Hoosiers Smash Four Homers in Doubleheader Split
April 6, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana baseball team split a doubleheader with third-place Illinois (16-8, 5-2 Big Ten) on Sunday, taking the opener 8-1 but falling in the finale 7-4. Matt Bashore was outstanding in the first game, striking out eight and allowing just four hits in a complete-game win. IU (14-11, 3-4 Big Ten) slugged four homers in the two contests.
In the opener, Kipp Schutz and Chris Hervey went deep, but the offensive highlight of the game came in the bottom of the first inning. Andrew Means led off the game with a single, then stole second and advanced to third on a flyout by Josh Phegley. Then, with the count 1-0 on Schutz, Means raced to the plate, stealing home off right-hander Mike Stankiewicz to make it 1-0 Hoosiers.
On the very next pitch, Schutz made it 2-0 by launching a bomb over the right-field wall and into the IU Softball Field for his third homer of the year. The slugging continued in the second, as Hervey led off the inning by cranking a 1-0 pitch deep over the wall in left for his first longball of the year, making the score 3-0 in favor of the home team.
That was more than enough run support for Bashore, who allowed his only run of the game in the third. Leading Illinois hitter Kyle Hudson hit a one-out double that fell just inside the left-field line and then stole third. After Joe Bonadonna was hit by a pitch, Brandon Wikoff brought home Illinois' only run of the contest with a groundout to shortstop that trimmed the deficit to 3-1.
The Hoosiers turned it up in the bottom of the fifth, scoring two more runs in the frame. Evan Crawford led off with a double, and the sophomore stole third with Phegley at the plate. After Phegley was retired on strikes, Schutz walked and moved to second on a ball in the dirt to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Jerrud Sabourin then loaded the bases with a walk, and Michael Earley delivered a two-run single to stretch the lead to 5-1. Hervey looked to extend the inning, but his liner was stabbed by Wikoff at short, and Sabourin was doubled off second on a bang-bang play to end the inning.
IU added three more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Tyler Cox scored a run on a wild pitch, Means came around on a Phegley double and Schutz capped off the scoring with a run-scoring groundout to second.
On the other side, Bashore continued dealing, getting a pair of strikeouts in the top of the sixth and finishing off the game with a strikeout of Hudson to put the game in the books. He improved to 3-2 with the victory and lowered his team-leading ERA to 1.56. He also has a Big Ten-leading 49 strikeouts on the season in just 40 1/3 innings of work.
Game two went less the Hoosiers' way, as Illinois scored once in the first and twice in the second to take a 3-0 lead. The Hoosiers battled back to tie the score with a single run in the third and two in the fourth. IU got its first run without the benefit of a hit, as Illinois starter Scott Shaw walked the bases loaded with one out. Crawford then made a bid for extra bases, ripping a liner to left center, but Casey McMurray made a diving catch to retire Crawford, though Ethan Wilson came home on the sac fly.
In the fourth, IU broke up Shaw's no-hitter with a leadoff double by Schutz. Sabourin then followed by blasting a shot to right center and over the wall to tie the score at 3-3.
Reliever Jason Ferrell ran into trouble in his fourth inning of work, with the first two hitters reaching on singles. The Illini tried to bunt, but Ferrell got the man at third and then got a groundout to first to put two men out with a pair in scoring position. But Chris McCombs came on and delivered a wild pitch to score one run, then saw four straight hitters reach as U of I plated four runs to pull away at 7-3. Phegley added a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh to make it 7-4, but the Hoosiers got no closer in the Illinois triumph.
The two teams will square off again on Monday for the series finale. Eric Arnett is slated to be on the hill for the Hoosiers against Illinois' Aaron Martin. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. at Sembower Field.
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