Hoosiers Finish Off Series Split with Gophers
March 30, 2008
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Behind a five-run ninth inning the Indiana baseball team took an 8-7 nailbiter from Minnesota to earn a series split with the host Golden Gophers. Kipp Schutz had three hits including a crucial two-run double in the ninth and drove in three runs in the game.
The Hoosiers led 3-1 heading to the bottom of the eighth, but a two-out, two-run single by Kyle Knudson tied the score heading to the ninth. That's when the Hoosier bats exploded against Minnesota closer Scott Matyas. After David Trager was retired, Andrew Means started things with a single to right, and walks by Evan Crawford and Josh Phegley loaded the bases with one down.
Schutz then came to the plate and launched the first pitch he saw into deep left center to score both Means and Crawford to push IU ahead 5-3. The Gophers intentionally walked Michael Earley to load the bases once again, and Jerrud Sabourin following by singling to right to bring home Phegley. Chris Hervey followed with a bases-loaded walk to bring the seventh run of the game home, and Ethan Wilson capped off the scoring with a sac fly that brought home Earley and put Indiana up 8-3.
The Gophers returned the favor by getting to Hoosier stopper Chris Squires in the bottom of the inning. A walk and a single put two runners on before Squires got his first out of the inning. Consecutive singles by Eric Decker and Nate Hanson plated a pair of runs to make it 8-5, and a sac fly by Derek McCallum drew the score to 8-6 and brought the tying run to the plate. Next came a single up the middle by Mike Kvasnicka to bring the Gophers within one at 8-7.
Hoosier skipper Tracy Smith then went to the bullpen and brought Chris McCombs in to try to finish off the Gophers. Knudson came to the plate once again and hit a hard shot toward shortstop. Tyler Cox gloved the ball on the short hop and wheeled to make a perfect throw to end the game and give McCombs his second save of the year. Squires picked up the win to go to 1-0.
The wildness at the close of the game nearly took away from what was an excellent pitcher's duel in the early going. Eric Arnett allowed just one run on three hits through the first seven innings of work, walking just three and striking out six. On the other side, the Hoosiers got a number of hits but were able to push just three runs across.
Down 1-0, IU came to bat in the third with Wilson leading off the inning. The freshman ripped a double to left center and moved up on a Trager sacrifice. Means brought home the Pendleton, Ind., native with a single through the right side. After Means stole second, Crawford delivered an infield single to put runners at the corners. Phegley gave IU its first lead with a sac fly and Schutz extended the lead with a double to make it 3-1 Hoosiers.
Indiana had strong opportunities in the sixth and seventh but failed to score. Earley was at second with two outs in the sixth when Hervey singled to left, but the sophomore transfer was gunned down at the plate to end the inning. Indiana loaded the bases with nobody out in the seventh, but Matyas came on and got a strikeout and two flyouts to prevent the Hoosiers from cracking the scoreboard.
Means added a three-hit day of his own, going 3-for-5 and scoring twice in the win. Crawford, Wilson and Hervey each had a pair of hits for IU with Crawford scoring twice.
Indiana is back in action on Wednesday at 3 p.m. when the Hoosiers play host to Miami University at Sembower Field. Live audio and GameTracker will be available through IUHoosiers.com.
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