A challenging season for Kyle Funkhouser who chose to play his senior year with the University of Louisville baseball team after being drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers last year.
The low point came during a 16-8 loss to Florida State in early April. Funkhouser gave up eight runs in two innings, including a grand slam home run in that game. It was his second loss in three games, things were looking grim.
The UofL righthander may have been having second thoughts about turning down a million-dollar-plus signing bonus. He had returned to UofL this season remembering some rough spots at the end of last season, knowing he needed to improve, wanting to get better.
Coach Dan McDonnell recognized what Funkhouser was going through, relieving some of the pressure on him by switching him from first to third in the starting pitcher rotation. Since then, Funkhouser has won four straight games to raise his won-lost record to 7-3 for the season.
Funkhouser was at his best Sunday on Senior Day, leaving the mound to the sounds of a standing ovation from the crowd of 3,341. Funkhouser was in total command, striking out eight batters allowing a good North Carolina State team only two hits in a 6-1 win for Louisville.
The win was the 33rd for Funkhouser in four seasons, making him the all-time winningest pitcher in Louisville baseball history. He also leads in strikeouts with a total of 359 of them.
Two other seniors coming through, including first baseman Danny Rosenbaum who was 2-for-4 at the plate and reliever Anthony Kidston, who struck out two batters in the ninth inning.
The game gave Louisville a clean sweep of the three-game series against the college baseball’s 10th-ranked team.
And Funkhouser is far from done.