Louisville handled No. 4 seed Saint Louis with ease, winning 11-2 on Friday night to set up Saturday afternoon's showdown.
The Cardinals will be without head coach Dan McDonnell who will sit out the second game of a three game suspension for his altercation with an umpire in the BIG EAST tournament last weekend in Florida.
Due to sickness, ace junior right-hander Thomas Royce (9-1, 2.91 ERA) will not start against the Commodores. Royse, named this week as a third-team Collegiate Baseball All-American, did not start against Saint Louis and Cardinal assistant coach Chris Lemonis said this when asked about him at their post-game press conference last night:
"Thomas could be available (later this weekend)," Lemonis said. "He's been a little under the weather the last day or two."
Louisville will instead turn to freshman right-hander Matt Koch (2-0, 3.55 ERA). He has made 10 appearances on the year and has made five starts down the stretch. Koch has 28 strikeouts and eight walks in 38.0 innings of action.
He made his last start against St. John's on May 27 in the Big East tournament and allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits in 6.2 innings with seven strikeouts and a walk. Koch did not factor into the decision as the Cards eventually lost that game 6-5.
Louisville earned the nation's No. 7 overall seed and is hosting an NCAA Regional for the second straight year. The Cardinals (49-12) won their last six games of the regular season before going 2-2 at last week's Big East Championships.
Louisville clinched its second straight Big East Conference regular season title after sweeping Notre Dame in the final regular season series in South Bend.
Louisville's 49 wins this year broke last year's season total of 47 wins, marking a new school record. For Louisville, they are making their fourth straight NCAA Regional appearance.
As a team Louisville is hitting .319 as a team with 87 home runs and 440 RBI.
Louisville has five players with at least 12 home runs, led by Collegiate Baseball All-American Phil Wunderlich's 20 home runs. Andrew Clark leads the team in hitting, sporting a .385 average while Ryan Wright and Wunderlich are hitting .366 and .357, respectively.
Junior right-hander Neil Holland (8-0, 2.10 ERA) is the relief ace and currently leads the nation with 16 saves.