LOUISVILLE — Devin Hairston, a freshman out of Tates Creek High School, had four hits to lead Louisville to a 7-2 win over Morehead State in the first round of the Louisville Regional on Friday night.
Hairston, the No. 8 hitter who entered with a .186 batting average, had two singles, two doubles, scored twice and also had an RBI for the Cardinals (44-16), the tournament's No. 3 overall seed.
Louisville next faces Michigan in a winners' bracket game Saturday at 4 p.m. Morehead (38-21) falls into the losers' bracket and will play Bradley at noon.
Logan Taylor, a sophomore who starred at Lexington Catholic, added two RBI for Louisville and Corey Ray tripled, drove in a run and scored. Cards ace Kyle Funkhouser (8-5) shut down the high-powered offense of the Eagles, who came in leading Division I in five major offensive categories. The junior right-hander gave up two runs and six hits, walked one and struck out six in seven innings.
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Luke Humphreys (7-3) allowed five runs — three earned — and seven hits in six innings. Kane Sweeney hit a solo home run in the fourth and an RBI single in the sixth for Morehead State.
"I thought we pitched pretty well, but hurt ourselves defensively," Eagles Coach Mike McGuire said. "Our shortstop and left fielder committed errors to open innings and both led to runs."
Funkhouser escaped a no-out, bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning by coaxing three straight groundouts.
Former Lexington Christian star Lincoln Henzman pitched two shutout innings for his second save.
Trailing 5-2 and with a chance to close the gap in the seventh inning, the Eagles came up empty with the bases loaded and nobody out. Alex Stephens grounded to third, Clayton Meyer grounded back to Funkhouser and Braxton Morris grounded out to second to end the threat.
The Cardinals scored twice in the second, taking a 2-0 lead on Hairston's RBI double and Taylor's single that brought home Hairston. Louisville improved to 30-0 this season when it scores first.
Louisville, bidding for a third straight College World Series berth, drew 5,143 fans for its opener, fourth-highest in school history.
"Tonight was a great college baseball atmosphere," McGuire said. "It was a lot different than a mid-week game here."
Wolverines hurdle Braves
Kendall Patrick hit two two-run homers and had a career-high five RBI to lead Michigan to a 10-5 victory over Bradley in their opener.
Patrick finished 3-for-4, and Johnny Slater also had three hits for the third-seeded Wolverines (38-23).
Patrick, a senior catcher who batted ninth in the lineup, hit his first homer in Michigan's four-run second inning. He blasted his second in the ninth.
Right-hander Matt Ogden (5-1) allowed one earned run on five hits while walking two and striking out seven in 62⁄3 innings.
The Wolverines chased Braves ace Elliot Ashbeck (11-5) after only three innings. The right-hander allowed six earned runs on eight hits. Isaac Smith went 3-for-5 for second-seeded Bradley (35-20).