NINE Walks.  Nine. That’s how many batters Cardinal Pitchers awarded a free base in the opening round game for the College World Series in Omaha, NE.  An entire line-ups worth of free base runners.  The column could stop right there.  That’s isn’t championship baseball.  Louisville’s Kyle Funkhouser, who was outstanding throughout the season struggled to find the strike zone at key points and finished with 6.0 IP, allowing 6 Hits, 4 runs (all earned), 5 strikeouts, 6 walks in 125 pitches (79 strikes).

Coincidentally, the 9 base runners that Louisville allowed through bases on balls is the same amount that the Commodores left on base.  I mean, Vanderbilt couldn’t possibly score that many base runners.  Louisville left 9 of their own on base, but the Cards actually outhit Vanderbilt on the night with 9 hits to 7.  But we are talking about a difference of 16 base runners to 13.  A Final Score of 5 to 3.

TD Ameritrade was playing like a much smaller ballpark on Saturday night.  A steady 25 MPH wind shrunk the playable area and the Cards made it easier by giving up base after base.  The rest of the details seem inconsequential, but Louisville managed the wide array of base runners throughout the night and held the Commodores to just 5 runs, 3 of which came in the 2nd inning WITH 2 OUTS & NONE ON BASE!! In the end, Vanderbilt would score 3 of their 5 runs from runners who got on-base via the free pass.

The Cards had their chances offensively but left 9 runners on and several hard hit balls did not fall.  The Cards also abandoned a strategy that previously had worked well as Dan McDonnell elected to swing away with a runner on 1st and none out rather than the tactic used in the Regional & Super Regional Rounds.

The loss moved the Cards to 1-5 all-time in the College World Series and now Louisville face Texas on Monday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. on ESPN2. Monday’s game will be the 1st time the Cards will face elimination during the 2014 NCAA Tournament and Right-handed Sophomore Pitcher Anthony Kidston from Defiance, OH is expected to start the game for the Cards. Kidston is undefeated in decisions during his College Career 16-0 (9-0 in 2014) and has a 3.54 ERA in 68.2 IP with 64 strikeouts, allowing 27 earned runs on 50 hits and 35 walks.


THE MODERATOR: Joined now by Louisville
head coach Dan McDonnell, as well as
student-athletes Kyle Funkhouser and Sutton
Coach McDonnell, we ask that you begin
with an opening statement.
congratulate Vanderbilt.
It was a good team, and they obviously
played well.
They did a good job offensively competing,
especially with two outs.
They seemed to mount some two-out
rallies, and it’s a big momentum swing.
Two-out hit, two-out RBI is big momentum,
and it gave them a lot of energy and a lot of life.
But I was proud of our kids. We fought
hard. We kept nipping away and we seemed to
get it within a run or two, but we could never catch
up, and I just thought offensively they did a really
good job tonight 1 through 9 in their lineup.
They were just tough outs, very
competitive, and seemed to put a lot of pressure
on us, and like I said, seemed to get things going
with two outs, which hurts, because you feel like
you’re one pitch away from running off the field and
getting ready to score runs. Just wasn’t in our
favor tonight.
So congratulations to them, and hopefully
we’ll come back Monday and play a little better.

Q. Kyle, first talk about how well you
battled offensively? In the early innings, it
seemed like (no microphone).
KYLE FUNKHOUSER: I wasn’t making a
lot of great pitches tonight, but a lot of credit to
their hitters.
The good pitches that I did make, they
seemed to battle pretty tough.

Q. Kyle, coach mentioned how
frustrating two-out rallies can be, and what was
your take on that and how do you recover once
you give up a hit or something like that with
two outs?
KYLE FUNKHOUSER: Coach has been
saying it all year, two-out walks will kill you and that
was the definition of it tonight.
Just need to make some more pitches. It’s
hard to win at the College World Series with a bad
start, and that’s what that was tonight.

