Monar Out-Duels Hippen as IU Prevails, 2-1
April 16, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa - A masterful performance by Blake Monar on the mound led Indiana to a 2-1 win over Iowa in the series opener on Saturday afternoon. Monar went the distance, allowing just one run on six hits and a walk while fanning eight Hawkeyes in the process. The Hoosiers improve to 22-11 overall and 5-2 in Big Ten play, just a half game back of the conference-leading Michigan State Spartans (22-9, 6-2 Big Ten).
Indiana needed all 27 outs of Monar's nine-inning shift as Iowa's Jarred Hippen was dealing as well. Both pitchers tossed complete games, combining for just two walks and three runs.
Head Coach Tracy Smith moved Michael Basil up into the five-hole of the batting order for the first time this season, and the shortstop produced a game-winning hit in the sixth inning. Wes Wilson, Micah Johnson and Justin Cureton all recorded a pair of hits. Cureton also connected on a sacrifice fly for Indiana's first run of the ball game.
Iowa (12-19, 2-5) scored first, pushing one across in the bottom of the third. With two outs and a runner on first, Trevor Willis sent one into the gap. As the runner rounded third base, he looked to be dead meat at the plate, but a poorly executed relay play allowed the Hawkeyes to go ahead, 1-0.
Basil opened the fifth by drawing a walk. Sabourin followed with a single through the left side before T.C. Knipp was plunked to load the bases with no outs. A Cureton sacrifice fly into deep center would tie the score at 1-1, but that was all the Hoosiers could muster from the prime scoring opportunity.
Back-to-back-back singles by Alex Dickerson, Micah Johnson and Basil gave IU a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning. Basil completed the run-scoring trio of hits with a flared shot into right field for what would prove to be the game-winner.
Indiana closer Ryan Halstead went to the bullpen and warmed up in the top of the ninth. His services were not needed though as Monar cruised through the final frame to conclude his 124-pitch effort.
The Hoosiers and Hawkeyes get back at it on Sunday for a double dip starting at 1 pm EST. Game three of the series (game two of the doubleheader) will start approximately 30 minutes after the end of the first contest.
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