Hoosiers Fall in Pitcher's Duel to Ohio State
March 20, 2009
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Blake Monar threw seven brilliant innings for the Indiana baseball team, but came out on the short end of a 2-0 loss to No. 30 Ohio State on Friday. Monar gave up just four hits and two walks, striking out six, but was bested by OSU's Alex Wimmers, who struck out 14 and allowed just five hits in a complete-game victory. The Buckeyes improved to 14-2 on the year, while the Hoosiers are now 7-13.
Monar and Wimmers went blow-for-blow for the first six innings, with neither willing to budge. Monar gave up a single and a walk in the first, and followed that by retiring the next 15 men in a row. Cory Kovanda drew a two-out walk in the sixth to end the string, but Monar struck out Michael Stephens swinging to end the threat.
On the other side, Wimmers retired the first 11 men of the game before a Josh Phegley single to left broke up the perfect game. He had allowed just one base runner through five frames when IU threatened in the sixth. Jake Dunning singled to start the rally, but Brian Lambert failed to get a bunt down and struck out to leave him at first with one away. T.C. Knipp then drilled a ball through the right side to put two on and one out for Indiana. But Wimmers stayed strong, striking out Jerrud Sabourin and Phegley to end the inning.
IU got another leadoff hit in the seventh on a single by Alex Dickerson. But after Kipp Schutz's bunt went for a fielder's choice to retire Dickerson at second, Vince Gonzalez bounced into a 6-4-3 double play to snuff out the rally.
OSU finally cracked the scoreboard in the seventh, as Dan Burkhart and Cory Rupert got consecutive one-out singles to put men at first and second with one down. Monar got the groundball he was looking for, but Lambert mishandled the potential double-play ball and Burkhart came around to score to make it 1-0 OSU. Michael Arp followed with an RBI single to make it 2-0 before Monar got a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning.
Wimmers got the Hoosiers in order in the eighth, but in the ninth IU got a leadoff single from Knipp to bring the tying run to the plate. But Sabourin and Phegley were both caught looking for the first two outs and Dickerson hit a sharp grounder to Rupert at short to end the contest. Wimmers allowed just five singles and did not walk a man in his second consecutive complete game. Monar allowed just four singles and Matt Carr allowed two in his inning of work in a game that featured no extra-base hits.
Knipp (2-for-4) was the lone Hoosier to tally multiple hits in the contest, while Burkhart (2-for-4) was the only Buckeye to hit safely twice. Monar was deft at forcing grounders in the game, allowing just two flyouts (both to Knipp in right) to his 13 groundouts.
Indiana will conclude its spring trip on Saturday when it takes on Central Connecticut State at 2:30 p.m. at Chain O' Lakes Field 1. Live audio and statistics for the game will be available on IUHoosiers.com.
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