Dan McDonnell gets paid the big bucks for a reason.
The Cardinal skipper's decision to throw his ace in game one of the Louisville regional is looking awfully good the morning after Kyle Funkhouser struck out 10 and worked eight scoreless innings in a 5-0 win over Kent State.
"It was a good playoff performance," Funkhouser said. "The first inning was a little rough. Once I got settled in I felt like everything was working. This was right up there with the best command of any game this year. ... It seems like I get stronger as the game goes on."
On offense, second baseman Zach Lucas notched a pair of doubles and drove in a run, while designated hitter Nick Solak singled, walked twice, stole two bases and scored once. Corey Ray delivered arguably the biggest blow of the game with a two run single in the third that made the score 5-0.
The biggest opponent for U of L on Thursday may have been boredom, as a game scheduled for 6 p.m. didn't get underway until 9:30 because of multiple weather delays in the opening tilt between Kansas and Kentucky. The Jayhawks eventually won that game, 10-6, setting up a winner's bracket showdown with the Cards today at 5 p.m. Kent State will face Kentucky in an elimination game at 1.
U of L will hand the ball to sophomore righty Anthony Kidston (7-0, 3.40 ERA), as they look to put themselves one win away from a trip to the super regionals.