseball Notes and Trends to Follow...
Tuesday's win over WKU marked the 17th time this season (in 24 games overall) the Louisville pitching staff has allowed two earned runs or fewer in a game... Louisville has six shutout wins already in 2011, which ranks as the second most in school history... More than half (35 of 65) of the runs Louisville has allowed this year have come in the first three innings. After the fourth inning this season, the Cardinals are outscoring their foes 85-30... The Cardinals are 12-1 this season when scoring first and just 4-7 when their opponent scores first... In seven of their eight losses this season, the Cardinals have allowed their opponents to score in the first inning... Louisville is 15-1 when leading entering the ninth inning... The Cardinals, which have three steals in each of the last two games, have been successful on their last 13 stolen base attempts after opening the season just 9-for-20... Louisville is 7-1 this season when going error-free... Through his first six starts this season, sophomore righty Justin Amlung has allowed only three earned runs in 41.2 innings for an ERA of just 0.65 with 30 strikeouts and 10 walks... Junior righty Derek Self has made 14 straight relief appearances allowing one run or less. During that stretch, he has an ERA of just 0.64 with 17 strikeouts and only five walks.
About Louisville Head Coach Dan McDonnell
In his fifth season as the Cardinals' head coach, Dan McDonnell is 201-85 for a .705 winning percentage. In his first four seasons, he led Louisville to impressive heights, including its first ever College World Series appearance in 2007, four consecutive 40-win seasons, a school record 50 wins in 2010 and a school record four straight NCAA Championship appearances. Louisville has also hosted NCAA post-season games in three of the last four seasons.
About West Virginia
West Virginia enters the weekend at 16-11 overall and 2-1 in BIG EAST action. The Mountaineers opened league play winning two of three at USF last weekend before dropping a mid-week loss to Morehead State on Tuesday. WVU is led by Greg Van Zant, who is 493-403-1 in his 17th season in Morgantown. Last year, WVU was 27-30 overall, including a 10-17 league record to finish tied for eighth in the BIG EAST Conference standings.