Phegley Notches Five Hits in Heartbreaking Loss
April 5, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Josh Phegley matched a career high and the school record with a 5-for-5 game, but the Indiana baseball team lost a heartbreaker to Illinois, 8-7, on Saturday. The Fighting Illini (15-7, 4-1 Big Ten) scored four runs in the top of the ninth to score the come-from-behind victory over the Hoosiers (13-10, 2-3).
Phegley had two doubles and three singles, scoring two runs and driving in a pair in a losing effort. He raised his average to a conference-leading .453 in the victory. Kipp Schutz had a 3-for-5 day at the plate as well, scoring twice, while Anthony Agnew pitched five strong innings for Indiana.
The Illini took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the third on seven hits and a walk. The lone run for the Hoosiers scored in the bottom of the first, when Phegley crushed a first-pitch double off the top of the wall in left center to plate Evan Crawford.
In the bottom of the third, the Hoosiers struck for two more runs to trim the deficit to 4-3. All the damage was done with two out, as Phegley started things by grounding a single through the left side. Schutz followed with a single to center, and Jerrud Sabourin immediately followed by roping a ball right back through the box to score Phegley from third and make it 4-2. Michael Earley followed with a single through the left side to plate Schutz and cut the IU deficit to one.
Agnew took charge in the fourth, putting the first of five straight zeroes on the board for the Illini. Phegley led off the fifth with a double to left and promptly moved to third on a Schutz single. Sabourin delivered an RBI groundout to knot the game 4-4, and two batters later Chris Hervey delivered a clutch RBI double to left to plate Schutz and give IU its first lead of the ball game.
Indiana added insurance runs in both the sixth and the seventh to stretch the lead to 7-4. In the sixth, Phegley knocked home David Trager with a two-out single to plate one run, and Jerrud Sabourin came home on an error by Dominic Altobelli to make it a three-run Hoosier lead.
Meanwhile, Agnew was pitching brilliantly, as he allowed just three scattered hits and faced one over the minimum through his first four innings of work. In the eighth, the freshman allowed a one-out walk and a single, but rebounded to get consecutive flyouts to end the threat.
In the ninth, though, Agnew ran into some trouble. Entering his career-long sixth inning of work, Agnew saw the leadoff man scorch a single off his right foot that caromed to deep short for an infield hit. Kyle Hudson, who had four hits of his own on the day, followed with a double to left center that narrowly landed out of the reach of a streaking Andrew Means. Joe Bonnadonna then worked a walk to load the bases and chase Agnew from the game.
Jason Ferrell came on in a tough situation, with the bases full and none out in the inning. He got his first opponent to ground to first, but Sabourin misplayed the ball and two runs came home on the error. Altobelli then avenged his earlier error with a double to left that tied the game and put two in scoring position with nobody out. Daniel Webb then lofted a flyball to medium left field that Chris Hervey handled. The throw home was a strong one, but it came in just too late to get the runner and Illinois had an 8-7 lead. Ferrell then got out of the inning with another fly to left, as the runner from third was called out for leaving too early.
The Hoosiers and Illini will take part in a doubleheader on Sunday with two seven-inning games on tap. First pitch for game one is slated for 1 p.m. at Sembower Field. Live stats and audio will be available on IUHoosiers.com.
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