May 30, 2009

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Junior lefty Justin Marks allowed only four hits in seven innings to earn school record win No. 11 and lead the No. 12 ranked Louisville baseball team to an 8-2 win over Indiana in front of a school record crowd of 4,605 fans on Friday night at Jim Patterson Stadium in the NCAA Regional opener for both teams.

With the victory, the top-seeded Cardinals (45-15) advance to a winner's bracket contest with No. 2 seed Middle Tennessee, a 5-4 winner over Vanderbilt, on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET at Jim Patterson Stadium. No. 4-seeded Indiana (32-26) will face No. 3 seed Vanderbilt on Saturday at 3 p.m., in the first elimination game of the 2009 Louisville Regional. Tickets for Saturday's NCAA Regional games will go on sale at noon ET at Jim Patterson Stadium.

Hosting its first ever NCAA Regional, Louisville leaned on Marks and the Owensboro, Ky., native delivered again with his second career NCAA Regional win and his third NCAA Championship win overall. He allowed two earned runs on four singles with eight strikeouts to improve to 11-2 on the season. The 11 wins is a new Louisville single season record and the eight strikeouts takes his career total to 300 in three seasons. For his career, Marks is the Cards' career leader in wins with 29, ERA at 2.83 and strikeouts.

"Justin is such a competitor out there and we continue to see that every time he takes the mound," said Cards' head coach Dan McDonnell. "I don't think Justin had his best stuff tonight, but he really competed and made big pitches to get through a very good-hitting lineup."

At the plate, the Cardinals were led by sophomores Phil Wunderlich and Drew Haynes. Wunderlich, the Cards' leading hitter and a native of Chicago, was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, while Haynes, an outfielder from New Albany, Ind., was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.

Following a scoreless first inning, Indiana opened the scoring in Friday night's game with two runs on two hits in the second off of Marks. Leftfielder Kipp Schutz led off with a single to left field, moved to second as third baseman Vince Gonzalez was hit by a pitch and then advanced to third on a bunt sacrifice by centerfielder Brian Lambert. Schutz then scored on an RBI sacrifice fly to right field by second baseman Tyler Rogers for a 1-0 lead. Shortstop Jake Dunning then followed with an RBI single down the left field line to score Gonzalez for a 2-0 advantage.

The lead was short-lived for the Hoosiers as the host Cardinals bounced back for three runs on one hit and two key Indiana errors. Freshman outfielder Ryan Wright led off the inning with a walk from IU starter Eric Arnett and then moved to second as junior catcher Jeff Arnold reached on a fielding error by Gonzalez at third base. Senior shortstop John Dao then loaded the bases as Arnett misplayed his bunt sacrifice for the Hoosiers' second straight error.

Haynes then connected for an RBI single to left field to score Wright to cut the margin to 2-1. Sophomore outfielder Josh Richmond followed with an RBI sacrifice fly to right field to score Arnold, while junior second baseman Adam Duvall gave the Cards their first lead of the day with an RBI sacrifice fly down the right field line to score Dao for a 3-2 Louisville advantage.

After back-to-back scoreless innings from both squads, Louisville added to its lead in the fifth inning with two runs on one hit and another Indiana error. After the first two batters of the inning were retired, junior third baseman Chris Dominguez started the rally by using his speed to turn a hit up the middle into a double. After Indiana head coach Tracy Smith elected to intentionally walk Wunderlich, both Dominguez and Wunderlich scored as first baseman Jerrud Sabourin misplayed a pop-up off the bat of Wright to push the lead to 5-2.

Following scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh, Louisville put the game completely out of reach in the eighth with three runs on two hits. After Arnett was replaced on the mound by reliever Matt Carr to start the inning, Haynes picked up a one-out walk to start things for U of L. Carr was then replaced by Matt Igel, who gave up a double to center field by Richmond and then walked Duvall to load the bases. The Cardinals scored their first run of the inning as Haynes came home on a wild pitch by Igel to push the margin to 6-2. After Dominguez was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs, Wunderlich delivered a two-run single to center to score Richmond and Duvall for the final margin.

On the mound for the Cardinals, Marks was followed by senior lefty Gavin Logsdon, who pitched a scoreless eighth inning in his 99th career appearance on the mound, which is No. 1 at Louisville. Sophomore righty Gabriel Shaw then pitched a scoreless ninth inning to finish off the Hoosiers. Arnett took the loss after allowing five runs, only one earned, on five hits with six strikeouts to fall to 12-2 on the season.