Kyle Funkhouser has been the first guy to take the mound in each one of the Louisville baseball team's big weekends up to this point, and that won't change just because it's NCAA Tournament time.
U of L coach Dan McDonnell confirmed Thursday that Funkhouser, the team's usual No. 1 starter, will get the ball on Friday night in the Cardinals' regional opener against Kent State. The sophomore righty is 12-2 this season with a sparkling 1.81 ERA.
"You've gotta do whatever you've gotta do to win that first game," McDonnell said. "I've said all along that we love our pitching depth. This is an opportunity for guys to step up, and we try to prepare them for this."
That depth took a hit earlier this week when it was announced that No. 2 starter Jared Ruxer, who hasn't pitched since May 10 because of a forearm injury, will not take the bump at any point in regional play. McDonnell had previously said that Ruxer (7-1, 2.27 ERA) was "50-50" to go this weekend.
You can check out the complete press conference from today's media session below: