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Kyle Funkhouser will start for Louisville against Western Michigan

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Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Dan McDonnell announced Tuesday that senior right-hander Kyle Funkhouser will get the start in Louisville's first game of the NCAA Tournament. The Cards, who are the tournament's No. 2 overall seed, will take on MAC champion Western Michigan Friday night at 6.

It's been an up-and-down 2016 season for Funkhouser, who returned to Louisville for his senior year despite being the 35th overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft. That selection made him the highest draft pick in the history of Cardinal baseball.

After a handful of rough outings to begin the season, Funkhouser was dropped from the No. 1 starter's role that he had occupied since the first day of his sophomore season, to the No. 3 starter. He bounced back to end the regular season with five victories in his final five starts. He didn't make a start in the ACC Tournament, but worked a pair of scoreless innings in U of L's final game against Virginia on Saturday.

This will be the third straight season that Funkhouser has started Louisville's regional opener. In 2014, he struck out 10 batters over eight shutout innings in U of L's win over Kent State. Last year, he struck out six and allowed two runs over seven innings in a Cardinal victory over Morehead State.