April 28, 2007
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Freshman Justin Marks retired the first 16 batters of the ball game and allowed just two baserunners in eight shutout innings to lead the University of Louisville to a 4-0 win over USF Saturday to even the weekend series at a game apiece. The deciding game of the series will be Sunday at 11:30 a.m. in Jim Patterson Stadium.
"He is cool, calm and collected and just doesn't let things effect him," said Head Coach Dan McDonnell of Marks.
"I know (pitching) coach Roger Williams has done just an outstanding job with him. Marks is just maturing as the year goes on."
The Cards (29-13, 12-5 BIG EAST) picked up all of the runs they needed in the first, taking a 1-0 lead when Isaiah Howes' fielder's choice plated Boomer Whiting. Whiting was hit by a pitch to open the frame, stole second and later swiped third base, his 91st career steal, setting a new U of L career record by surpassing Curtis Watson's mark of 90('83-86).
"It has been a lot of fun coaching Boomer Whiting. The sky is the limit with him, and to get him to break the record today with so much left in the season is a great feeling as a coach. He has the talent, ability and work ethic and he is fearless, and that is the combination you need to steal bases," McDonnell added.
With two out in the sixth, Chris Cates belted a double to right center and scored on a single by Whiting. Logan Johnson then walked, and a balk moved them both into scoring position for Daniel Burton who smoked a two-run single up the middle for the 4-0 lead.
Marks (5-1) gave up a one-out double to Brandin Daniel in the sixth to break up the perfect game and no-hitter, but retired the next two on groundouts. He did the same in the seventh after Dexter Butler's single with one away, and finished with a 1-2-3 eighth.
The lefty from Owensboro, Kentucky worked a career-long eight shutout innings, equaling his career-high with seven strikeouts in the win.
Senior Trystan Magnuson fanned one in a perfect ninth, as the Cards faced just two over the minimum on the afternoon.
USF starter Chris Delaney (8-1) took his first loss of the season, surrendering four runs on nine hits and three walks in 5.2 innings, striking out five. Yuri Higgins struck out three allowing a hit over the final 2.1 IP.
Whiting and Howes had two hits apiece for the Cards.
Cates played in his 213th career game, placing him second in school history. His 801 at bats is also second in school history and the senior shortstop is fourth in hits(28).
Howes ranks eighth in games played (202) and at bats (738), sixth in doubles, belting his 50th on the afternoon and fifth in triples (15).
Whiting has played in 198 games, good for ninth in school history, is ninth in runs (167) and second in HBP, getting plunked for the 36th time Saturday in addition to the steal records.