Hoosiers Play With Fire Again, Get Burned in 5-4 Defeat
March 17, 2011
LAKELAND, Fla. - Indiana Baseball's winning streak was snapped at four games, falling in extra innings to the Bucknell Bison (8-8) on Thursday, 5-4. It marked the third consecutive 10-inning contest for the Hoosiers, winning the first two over Jacksonville State and UMass. Indiana (11-6) is set to play two more games before returning to Bloomington.
Freshman lefty Tyler Thicke made the first start of his collegiate career and pitched superbly, going five scoreless innings with just one hit given up. Casey Smith relieved him in the sixth and rolled through the next three innings, striking out five batters along the wayß. Thicke and Smith combined for eight innings of one-hit baseball before the wheels came off in the ninth as Bucknell plated four runs to take a 4-3 lead.
Though Indiana was able to match in the bottom half of the ninth and force extra innings once again, a solo shot by Bucknell's lead-off hitter in the 10th proved to be the difference for the Bison.
Missed opportunities were the name of the game early on for the Cream and Crimson. The Bucknell pitching staff awarded eight free passes (seven BB, one HBP) in the first two innings, but Indiana push across only two runs.
Despite the cold bats, the Hoosiers still carried a 3-0 advantage with just three outs to play. After the four-sport for Bucknell in the top of the ninth, Mr. Clutch T.C. Knipp did it again with a double down the right field line. He advanced to third on a fly ball by Alex Dickerson. Two batters later, Micah Johnson clubbed a high chopper which caromed off the glove of a leaping second baseman for the infield single and brought in the game-extending run.
Bucknell entered the game as one of the most powerful teams in the country with 20 homeruns. Long-ball number 21 came in the 10th off the bat of Gerry Runyan for Bucknells' first lead of the day.
The Hoosiers threatened in the bottom half of the inning, putting a runner on third base and just 90 feet from home. With two outs, Dustin DeMuth hit a ball hard, but lined directly to the second baseman for the game.
Friday's game pits the Hoosiers against Army in a 3 pm showdown. Indiana then completes the eight-games-in-eight-days stretch with another 3 pm game on Saturday versus Dartmouth. Jeremy Gray can be heard calling both games on the IUHoosiers.com live audio broadcast. Unfortunately, the baseball stat computer couldn't withstand the scorching Central Florida heat and is out of commission due to a fried monitor, eliminating the GameTracker live stats capabilities.
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