Expect the Louisville-Indiana clash in the opening round the NCAA Regional on Friday to feature two of the best pitchers in college baseball this season — IU’s Eric Arnett versus U of L’s Justin Marks.

Arnett, a junior righthander, has been named a National Pitcher of the Year finalist by the College Baseball Foundation. He has has a 12-1 record with a 2.58 ERA and 103 strikeouts so far this season. Other candidates are San Diego State’s Steven Strasburg, Arizona State’s Mike Leake, Kansas State’s A.J. Morris and Georgia Tech’s Deck McGuire

The fact that his name is not on the list will provide extra motivation for Marks. The U of L junior southpaw was Big East Pitcher of the Year, compiling a 10-2 record, 3.50 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 92.2 innings.

Neither Arnett or Marks participated in the two regular season games which Louisville won by scores of 15-1 and 10-8.

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IU won all four of its Big Ten tournament games decisively, outscoring the opposition 47-9 with at least 15 hits in every game while limiting opponents to a total of 26.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.