March 9, 2010
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Freshman Micah Johnson drilled two home runs and the Indiana baseball team got five strong innings out of fellow freshman Casey Smith, but No. 10 Louisville rallied for a 9-7 victory on Tuesday at Patterson Stadium. Phil Wunderlich hit two home runs in the game - the second to tie the score at 7-7 - and the Cardinals (12-0) plated four runs in the bottom of the eighth to come from behind in the win.
Smith surrendered two hits in five innings in his first career start, striking out two in a no-decision. Jerrud Sabourin, Alex Dickerson and Michael Basil had two hits apiece for the Hoosiers (4-7) as well. Mike McKinley was carded with the loss in two innings out of the bullpen, while Gabriel Shaw picked up the win for the Cardinals in his two innings of work.
Smith pitched a perfect first three innings, but surrendered a hit batsman to lead off the bottom of the fourth. He retired the next two men in succession, but Wunderlich hit a towering flyball that carried over the wall in right center for his fifth homer of the year. Smith rebounded to get Jeff Arnold on a popout to end the inning.
In the top of the fifth, the Hoosiers gained the lead with three runs off starter Justin Amlung. Basil started the momentum with a line-drive double to left and Jerry Kleman followed with an RBI double to center to score Basil and make it 2-1. Johnson came up next and lifted an 0-1 pitch high to left field and over the wall for his first career home run. The Hoosiers added two more hits in the frame, but left runners stranded at the corners to end the inning.
The Hoosiers tacked on three more runs on Johnson's second longball of the game. After Trace Knoblauch
and Kleman walked, Johnson came up with two down and lifted a high fly ball to left center that carried over the wall for his second homer in as many at-bats to make the score 6-2 Hoosiers. He became the first Hoosier since Josh Phegley
(against Evansville, 5/12/09) to hit two home runs in a game.
Louisville rebounded with three runs in the bottom of the frame off reliever Jonny Hoffman. McKinley came on in relief after two runs came in, and surrendered a sac fly to make the score 6-5. The Naperville, Ill., native then got a strikeout and a groundout to end the frame with the Hoosiers still up by a run.
IU got an insurance run in the top of the eighth on a double by Josh Lyon and a Basil single to make it 7-5. But Louisville got a two-run homer from Wunderlich and later on Cade Stallings and J.J. Ethel followed with run-scoring singles to give the home squad a lead it would not relinquish. The Hoosiers got two runners on against Neil Holland in the ninth, but the closer finished the game off with a strikeout to send the Cardinals off victorious.
The Hoosiers return to action on Saturday, when they kick off their annual Spring Trip with a game against Bowling Green. First pitch is slated for 9:30 a.m. in Auburndale, Fla. Live stats and audio will be available at IUHoosiers.com.