By Sam Draut–
Seventh-ranked Louisville baseball fell to ninth-ranked Virginia on Friday 6-3 in the first of a three-game series at Patterson Stadium. Virginia hit two three-run home runs and the Cardinal offense was held in check by Virginia starting pitcher Conner Jones.
Gutsy start– Jones kept the Louisville lineup relatively quiet throughout the night. Jones pitched 7 1/3 innings, holding the Cardinals to five hits and three runs (two earned) while striking out four hitters. He threw 112 pitches and thirteen of his 22 outs were on the ground.
Ace struggles– Louisville’s ace and Friday starter Kyle Funkhouser didn’t appear to have his best stuff against a tough Virginia lineup. The 6-foot-3 senior pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits and five earned runs on 98 pitches. He had four walks and five strikeouts.
Nubs to thuds-After two infield hits in the third inning, Virginia catcher Thaiss hit a home run to deep right-center-field to give the Cavaliers a 3-1 run.
Lefty relief– Adam Wolf replaced Funkhouser in the top of the 7th inning and inherited runners on first and second. The left-handed relief pitcher got Thaiss to fly-out for the second out of the inning, but then gave up a three-run home run to Pavin Smith. The Virginia first baseman drilled the ball deep to right field and gave the Cavaliers a 6-2 lead.
Gapper– Corey Ray drilled a shot in the left-center-field gap in the fifth inning, closing the deficit to one run as Logan Taylor raced around from first base. In the 7th inning, Ray drove in his third run when he grounded out to second base and Taylor scored.
Bloop– Devin Hairston drove in Brendan McKay, who reached base on a leadoff walk, with a bloop single to shallow right field in the second inning, giving Louisville a 1-0 lead.
Hands– On a bunt attempt in the first inning, Cardinal second baseman Nick Solak was hit in the hand and left the game. The junior went to the hospital to receive X-rays on his right hand, the X-rays were negative and he will be day-to-day. Solak was replaced by Devin Mann.
This story will be updated.
Photo by Wade Morgen / The Louisville Cardinal