LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville (19-7, 9-1 ACC) defeated Georgia Tech (17-8, 5-5 ACC) in game one of a three game weekend series Friday afternoon 4-1, behind a strong performance from junior RHP Kyle Funkhouser on the mound.
Funkhouser tossed seven innings scattering four hits and only gave up one run and two walks, while striking out seven Yellow Jacket batters.
Sophomore catcher Will Smith knocked in two RBIs registering a 1-for-3 day at the plate along with a stolen base, and sophomore right fielder Corey Ray went 1-for-4 with one RBI and two stolen bases to pace the Cardinal hitters.
Sophomore flamethrower Zach Burdi picked up his second save of the year, working the final two innings while striking out one, and allowing one hit with one base-on-balls.
“I attacked them with the fastball early and tried to get ahead early,” Funkhouser said. “I started hitting a couple of spots and stayed aggressive.”
Georgia Tech’s star freshman slugger Kel Johnson did not make the trip for the Louisville series. Johnson, who was batting .379 with seven home runs and 25 RBI, sustained a sprained ankle in the series finale against UNC on March 21, and will be put on the back burner while undergoing rehabilitation.
The Cards started off the scoring in the contest, plating two runs in the third inning when sophomore Nick Solak led off with a double down the right field line, and Ray RBI singled up the middle to bring Solak home for the score. Ray then stole second and third base, and was brought home by Smith’s sacrifice fly on a 1-1 pitch.
In the fourth inning Louisville scored again after freshman Devin Hairston singled to right field and touched home plate two batters later, when senior Sutton Whiting RBI singled up the middle and put U of L up 3-0.
Georgia Tech scored their lone run in the top of the seventh after sophomore Connor Justus reached on a fielder’s choice, which scored senior A.J. Murray.
Louisville answered right back in their half of the seventh scoring when freshman Brendan McKay was hit by a pitch, then advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored off an RBI single to center field by Smith capping the score at 4-1.
“We were good on the mound and we competed,” Louisville Head Coach Dan McDonnell said. “We didn’t play great defense but we were good enough. I was really pleased. I thought offensively we competed, we ran the bases well and it was a good night all-in-all.”
The series resumes Saturday at 1:00 pm ET. At Jim Patterson Stadium.
Georgia Tech starting pitcher Jonathon King pitched 6.2 innings registering the loss, giving up nine hits, four runs, and three walks while striking out two.Whiting went 1-for-5 for Louisville with an RBI and a stolen base.