The University of Louisville opened its quest for a third-straight Big East Conference championship on the right foot with a 6-3 win over Michigan in the 2011 season opener. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Matt Koch earned the win after surrendering three runs, two of which were earned, on four hits in five innings pitched. Koch struck out a career-high eight batters and walked just one. Junior right-handed pitcher Derek Self pitched three scoreless innings out of the pen, and junior preseason All-American Tony Zych pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his first save of the season.
At the plate senior right fielder Drew Haynes was 3-3 with one RBI and two runs scored. Junior second baseman Ryan Wright, a preseason All-American, was 2-4 with two doubles, one RBI and one run scored. Sophomore first baseman Zak Wasserman and senior catcher J. J. Ethel were each 2-4 in the game. The Cards started three freshmen: center fielder Adam Engel, designated hitter Ryan Seiz and shortstop Alex Chittenden. Both Engel and Seiz tallied hits in their collegiate debuts. Freshman left fielder Cole Sturgeon also recorded his first collegiate hit in a pinch-hitting appearance. (Box Score)
BluGrass Baseball player of the game: Drew Haynes — 3-3, 1 RBI, 2 R, 1 2B