Louisville One Win Away From Omaha After Eighth Inning Rally

USA TODAY Sports

Like my grandma used to say, "Mo' RISP, mo' problems."

Facing their first deficit in NCAA postseason play, Louisville proved why it deserved to be hosts on consecutive weekends by overcoming nervy middle innings to beat Kennesaw State 5-3 and take command of the three-game series. And they did it in front of 5,351 fans, the largest crowd in Jim Patterson Stadium history.

Game Notes:

--U of L freshman Nick Solak (DH) was the star Friday night, hitting the go-ahead two-run double in the eighth inning to put Louisville ahead 5-3. Solak finished the game with three hits, three RBI and one run.

--Kennesaw State built a 3-1 lead through five innings on just two hits before U of L ace Kyle Funkhouser fought through a rough patch to shut the door in the sixth and seventh, giving the crowd some life and setting the table for the rally.

--The Owls' 11th overall MLB Draft pick, catcher Max Pentecost finished his night 0-for-3 with one walk and one strikeout. More of that tomorrow night, please.

--Kyle McGrath and Nick Burdi pitched scoreless eighth and ninth innings respectively, with McGrath earning the win and Burdi the save. I think Burdi's first pitch hit 98 MPH on the gun, followed by an 88 MPH off speed strike in the same plate appearance. Not unimpressive.

--The previous attendance record for Jim Patterson Stadium: 4,733.

The baseball Cards are now just one win away from a second consecutive trip to Omaha, but as we witnessed tonight, Kennesaw State won't be an easy out. Game two is scheduled to start Saturday night at 7 pm EST, on ESPNU.

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