Louisville freshman Curtis McCombs
Oct. 22, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Freshman righty Curtis McCombs pitched four scoreless innings and freshman second baseman Kyle Grieshaber had two RBI and a run scored to lead the Swiss Cheese's to a 3-1 win over Xan's Zephyrs on Thursday afternoon in the decisive third game of the 2009 Pizza Bowl series at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With the win, the Swiss Cheese's earned a 2-1 triumph in the best-of-three Pizza Bowl intra-squad series, which officially completed the Louisville baseball team's fall workouts.
"This was a competitive series and it provided some great game-like situations for our young guys," said fourth-year Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell. "We really pitched it well in games two and three and all three games were close enough that either team could've won. It's always nice to put our guys in pressure situations, where they have to make plays."
A Louisville native and a graduate of Ballard High School, McCombs allowed only one hit with three strikeouts in his four shutout innings in the starting role for the Swiss to earn the win in the seven-inning game.
The Swiss Cheese's opened the scoring in the first as Grieshaber led off the inning with a walk from Zephyrs' starter Justin Amlung, moved to second on a passed ball and then scored on an RBI double to right center by senior Andrew Clark for a 1-0 lead.
After a scoreless second inning, the Swiss added to its lead in the third inning as Grieshaber hammered a two-run double down the left field line to score junior catcher J.J. Ethel and freshman outfielder Drew Fitzpatrick for a 3-0 advantage. Ethel reached base on a fielder's choice, while Fitzpatrick singled up the middle.
The Zephyrs broke through in the scoring column in the sixth inning as freshman Zak Wasserman connected for a solo home run to straight-away centerfield off freshman righty Tyler Boraz to cut the Swiss lead to 3-1. However, that is as close as the Zephyrs would get as juniors Brian Feekin and Bob Revesz combined for the final six outs of the game, including the final two by Revesz, who earned his second save of the series.
At the plate for the Swiss, Clark finished the game with two hits and the one RBI, while Wasserman and sophomores Stewart Ijames and Mike Morrison had one hit each in the losing effort for the Zephyrs. Amlung took the loss for the Zephyrs after allowing three runs on four hits in four innings. Along with his home run, Wasserman also pitched one scoreless inning, while senior Matt Lea also pitched one scoreless inning of relief for the Zephyrs.
"The Pizza Bowl is always an exciting way to end the fall," McDonnell said. "We've had a few guys on the disabled list this fall, but that's given all the new guys a chance to compete and do some good things. It was a very productive fall for our team, but now we have to utilize the next three months to get stronger and faster and get ready to get out of the gate in February."
For the three-game series, Clark and senior Jeff Arnold led the way for the Louisville bats with five hits each in 12 at-bats (.417 average), while Morrison hit .333 (3-for-9) on the week.
Louisville will open the 2010 season with a three-game series at home against Bowling Green on Feb. 19-21 at Jim Patterson Stadium. The complete 2010 Cards' schedule will be released next week.