Q. Dan, it’s obviously hard to put a
finger on it, I’m sure, from a coaching
standpoint, but five of your six — you’ve lost
five of your six here, and I know this was a year
where you guys were talking a lot about taking
that next step. What do you think needs to
happen now against Texas and going forward
for you guys to get over that last hump?
COACH MCDONNELL: I feel better about
our club now than maybe at this time last year. I
think we lost our first game 2-0 or I think a guy
threw a CG against us, and offensively it was a
tough night.
I felt really good about our offense, and we
had a lot of good at-bats. You just look at Fulmer’s
numbers, I mean, that is impressive stuff. I mean,
the ERA, the batting average against, throwing mid
90’s, I mean, that’s nasty stuff he’s throwing up
I was pleased. I thought our hitters really
competed, put a lot of good swings, and they made
two really nice catches. They almost made three
really nice catches on that ball they dove for

So I feel good about our club and where
we’re at. You know, Funk’s great, and he’s
growing. He’s still young, and he’s competing and
he’s trying. What’s made him great all year is
getting out of those two-out jams. That’s what
great pitchers do. More times than not, they get
out of those two-out Jams. Tonight he just had a
little trouble doing that against, I don’t know how
many pitchers they ran out there. Four arms that
they’re able to match up. When they get the lead,
it’s tough because they’re going to match-up.
They’re going to go left to right on you, and they
had a few more arms in that bullpen. I’m sure they
were going to bring out to possibly face Gardner if
we had tied it or gotten within a run or so.
So, like I said, I feel good about where
we’re at as a club and how well we’ve played in the
postseason. But, you’re facing seven of the hottest
teams in the country, so we’ve just got to play a
little better, that’s all.

Q. Coach, how big of a deal do you
think it is after this game that they did not start
Beede and started a guy who has given you all
trouble in the past?
COACH MCDONNELL: You know, all
great teams have that one-two combination, so I
think everybody respects Fulmer as much as they
do Beede. I can’t specifically say why they started
him. I can only speculate because of maybe our
speed and putting pressure on the pitcher. But,
again, the other guy was like the 14th pick in the
country. So I can’t fully give that answer. I can
only speculate.
But, again, it wasn’t like they threw a guy
down the line in the rotation. I’m sure you could
argue they got that great one-two punch, and I’m
sure you could flip a coin when you look at their
numbers and their success. So it didn’t surprise us
when we saw the match-up. It’s not like we’re
choosing one or the other. You know you’re
getting a really quality arm from Vanderbilt in that
first game.

Q. Coach, after falling behind 4-0 early,
you got back to four-three. Did you feel like
Ravenelle kind of extinguished your
momentum a little bit there?
COACH MCDONNELL: Alex took a good
swing. He got that one-pitch fastball and we flew
out to right center. Definitely not a night to hit the
ball in the air. But then we walked a guy in the
next inning. I think we walked the nine-hole hitter
three times tonight, and I think three of the five
walks — three of the five runs were walks, and we
had two pass balls. You know, it’s just not clean
baseball against a really good team. You’d like to
make them earn it. Hit a ball in the gap, tip your
hat to him, but it was just, like I said, we didn’t play
clean enough out there between the lines. And to
their credit, they just kept chipping away.
Like I said, they got within a run and then
come right back. We score a run in the 7th to get a
run, and they come back in the bottom of the 7th to
score a run. You’ve almost got to get two runners
on and you’ve got to bang a ball in the gap. I don’t
know how many balls you saw banged in the gaps
today, but it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot. So the
value of the run out here, whew, it’s crucial. So
hopefully we do a better job of stuffing on the
defensive side and minimizing the other team’s

Q. (No microphone)?
COACH MCDONNELL: Threw a guy out.
I think the hitter swung the bat. I can’t remember if
the runner was going because it was off a
left-handed pitcher. So I don’t know if it was a
hit-and-run. We just felt like it was an opportunity
to pitch out, and I don’t know if Gibby just moving
out and the hitter swinging maybe the bat went
through his sight line and he just didn’t catch the
ball. Watching it on replay, I’m sure Gibby will just
fess up to it.
But I think it was a hit-and-run, and I know
the batter swung, so maybe that bat line went
through his eye-level sight and he lost it for a

Q. Sutton, what was the team like after
the game? What was the message to the
team? How do you refocus and move forward?
SUTTON WHITING: Just let it go. It’s
over with, and we’ve got to bounce back. Come
with a good practice tomorrow and get back to
work and face a good team in Texas Monday. So
just got to get better and get ready.
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