LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The No. 12 Louisville baseball team took down the series opener against the University of Connecticut (21-20, 5-7 AAC) 2-0 Friday at Jim Patterson Stadium, behind blazing pitching and hard hitting, from junior RHP Nick Burdi and junior first baseman Grant Kay.
Kay hit his fourth big fly of the season and Burdi ended the game with a strikeout pitch that blasted the catcher’s mitt at 101 mph.
Pitching controlled the contest through the first five frames until Kay (Omaha,Neb.) went postal on a 2-1 pitch from the hand of UConn’s Anthony Marzi that left the yard over the left field fence in the sixth inning. The homer put Louisville (31-11, 9-4 AAC) up 1-0 until freshman backstop Will smith (Louisville, Ky.) scored Danny Rosenbaum (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) with an RBI knock that pushed the Cards lead to 2-0.
Burdi was his usual menacing self as he broke a Jim Patterson Stadium fastball record, that victimized UConn OF Blake Davey as he swung and missed at flame ending the game. Burdi pitched a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts, and converted his 10th save attempt of the season as well as his 26th career. No player has ever clocked a 100 mph pitch at JimPatterson Stadium, putting Burdi in a club all by himself.
Kyle Funkhouser, the sophomore RHP from Oak Forest, Ill., chalked up his 13th career win for the Cards shutting out the Huskies for seven innings tallying seven strikeouts, while only permitting five hits, taking his season record to 8-2. Great middle relief from senior LHP Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky.) in the eighth inning linked Funkhouser, Sturgeon, and Burdi together for a shutout performance from the Cardinals pitching staff, their fifth of the season.
With Smith putting in a 2-for-3 effort at the dish along with his RBI, and Rosenbaum’s 2-for-3 performance, including a double that would lead to his touching the plate for the second run of the game, UConn’s Marzi (4-5) had to soak up a tough loss giving up two runs on six hits over a stretch of six frames pitched.
The Cardinals and Huskies will carry on their series on Saturday at 1 p.m., ET at Patterson Stadium before closing the weekend on Sunday at 1 p.m.