On the eve of the opening day of the 2014 NCAA Baseball Championship, Louisville’s Nick Burdi, Kyle Funkhouser and Jeff Gardner were chosen as Louisville Slugger All-Americans by Collegiate Baseball newspaper on Thursday.
Burdi, a junior righty from Downers Grove, Ill., was named First Team All-America, while Funkhouser, a sophomore righty from Oak Forest, Ill., and Gardner, a senior outfielder from Louisville, Ky., were tabbed as Second Team All-Americans. Thursday’s honors marks the second time in school history three Cardinals have earned Louisville Slugger All-American honors matching the 2010 season when Neil Holland, Thomas Royse and Phil Wunderlich were Third Team selections.
A First Team All-American Conference selection, Burdi is 3-1 with 14 saves, a 0.56 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 26 relief appearances and 32.0 innings pitched this season. The hard-throwing closer is the Cardinals’ career saves leader with 30 entering this weekend’s NCAA Regional at Jim Patterson Stadium. Last season, Burdi earned All-American accolades from two additional organizations (Perfect Game, NCBWA).
A year after earning Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America honors, Funkhouser set a single season school record for wins going 12-2 with a 1.74 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 99.1 innings and 15 starts. A First Team All-American Conference selection, Funkhouser was even more dominant in his eight league starts going 7-1 with a 0.99 ERA and 58 strikeouts.
The 2014 American Conference Player of the Year, Gardner enters the NCAA Championship hitting .340 with nine home runs, 66 RBI, 19 doubles and a .572 slugging percentage in 58 starts. A three-time All-Conference selection, Gardner has a .328 career average with 23 home runs, 156 RBI and 52 doubles in 172 starts and 211 games played in four seasons with the Cardinals.
In head coach Dan McDonnell’s eight seasons leading the Louisville baseball program, 14 different players have earned All-American honors from various organizations.
The eighth-ranked Cardinals (45-15) begin the NCAA Louisville Regional on Friday against Kent State at 6 p.m., ET at Jim Patterson Stadium.
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