Funkhouser the main man again for Cards

University of Louisville sophomore pitcher Kyle Funkhouser will get the start for the Cardinals in game one of the College World Series. Funkhouser has put together one of the best pitching seasons in the country. Cardinal Authority checks in with the Funkhouser.

Kyle Funkhouser has been here before.

The University of Louisville sophomore pitcher will get the start in the first game of the College World Series on Saturday in Omaha.

But he's not fretting.

"It's exciting and a big stage," Funkhouser said. "But I am trying not to make too big of a deal of it. I have been starting the first game for a while now. The first game of the weekend, the first game of the regional and the first game of the Super Regional.

"I'm just looking at it as another game."

Funkhouser comes into the game after one of the best seasons in the country. He's 13-2 with a 1.73 ERA this season. The 13 wins ties him for the most in the country and he's the only player in that group still playing.

"He's been really good for us," pitching coach Roger Williams said. "He's worked hard and really done exactly what we needed."

Added coach Dan McDonnell: "It's not an easy thing to be the Friday Night guy at Louisville. We've had some good guys in that spot but he wanted it and he's worked hard for it.

Funkhouser was 5-1 as a freshman in 22 appearances, also picking up one save in 53.2 innings. He struck out 55 in 43 games.

After a solid summer and excellent fall campaign, Funkhouser said he came out determined to have a solid second season. And he's done that, pitching in the Friday spot since early on in the season.

Funkhouser didn't get a decision in his first game against The Citadel and lost his third outing - against Indiana. But since he's won 12 of 14 starts with the only loss to Central Florida late in the season.

Now, Funkhouser gets Vanderbilt on Saturday at 8 p.m. in TD Ameritrade Park. Funkhouser did pitch in the World Series last season and said that experience should help him here.

"I just have to trust my stuff," Funkhouser said. "We know they're a good team, we know them and they know us. I don't think it's a big advantage but it will be fun.

"i think it does help a lot that we were there last year. It was the first time we have sniffed even being there, so it was a nice feeling. It seems like we know what to do this time, going back we know what we have to do."

And for Funkhouser that's get his team off to a good start with a solid outing.

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