RICHMOND, Ky. - Freshman righthander Kyle Funkhouser struck out a career-best eight in a four-hit complete game shutout as the 10th-ranked Louisville baseball team earned a 4-0 win at Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday afternoon at Turkey Hughes Field.
Funkhouser (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest HS) did not issue a walk while scattering four singles to deliver the first complete game shutout for a Louisville player since Dean Kiekhefer’s five-hit, 7-0 win over Villanova on April 2, 2010. Prior to Tuesday, Funkhouser’s longest career outing was 5.2 innings in a win against USC on March 20 when he struck out his previous career high of four. With the win in his fourth start of the season and his first since April 2, Funkhouser improved to 3-1 while lowering his ERA to 1.59.
Louisville also set a new shutout record earning their eighth of the season surpassing the previous school record of seven set by the Cardinals’ 2007 College World Series squad. It marked Louisville’s 32nd shutout win in seven seasons under the direction of head coach Dan McDonnell.
At the plate, junior third baseman Ty Young (Coatesville, Pa./Malvern Prep) was 2-for-5 with his fourth home run of the season, two RBI and two runs scored as the Cardinals won their eighth straight game and improved to 38-10 overall. Junior outfielder Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) chipped in with a pair of two-out RBI singles, while junior outfielder Coco Johnson (Benton Harbor, Mich./Central Arizona) was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
Louisville got everything it needed in the run column on Tuesday plating three runs in the opening frame against EKU (17-28) senior lefty starter Shane Grimm. After senior second baseman Nick Ratajczak (Joliet, Ill./Gulf Coast CC) reached base with a one-out single up the middle, Young sent a 1-0 pitch over the right field wall for the Cardinals’ 2-0 lead. Johnson followed with a double to left center and after moving to third with his 16th stolen base of the season, scored as Sturgeon sent a 2-0 pitch into left field for the 3-0 lead.
The Cardinals added the final run of the day in the fifth when Sturgeon delivered another two-out RBI single, this time through the right side of the infield, to score Young for the 4-0 lead. Young started the inning with an infield single against EKU righty reliever Matt Lynch and moved to second on a flyout to center before scoring on the Sturgeon hit.
No. 10 Louisville will play its fifth game in six days when No. 14 Indiana visits Jim Patterson Stadium on Wednesday at 6 p.m., ET. It will be Cancer Awareness Night at the ballpark and admission is free for the top 15 showdown.
Postgame Louisville Notes
- Louisville played error-free baseball for the fifth straight game, the longest stretch without an error this season.
- With his two hits on Tuesday, Ty Young earned his team-leading 20th multiple hit game of the season, while the two RBI marked his team-best 15th multiple RBI performance of 2013.
- With his double in the first inning, Coco Johnson has reached base safely in 23 straight games overall, the longest streak of the season for a Louisville player.