Cards open AAC Tournament with 13-3 win

Dan McDonnell

The University of Louisville baseball team opened postseason play with a 13-3 win Memphis in the opening round of the AAC Tournament in Bright House Field at Clearwater, Fla. The Cardinals are now 44-13 on the season.

The postseason started on the right note for the University of Louisville baseball team.

The Cardinals pounded out 12 hits, got a stellar outing from pitcher Kyle Funkhouser and run-ruled Memphis 13-3 in seven innings at the AAC Tournament in Clearwater, Fla.

The Cardinals scored runs in five of six innings and Funkhouser scattered six hits in 5.1 innings on the mound to go 12-2.

"I think I counted up 24 quality at-bats," U of L coach Dan McDonnell said. "And we did it against one of the best pitchers in the conference. I am really proud of the offense."

AAC Player of the Year Jeff Gardner started the scoring with a two-run single in the first inning. He added a solo home run in the fifth innings and finished 2-fot-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored in the game.

"We got some runs early and I think that helps our offense relax and everybody plays loose," Gardner said. "That's big for us."

Cole Sturgeon, Nick Solak, Alex Chittenden and Corey Ray added two hits apiece, while Chittenden also drove in three runs. Solak, Ray and Danny Rosenbaum drove in two runs apiece.

Funkhouser worked all but the final two outs when Brandon Alphin came in.

"He needed to get outs and he saved our bullpen," McDonnell said of Funkhouser.

U of L has won 17 of 19 games and have a 44-13 record overall. The Cardinals play South Florida on Friday at 3 p.m. and will play Rutgers on Saturday at 3. The championship game of the AAC Tournament is slated for Sunday at noon.

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