Phegley Powers Hoosiers Past No. 26 Illinois
April 3, 2009
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Josh Phegley went 3-for-4 with two home runs and five RBI in a 14-4 win over No. 26 Illinois on Friday night. Blake Monar struck out a career-high seven in seven innings of work to pick up the win, as IU (11-15, 2-1 Big Ten) extended its winning streak to four games and snapped a five-game win streak for the Illini (17-6, 3-1).
In addition to Phegley's day, which included four runs scored, Jerrud Sabourin, Alex Dickerson, Michael Earley and Tyler Rogers each had two hits. Rogers scored three runs in the victory, while Earley and Dickerson each had two RBI.
Monar allowed nine hits and two walks in his seven innings to improve to 3-2. He allowed three runs - two in the first and one in the third - to pick up the win. Chris Squires pitched the final two innings for Indiana.
The Hoosier batsmen roughed up Illinois ace Phil Haig (3-1) to the tune of seven hits, three walks and seven runs in three innings. Lee Zerrusen pitched the final six innings, surrendering seven runs of his own, including both of Phegley's homers.
Indiana scored solo runs in both the first and the second, with Phegley scoring on a Casey McMurray error in the opening inning and Rogers coming home on an Evan Crawford sac fly. In between, the Illini scored a pair of runs in the first off Monar, as a pair of U of I doubles sent the game to the third inning tied at two.
That's when the Hoosiers exploded for five runs on five hits, sending 10 men to the plate in the frame. Chris Hervey and Sabourin walked back-to-back to start the third, and Phegley delivered one run with a line-drive double into left field. Dickerson followed with an RBI groundout to score Sabourin and move Phegley to third. After Jake Dunning bounced out to pitcher, the Hoosiers kept the rally going with two outs.
Earley started things with a sinking liner to center that got by the diving Dominic Altobelli in center for a triple that upped IU's lead to 5-2. Rogers followed with a looping single to right that plated Earley to add another run, and then Crawford singled to center to put runners at the corners. Indiana sent Crawford in motion, and on the throw down, Rogers scampered home on the double steal to push IU's lead to five.
After the Illini got a run back in the bottom of the third, the Hoosiers tacked on a pair more in the top of the fourth. Phegley greeted reliever Lee Zerrusen by crushing a 1-0 pitch over the scoreboard in left for his seventh home run of the season. Later in the inning, Dunning was hit by a pitch with two down and moved to second on a wild pitch. Earley delivered his second RBI of the game with a single to left to make it 9-2.
Indiana added two more insurance runs in the seventh on a pair of hits. Rogers was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and promptly swiped second. A flyout to center by Crawford moved Rogers to third, and Vince Gonzalez was plunked to put runners at the corners with one down. After Chris Hervey delivered a sac fly for the first run, Jerrud Sabourin doubled down the right-field line to move Gonzalez to third. The Illini walked Phegley and Dickerson followed with an infield single to plate the game's 11th run.
On the other side, Monar was cruising, striking out the side in the fourth and stranding a pair of runners in the fifth. With his pitch count elevating, Monar got more economical in the sixth and seventh. He turned in an eight-pitch sixth and just a 14-pitch seventh, despite surrendering a pair of base hits, to finish his day. Squires then came on and allowed one run on three hits in the final two innings.
In the top of the ninth, Phegley put the finishing touches on his brilliant day at the plate. Hervey started it with a one-out single and Sabourin followed with a double into the corner in right. Phegley then sent a 2-2 pitch sailing deep into the night sky and over the scoreboard for his third career multi-homer game and second straight two-homer contest against the Illini.
The two teams will finish off their series tomorrow at Illinois Field with a doubleheader slated to start at noon CT (1 p.m. ET). The squads elected to revamp the schedule with rain impending on Sunday in the Champaign area. Live audio and statistics for both games will be available on IUHoosiers.com.
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