Heart Attack Hoosiers Seize Another Win Late
March 5, 2011
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Despite the lack of a Theatre major on the IU Baseball team, the Hoosiers know how to put on a dramatic show. For the second time this weekend and fourth of the young season, Indiana came away with the victory in a game which they were tied or trailing in the eighth inning or later. The Hoosiers (6-3) knocked in three eighth-inning runs Saturday at Tennessee (6-2) to secure the 6-3 winner.
It marks the sixth IU triumph in the last seven games, and the second of record for starting pitcher Blake Monar (2-0, 2.60 ERA). The Rockport, Ind., native worked the bump for 7.0 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits, five walks and four strikeouts.
Senior catcher Wes Wilson destroyed the Volunteers' pitching ace, lighting him up for three hits in three at-bats. Wilson then added on an RBI in his final swing against the UT bullpen. For the day, he posted a line of 3-for-4, 2 RBI, 1 R and five putouts in right field. Micah Johnson also racked up three hits against the Vols, in addition to an RBI and two runs scored.
Tennessee stuck first, taking advantage of a timely double steal in the bottom of the third. Following the double-bagger, a groundball was enough to push a man home from third base for the early 1-0 lead.
The UT edge was short-lived, however, when Dillon Dooney began a two-out rally the subsequent half inning with a double down the right field line. Following a four-pitch walk for Dustin DeMuth, Wilson pounded one through the left side. Dooney raced around third and finished off Wilson's RBI with a head-first dive by the catcher and tapping home plate with his right hand.
Just as quickly as IU tied it up, Tennessee regained their one-run advantage in the bottom half of the fourth. The Vols capitalized on another stolen base to go ahead 2-1.
The score remained 2-1 until the seventh when back-to-back Hoosier singles were followed by a walk to fill the pond with ducks. A wild pitch then allowed Johnson to sprint in from third and even things up at two runs apiece.
Drama continued to thicken after the seven-inning stretch. Indiana returned the favor of the wild pitch, walking in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh.
Trailing 3-2 entering the eighth, DeMuth unloaded a pitch into deep center field, landing on the warning track and bouncing off the wall for a triple to get things started. Wilson stepped in next and smoked a hard-hit ground ball to the shortstop, allowing DeMuth to sprint the final 90 feet to home. Wilson reached base thanks to a bobble by the defender.
It was déjà vu for UT center fielder Andrew Toles in the next at-bat. Johnson's rocket sent him sprinting backwards once again, unable to catch up with the poke by Johnson. Wilson came around all the way from first for Indiana's go-ahead run. Johnson's aggressive base-running paid off, getting to third on the throw home.
Matt Serfling checked in as a pinch hitter next, facing a drawn-in infield. The Bloomington, Ind., native choked up and took a short swing to drill an RBI-single past the second baseman and into right field.
Tennessee started to threaten in the bottom of the eighth, putting a man aboard and bringing the tying run to the plate. Jerrud Sabourin ended all doubt on the next play though, turning a ground ball to first into an inning-ending twin killing. He quickly stepped on the bag before turning and whizzing the ball to an awaiting Michael Basil at second, who laid down the tag on the advancing runner.
An Alex Dickeron sac fly in the ninth served as an unneeded insurance run. Matt Dearden shut the door in the bottom of the ninth to complete his two-inning save.
The Cream and Crimson conclude the Tennessee Baseball Classic on Sunday, taking on the Bradley Braves in a contest scheduled to begin at noon.
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