Hoosiers Shut Down Hawks in 4-2 Victory
March 25, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - For the first time this season the Indiana baseball team has posted back-to-back victories following a 4-2 win over Hartford at Sembower Field on March 25. Winning their second home game of the season in as many attempts, the Hoosiers improved to 6-10, while the Hawks dropped to 1-15.
"We are trying to get some positive things going," Indiana head coach Tracy Smith said. "We played pretty well and ended up on the losing side of games before. The ironic thing about baseball is we didn't play particularly well today, and we still got the win. A win is a win and we are happy with that, but we have to play more solid baseball as we get into Big Ten play."
With a strong wind blowing in from left field, the pitchers had the advantage early on. Hoosier starter Clint Crosier held Hartford to one run on just three hits in his 5 1/3 innings. The southpaw is now 2-0 on the season, winning the first two starts of his career.
Meanwhile, the Hoosiers had trouble breaking through against Hawks starter Adam Flaherty (0-3), stranding six runners in the first four innings. However, Indiana got on the board first with a run in the bottom of the second. Right fielder Cameron Satterwhite led off with an infield hit to short, his first career hit in his first collegiate start, and advanced to second on shortstop David Trager's sacrifice bunt.
Satterwhite reached third on catcher Jon Fixler's single to left. After left fielder Jay Brant was hit by a pitch to load the bases, center fielder Reggie Watson singled to right to drive in the Hoosiers' first run.
The Hawks answered with a run of their own in the third. Crosier had retired seven of the first eight batters he faced before allowing a one-out double to center fielder Bryan Propst. Two batters later, an RBI single by right fielder Erik Price tied the score at 1-1.
Hartford threatened to take the lead in the fifth when a single, hits batsman and an error loaded the bases with nobody out, but Crosier stood tall and shut the door on the Hawks' rally. He struck out designated hitter Frank Cipolla and Price before catcher Ryan Crowley popped out to first to end the inning.
The Hoosiers responded in the home half of the frame to reclaim their advantage. A double by Brant and a single by Watson put runners at second and third for designated hitter Zach Boswell. Boswell capitalized by driving a sharp two-run single down the first-base line, moving IU in front, 3-1.
"The whole at-bat coach told me to get something I could pull because there were guys at second and third," Boswell said. "It worked out that I got a pitch I could pull. I just made sure I got out in front of the pitch, so I could pull it."
In the sixth, the Hawks came back with a solo tally. Left-hander Joe Vicini came on in relief of Crosier with runners on first and second. Following a double steal, a sacrifice fly by first baseman David Grossman pulled the Hawks within one, but Vicini struck out Propst with a runner at third to preserve a 3-2 Indiana lead.
The Hoosiers got some insurance in the sixth inning. Andrew Means entered the game as a pinch-runner for Satterwhite, who led off the inning with a single. Means, also a wide receiver on the football team, arrived at the park moments prior to entering the game after attending the football team's first full day in pads at spring practice. He went on to steal second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on Fixler's squeeze bunt. Means also singled and stole second in the eighth, making him a perfect 9-for-9 in steal attempts this season.
"I just got out of football practice, and I called my dad to see how the baseball game was going. He told me it was in the fifth inning and to get my butt over there," Means said.
The 4-2 lead was enough for Vicini, who shut down the Hawks the rest of the way to secure his second career save. Vicini threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one hit with no walks and a career-high six strikeouts. The freshman sat down 11 of the 12 batters he faced and lowered his team-leading ERA to 1.04.
Offensively, Boswell finished the contest 2-for-4 with two RBI, while Watson went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 10 games and added an RBI and run. Satterwhite picked up two hits in three at-bats in his first game as a Hoosier.
Indiana will conclude its three-game series with Hartford on Sunday. First pitch at Sembower Field is set for noon.
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