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Cards sweep doubleheader, close regular season today

Cardinal aces Justin Marks and Zack Pitts put forth a pair of monster efforts as the Louisville baseball team swept a doubleheader with visiting Rutgers on Friday.

Marks (7-1, 2.08 ERA) was nearly unhittable once again in the series opener, striking out eight and allowing just two hits and one run over eight innings. The sophomore hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in a start since surrendering four in a loss to St. John's on April 5.

Rutgers struck first in the top of the sixth, scratching out their only two hits and pushing the first run of the game across home. Louisville answered in the home half of the inning, as a Justin McClanahan double, a Chris Dominguez RBI single, and a two-run home bomb from Stewart Ijames put the Cards on top 3-1.

That was all the help Marks needed, as he and closer B.J. Rosenberg combined to face the minimum over the game's final three innings.

It was the reigning Big East Pitcher of the Year's turn in the nightcap, as Pitts (6-5, 4.50 ERA) surrendered just four hits and two runs over seven innings on the way to picking up his sixth win of the year.

A bases loaded double by Phil Wunderlich in the fourth drove in three runs, and proved to be the difference in the game. Amazingly, Louisville finished the night with twice as many runs (4) as hits (2).

Rosenberg again came on in the ninth and picked up his eighth save, the sixth-highest single season total in U of L history.

Louisville's two wins moved it a half game ahead of fifth-place Seton Hall, and within a half game of third-place Notre Dame. Both teams have two league games remaining.

The Cards will close out the regular season against the Scarlet Knights today at noon. Seniors Derrick Alfonso, James Belanger, Greg Del George, Justin McClanahan, Zack Pitts and B.J. Rosenberg will be honored before the game.

If Louisville completes the sweep, it will finish the regular season at 38-18, the exact same record the '07 Cards finished with. That team went 2-2 in the Big East Tournament, and went into the NCAA Tournament at 40-20...and then won some more games from there.