Monar Goes Full Nine in Leading IU to 6-2 Victory
April 10, 2009
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Blake Monar struck out a career-high nine batters in his first career complete game to lead the Indiana baseball team to a 6-2 win over Iowa on Friday night. Kipp Schutz had three hits, including a pivotal two-run single in the sixth, for the Hoosiers (14-17, 4-2 Big Ten), who are currently tied with Minnesota and Purdue for first place in the conference.
Monar improved to 4-2 with his stellar outing, improving as the game went on. The freshman struck out four men in the final 2 1/3 innings and got a crucial double play in the bottom of the ninth. Jerrud Sabourin knocked a pair of hits, driving in two runs and scoring two, while Josh Phegley and Tyler Rogers also tallied multi-hit performances. Nick Brown took a tough-luck loss for the Hawkeyes (11-18, 2-5), going 8 2/3 and allowing just eight hits in the defeat.
The Hawkeyes manufactured a run in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead. Justin Toole got aboard with a leadoff single and moved to second on a sac bunt by Kevin Hoef. Kurtis Muller then delivered a single through the right side to push Toole to third, and then a groundout by Wes Freie scored Toole to make it 1-0.
IU rebounded to tie the game in the top of the second. Schutz started the rally with a double down the right-field line with one out. Rogers came up next and sawed a pitch into center field to deliver Schutz to knot the game at 1-1 for his 15th RBI of the season.
Both Monar and Brown pitched very well over the next few innings, putting zeros on the scoreboard each frame until the sixth, though Monar worked his way out of a couple big jams in the fourth and fifth. The Hawkeyes got the first two runners aboard in the fourth, but IU turned a big double play on a shallow fly to right that saw Chris Hervey double Chett Zeise off second base. In the fifth, Iowa got two on with one down, but Monar retired Freie on a flyout to center and T.J. Cataldo on a groundout to second to get out of trouble.
In the sixth, IU broke the deadlock with a pair of runs on three hits. Sabourin led things off with a double to left and Phegley walked to put two men on with nobody out. Alex Dickerson then dropped down a sac bunt to put a pair of runners in scoring position with one down. After Jake Dunning popped out, Schutz delivered a huge hit with a single up the middle to plate a pair of runs and stretch the Indiana lead to 3-1.
Iowa scraped one run back in the bottom of the seventh. Monar saw three of the first four batters in the frame reach base to load the bases with one out for the cleanup hitter, Freie. The big righty hit a ball hard into the outfield, but Chris Hervey ran it down to keep the damage to a sac fly to make it 3-2. Monar then came up big to finish the frame, striking out Cataldo for the third time in the game to strand a pair of Hawkeyes.
In the top of the ninth, IU plated a little bit of insurance, scoring three runs on two hits and an error. Vince Gonzalez reached on a Zeise error with two down to end Brown's day on the mound, as Mike Schurz came on in relief. Schurz walked Hervey and then Sabourin grooved a 1-0 pitch to right center for a two-run triple that made it 5-2. He then came home on a wild pitch to push IU's lead to 6-2.
Indiana returns to action tomorrow against the Hawkeyes at 1:30 ct/2:30 ET. The contest will be televised live on the Big Ten Network, as will the Sunday finale between the teams. GameTracker and live audio for both games will also be available on IUHoosiers.com.
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