Cards face St. John's in pivotal home series

The No. 8 Louisville (40-9, 16-5) begins its final regular season homestand with a pivotal three-game Big East Conference series against St. John's (33-14, 14-7).

Friday's series opener is set for 6 p.m. ET, while Saturday's game is set for 4 p.m. First pitch for Sunday's finale is set for 1 p.m., and will be preceded by the 2010 Senior Day ceremony. Admission is free for the entire weekend series and all three games will be aired live on KOOL 1570 AM as well online through CardsTV at

Louisville enters the weekend at 40-9 overall following a dramatic 11-10 loss in 17 innings at No. 17 Vanderbilt on Tuesday night. With just two weeks to play, the Cardinals are a 1/2 game out of first place in the BIG EAST Conference race with a 16-5 record. St. John's is 33-14 overall following a 4-3 win over New York Tech on Tuesday and is fourth in the BIG EAST with a 14-7 league record.

At the plate, the Cardinals are led by one of the best infield quartets in the nation in senior first baseman Andrew Clark (.398, 11 HR, 51 RBI), senior shortstop Adam Duvall (.346, 10 HR, 35 RBI), junior third baseman Phil Wunderlich (.357, 19 HR, 52 RBI) and sophomore second baseman Ryan Wright (.362, 13 HR, 59 RBI). The team's four primary infielders, which typically hit second through fifth in the Cards' lineup, rank first through fourth on the team in home runs and average as well as first, second, third and fifth in RBI.

On the mound, Louisville is paced by junior righties Thomas Royse and Neil Holland. Royse, the Cardinals' Friday night starter, is 9-1 overall with a 2.38 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 79.1 innings of work this season. Holland, U of L's closer, leads the BIG EAST and ranks fourth in the nation with 12 saves to go along with a 7-0 record, a 2.09 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 43.0 innings of relief.

St. John's is led at the plate by freshman outfielder Jeremy Baltz, who enters the weekend hitting .407 with 14 home runs and 61 RBI. He leads the Red Storm in all three major categories, while infielders Joe Panik (.391, 5 HR, 38 RBI), Sean O'Hare (.383, 23 RBI) and Greg Hopkins (.369, 5 HR, 48 RBI) are talented hitters in the STJ lineup. On the mound, senior righty Bruce Kern (5-5, 5.94) will likely get the Friday night start, while freshman right-hander Kyle Hansen (7-1, 3.90) has been impressive on the weekends.

Following the St. John's series, Louisville will conclude its regular season home schedule on Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET against in-state foe Eastern Kentucky.

First 500 Fans on Friday Receive 2010 Louisville Baseball Trading Cards
The first 500 fans to arrive at Jim Patterson Stadium for Friday's series opener against St. John's will receive 2010 Louisville Baseball trading cards.

Dan McDonnell's team hosts St. John's this weekend in a key Big East home-series finale. (Darrell Russell)
Saturday Promotions
Any fan to bring and donate a canned good for Saturday's game will be entered to win official Louisville gear throughout the game. Inflatables will also be available for kids during Saturday's game.

Sunday is Senior Day at Jim Patterson Stadium
Prior to Sunday's first pitch, which is set for 1 p.m. ET, the Louisville baseball program will honor its 2010 senior class. Fans are encouraged to arrive early at Jim Patterson Stadium to say goodbye to the senior Cardinals.

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Dan McDonnell Interview

For more Louisville baseball coverage, check out's interview with Dan McDonnell about the Cardinals final two Big East series, the teams regional and super regional chances and whether the 17 inning loss to Vanderbilt hurt Louisville's chances.

Click here to read Dan McDonnell's interview in the Cardinal Confidential Premium Forum

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