Late Rally Falls Short, Indiana Loses in 10

    Go Hoosiers! Sophomore right-hander Chris McCombs went six strong, allowing two runs on just four hits.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Sophomore right-hander Chris McCombs went six strong, allowing two runs on just four hits.
    Go Hoosiers!

    March 14, 2006

    Box Score

    BRADENTON, Fla. - Right-hander Chris McCombs turned in a gutty performance, but the Indiana baseball team could not overcome Bradley. The Hoosiers (2-8) dropped a 6-5, 10-inning contest to the Braves (5-6) at Academy Park on March 14.

    Making his second start of the season, McCombs held BU to just two runs on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts in six innings of work.

    IU also reached the 10-hit plateau for the fourth straight game, racking up 11 hits with the top three in the order each collecting two apiece. Junior second baseman Keith Haas (2-for-6, run), senior center fielder Reggie Watson (2-for-4, 3 runs, steal) and senior left fielder Jay Brant (2-for-5, RBI, run, steal) went a combined 6-for-15 with five runs, one RBI and two steals.

    Additionally, senior designated hitter Zach Boswell and sophomore first baseman Tad Reida each drove in a pair of runs.

    The Braves struck first with one in the second before the Hoosiers responded with a pair in the top of the third. Three straight singles to left by Haas, Watson and Brant loaded the bases against BU starter Collin Walker.

    A sacrifice fly from Boswell brought home Haas and moved Watson to third for Reida, who delivered a two-out single to left to score Watson for a 2-1 Hoosier advantage.

    Bradley tied things up behind a Ryan Eigsti sacrifice fly in the fourth, but Indiana recaptured the lead the next inning. Watson led off with a triple into left-center field, and Brant knocked him in with a double off the left-field wall. A Boswell groundout to second advanced Brant to third, and he crossed the plate to give IU a two-run advantage when Reida bounced out to short.



    The Hoosiers continued to put the pressure on the Braves in the sixth as freshman right fielder Andrew Means reached on an error and proceeded to steal second. Two batters later, Haas beat out a slow roller to third baseman Paul Rice and Means never stopped running. However, first baseman Jason Newburger threw a strike to Eigsti at the plate to cut down Means and keep it a 4-2 ballgame.

    McCombs rolled into the sixth, where the Braves put runners on first and third with two down. Facing his final batter of the contest, the Louisville native got Eigsti out in front of a curve ball, and he grounded out to junior third baseman Steve Head to end the threat.

    BU would not be denied in the seventh. After a one-out base on balls and a single, shortstop Dan Brewer launched a three-run homer over the left-field fence off reliever David Trager to push the Braves ahead 5-4 through seven.

    The Hoosiers loaded the bases with nobody out and came up empty in the eighth but rallied in the ninth. Watson kicked things off by reaching on an error and stealing second. After a strikeout, Boswell hit a high fly ball to left, just out of the grasp of left fielder Colby Luttrell to plate Watson and even the score at 5-5.

    Bradley loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth when freshman reliever Eric Wagner (0-2) took the mound and got Luxmore to fly out to Means to force extra frames.

    In the bottom of the tenth, the Braves again filled the bags and this time did not come up empty. Luttrell lifted a ball over the heads of a drawn in Watson and Brant to drive in Rice with the game-winner.

    Collin Brennan (1-0) pitched the final four innings and did not allow an earned run en route to his first victory of the season.

    The Hoosiers return to the diamond Wednesday afternoon, March 14, against Fairfield. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Academy Park.

    Game Notes
    -Sophomore Tad Reida made his first career start at first base.
    -Sophomore right-hander Chris McCombs tossed a career-high six innings.
    -Freshman outfielder Trevor McConnell saw his first playing time this season, pinch-running in the ninth.
    -Today marked Indiana's second extra-inning contest this season.
    -Freshman Eric Wagner made his first relief appearance of the season.
    -The Hoosiers have recorded at least 10 hits in each of their last four games.
    -IU's starting pitchers the last two games (senior Josh Lewis and McCombs) have allowed only three runs in 15 innings of work. The duo has limited opponents to 13 hits, two bases on balls and struck out 10 batters.


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