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.
--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.