Hoosiers Bested by Fresno State, 6-2
March 8, 2008
FRESNO, Calif. - Matt Bashore had another strong start for the Indiana baseball team, but found himself on the losing end of a 6-2 decision against Fresno State. The Hoosiers (3-4) and Bulldogs (4-6) will do battle again on Sunday in the final game of the two-game series.
The game was billed as a pitching duel as IU took on one of the top junior starters in the nation in Tanner Scheppers, and the game lived up to its expectations. Through the first three and a half innings, the two squads were deadlocked at 0-0 and Bashore had not allowed a hit in his first three innings.
Then in the third, the Bulldogs finally scratched a hit off the sophomore lefty with a single up the middle by Alan Ahmady and Steve Detwiler drew a walk with one out. That brought up Tommy Mendonca, who hit an 0-1 pitch high in the air to center that got some help from the wind and just cleared the wall to give the home squad a quick 3-0 lead.
IU came right back, though, with a run in the top of the fifth. Tyler Rogers started things with a bouncing single through the left side and Ethan Wilson followed with a roped single to center. Andrew Means then dropped down a bunt toward third, and beat it out to load the bases with nobody out against Scheppers. After an Evan Crawford strikeout, a wild pitch brought a run in and moved the others up 90 feet. Josh Phegley followed with a walk, but a Kipp Schutz flyout to shallow center and a Chris Hervey fielder's choice left three men on and the Hoosiers down 3-1.
Fresno State added an unearned run on just one hit in the fifth as well to extend their lead to 4-1, but Bashore fought back to retired the side in order in the sixth and not allow a run after a pair of errors in the seventh. IU's ace ended the game with five hits and three walks allowed over seven innings, striking out six in the process.
Fresno State extended their lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the eighth on a two-run shot by Mendonca, but Indiana rallied in the top of the ninth to move to the brink of a tie game. Means led off the inning by reaching on a strikeout and a wild pitch, and advanced on a stolen base. After a strikeout by Tyler Cox, Phegley reached on a walk to give the Hoosiers runners at the corners with one out. Then Schutz hit a single through the right side to bring home Means and trim the deficit to 6-2.
Hervey then came to the plate and drew a walk, leaving the pressure on the shoulders of Jerrud Sabourin. The freshman represented the tying run with one out and the bases loaded, and on the first pitch, he smoked a grounder to second. The Bulldogs got one out at second and were awarded the double play when Hervey was called for interference to end the ball game.
Michael Earley had a strong day at the plate for the Hoosiers, going 2-for-3 with his only out a long flyball that was caught just in front of the 400-foot mark in dead-centerfield. Bashore improved his conference-leading strikeout total to 20 in the loss.
The Hoosiers and Bulldogs are slated to play 1:05 p.m. PDT on Sunday. Live audio and GameTracker will be available for the contest on IUHoosiers.com.
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