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Big East Tournament Preview: Louisville vs. Seton Hall

I'm aware that there are some of you out there who are eager for the U of L baseball season to end simply so that you don't have to read anymore about it on here, and that's fine.

Just know that while you're enjoying your breakfast of croissants and macarons or plotting your next terrorist attack, I'll be taking the LIBERTY of exercising my RIGHT TO VOTE. And then when I get home, I'm going to enjoy a nice slice of APPLE PIE and wash it down with a cold BUDWEISER, which will help me on my quest to become EXTREMELY OBESE. And sorry if I don't help you and your lads organize your Champions League Final party for Wednesday's "futbol" match, I'll be too busy popping OXYCONTIN and TRYING UNSUCCESSFULLY TO LOCATE INDONESIA ON A WORLD MAP.

Keep waiting for that rhythmic gymnastics update, it ain't comin' comrade.

4) LOUISVILLE (37-19, 16-11) vs. 5) SETON HALL (30-23, 15-12)

Site: Bright House Field: Clearwater, Fla.

Time: 10 a.m.

Season Series: First Meeting

Starting Pitchers


Dan McDonnell will gamble and send sophomore righty Matt Lea (4-0, 2.93 ERA) to the hill. Lea, a transfer from Mississippi State, will be starting against a Big East opponent for the first time. He won non-conference starts against Butler, Morehead State and Ball State, and also picked up the win in relief against Kentucky. Lee has not worked more than five innings in any of his starts, so expect to see either Gavin Logsdon (0-1, 4.09 ERA) or Thomas Royse (3-0, 3.12 ERA) called upon at some point in the middle of the game. Seton Hall ranking next-to-last in the Big East in batting average and runs scored likely played a heavy role in McDonnell's decision to save Justin Marks for tomorrow's game, and Zack Pitts for Thursday's.


The Pirates will counter with one of the better starters in the league in first team All-Big East performer Corey Young (8-3, 2.91 ERA). Young, a left-handed junior, finished second in the conference in wins and strikeouts (77), and fourth in ERA and opposing batting average (.219). He was named conference Pitcher of the Week twice this season.

Probable Starting Lineups

LOUISVILLE (37-19, 16-11)

  1. John Dao (SS), .343
  2. Drew Haynes (CF), .277
  3. Justin McClanahan (2B), .351
  4. Chris Dominguez (3B), .363
  5. Stewart Ijames (RF), .343
  6. Jeff Arnold (C), .335
  7. Andrew Clark (1B), .316
  8. Josh Richmond (LF), .277
  9. Phil Wunderlich (DH), .267
SETON HALL (30-23, 15-12)
  1. A.J. Rusbarsky (SS), .295
  2. Matt Smedberg (LF), .269
  3. Chris Affinito (1B), .298
  4. Greg Miller (RF), .338
  5. Mark Pappas (2B), .291
  6. Chris Spagnuolo (DH), .329
  7. Sean Gusrang (3B), .256
  8. Matt Skopak (C), .209
  9. Dan Lopez (CF), .263
Starting Lineup Notes

--Dan McDonnell has used a wide variety of starting lineups in recent weeks, so what you see above is nothing more than an educated guess. He's had a particularly hard time settling on who should bat second, so don't be surprised if Drew Haynes isn't the guy today.

--Catcher Derrick Alfonso returned to the starting lineup on Saturday for the first time since breaking his hand against Kentucky on April 8. He is available to play today, and could get the start either behind the plate or as the designated hitter. Jeff Arnold has played very well in Alfonso's place, and would almost certainly move into the DH slot if McDonnell chooses to start Alfonso at catcher.

--Shortstop John Dao suffered a concussion in the West Virginia series, but started both game one and game two against Rutgers last weekend. Though he went a combined 0-for-8 in the two games, the junior should still be the guy both at short and in the leadoff spot this morning.

--Catchers Matt Skopak and Frank Esposito have split the starting duties for Seton Hall, as have third basemen Sean Gusrang and Chris Fontenelli. Whom head coach Rob Sheppard will choose to start at either position today is still unknown.

What Happens Next

The winner of today's game will face the winner of the St. John's/Villanova game at 5 p.m. tomorrow. The loser will face the loser of the same game at 10 a.m. tomorrow in an elimination tilt.