Louisville has been ranked among the nation's elite all season and for most of their outings the Cardinals have performed like a team destined for a lengthy post-season run. At 38-10 on the season, Dan McDonnell's team has appeared like a squad prepared to make the prognosticator's preseason choice of Louisville reaching the College World Series look absolutely spot on.
However, despite the impressive numbers, which includes nine players with at least 18 starts hitting .318 or better, one concern has followed Louisville throughout the 2016 campaign. Entering the weekend series at No. 17 North Carolina, the Cardinals had yet to win a road series. Eight of the team's nine loses prior to the weekend's three-game set in Chapel Hill had come on the road. Ole Miss, Miami and Florida State - each among the nation's top seven in RPI - along with improving Boston College, all claimed series victories over the Cardinals.
After splitting the first two games of the weekend with UNC, No. 5 Louisville was on the verge of losing its fifth consecutive road trip of the season. Despite falling behind 2-0 after two innings, the Cardinals kept their composure and plated ten runs on way to a 10-6 victory and its first road series of the season.
Corey Ray and Logan Taylor both connected for three hits apiece, with Ray, along with Will Smith each driving in three runs. Brendan McKay, Colin Lyman and Drew Ellis all enjoyed two-hit afternoons. Ellis hit his first career home run, a solo shot in third inning that plated U of L's first run. Sophomore Devin Hairston hit his first triple of the season.
Kyle Funkhouser picked up the win, improving to 6-3 on the season, after pitching six innings. The Cardinals senior allowed four runs on nine hits, while striking out six.
Up next for the Cardinals is a Tuesday evening visit at No.6 Vanderbilt.