Seems like wins should come easier for the No. 2 team in the country. But each game appears to be equally challenging for the University of Louisville baseball team, the Cardinals hanging on for a 4-3 win Thursday over North Carolina State.
That’s obviously not going to be the case. Teams are bringing their A-games against UofL.
Another tension-packed, three-and-a-half hours, the normal life expectancy of most UofL games over the past two weeks. Made possible by six or seven pitching changes, lots of bases on balls, hits and base runners, prolonging the drama, often until the very last pitch.
The numbers keep adding up for UofL. 41 wins, 13 losses, 24-4 in conference play. One win away from establishing an all-time ACC record. The win ended a nine-game winning streak for NC State.
While it was the last thing on his mind, Dan McDonnell claimed his 400 win since taking over the helm at Louisville in 2007, taking the program on an incredible journey that continues today.
UofL has won 125 straight games when it has the lead going into the ninth inning. Zach Burdi would keep the streak alive, striking out three batters while allowing only one hit. Keeping up the family tradition started by his brother Nick, chalking up his ninth save of the season.
Kyle Funkhouser badly needed to improve after last week’s showing against Florida State. He was better, notching his seventh win against four losses, but NC State was putting a lot of runners on base, with seven hits and four bases on balls.
Logan Taylor delivered the winning run, with a double to left field that sent Zach Lucas home from third base. Lucas had walked, advanced to second base on a passed ball, and made it to their on a grounder by Will Smith.
Set aside up to four hours Friday for more of the same in the second game at 6:30 p.m.