March 28, 2014
Sophomore Kyle Funkhouser won his 10th career collegiate game after working seven shutout innings on Friday against Xavier.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Behind seven shutout innings from sophomore righty Kyle Funkhouser and a balanced offensive attack, the 10th-ranked Louisville baseball team opened its weekend slate with an 8-1 win over Xavier on Friday night at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Funkhouser (Oak Forest, Ill.) finished with eight strikeouts and scattered four hits while pitching seven innings of shutout baseball for the second time this season to earn the win and improve to 5-1. Friday's outing marked the third time this season Funkhouser, who won his 10th career game, has struck out eight or more.
At the plate, junior shortstop Sutton Whiting (New Wilmington, Pa.) led the Cardinals (19-6) with a single, two walks, two RBI, two runs scored and three stolen bases, while freshman outfielder Colin Lyman (Algonquin, Ill.) was 2-for-3 with two doubles, one RBI and one run scored. Senior Jeff Gardner (Louisville, Ky.) chipped in going 2-for-4 with a run scored as Louisville finished with an 11-5 advantage in hits over the Musketeers (12-12).
The Cardinals opened the scoring with a run in the second inning on a RBI sacrifice fly to right field by senior catcher Kyle Gibson (Henderson, Ky.) to push Gardner across for the 1-0 lead. Gardner led off the inning with a single up the middle and moved to third on a double by Lyman.
An inning later, Louisville added to its lead when Whiting scored from third on a RBI sac fly to center by junior first baseman Grant Kay (Omaha, Neb.). Whiting started the scoring chance with a one-out walk, moved to second on a balk by Xavier righty starter Adam Hall and advanced to third with the first of three stolen bases in the game.
Louisville gained complete command in the fourth inning plating five runs on six hits against Hall. Lyman started the scoring with a RBI double to right to score junior second baseman Zach Lucas (Louisville, Ky.). After loading the bases two batters later, freshman outfielder Logan Taylor (Lexington, Ky.) was hit by a pitch to score Lyman for the 4-0 lead. Following a passed ball off the glove of catcher Daniel Rizzie to score Gibson, Whiting delivered a two-run single to right to score senior third baseman Alex Chittenden (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Taylor for the 7-0 advantage.
The Cardinals added their final run of the night in the sixth inning on a RBI sacrifice fly to center by senior outfielder Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky.) to score Whiting, who earned a one-out walk and stole both second and third before reaching home. Xavier scored its only run of the night in the ninth on a RBI sac fly by second baseman Michael Moore. Hall suffered his first loss of the season and dropped to 3-1 on the season after allowing seven runs on eight hits in four innings.
Up next, Louisville hosts Butler on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., ET in a game that will be preceded by a Butler-Xavier matchup at noon. The weekend will conclude on Sunday with the Cardinals hosting the Musketeers at 1 p.m., and admission is free throughout the weekend at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Louisville Postgame Notes
- Louisville holds a 32-19 lead in the all-time series with Xavier and has won four straight overall.
- The Cardinals improved to 16-4 at home this season and 230-79 (.744 winning percentage) all-time at Jim Patterson Stadium since it opened in April 2005.
- Friday marked the 15th time in 25 games this season Louisville has allowed two or fewer earned runs in a game.
- The Cardinals improved to 12-1 this season in games against righty starters.
- Including the five-run fourth inning on Friday, Louisville has scored five or more runs in an inning 10 times this season.
- The Cardinals are 13-1 this season when scoring first and 15-0 when out-hitting their opponent.
- Along with improving to 5-1 on the season, Kyle Funkhouser lowered his ERA this season to 2.54 and has 41 strikeouts in 46.0 innings pitched.
- Senior Cole Sturgeon, who walked and singled on Friday, has reached base safely in all 25 games this season and 31 straight overall.