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Royse will start against Vanderbilt in regional final

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For the second time in as many years, Louisville and Vanderbilt will meet in a winner-take-all Monday night regional final.

The Commodores smoked the host and top-seeded Cardinals 7-0 Monday night to set up the third meeting between the two in this regional. U of L prevailed 7-1 on Saturday night and topped Vandy 5-3 a year ago to move on to the super regional.

With his team's season on the line, head coach Dan McDonnell - who will return after serving a three-game suspension - will hand the ball to Big East Pitcher of the Year Thomas Royse. Because of illness, Royse (9-1) has not appeared in the regional tournament.

The Cardinals must bounce back a night after they were held to just two hits and zero runs by a pitcher, Ritchie Goodenow, who was making his first start of the season. Goodenow's success would lead one to believe that Vandy coach Tim Corbin will take his chance with another left-handed hurler tonight. Grayson Garvin and Sam Selman are the two most likely candidates.

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The biggest factor Sunday may have been the fact that the website CardChronicle.com opted not to post an open thread or a picture for the game, a technique which had resulted in a pair of Cardinal victories by a combined score of 18-3. Blog proprietor "UL is my hot hot sex" could not be reached for comment.

The season comes down to tonight. Go Cards.