Hoosiers Sweep Doubleheader from PSU
April 18, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana baseball team earned a dramatic, 3-2 victory to finish off a doubleheader sweep of Penn State on Saturday to take the weekend series and improve to 8-3 in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers (18-18 overall) dominated from start to finish in game one, taking a 15-1 victory over the Nittany Lions (21-16, 5-6 Big Ten). Indiana is half a game behind first-place Ohio State in the conference standings.
Indiana got brilliant starting pitching from Matt Bashore in the finale and Chris Squires was stellar out of the bullpen for the Hoosiers as well. Bashore allowed two runs on six hits and a walk over his seven innings, while Squires picked up his third save of the year by allowing just one hit and striking out the side in the ninth inning. After a slow start to the season, Bashore has buckled down in conference play with a 2-0 record and just 17 hits allowed in 22 1/3 innings.
Josh Phegley and Alex Dickerson each had RBI singles in the win, while Brian Lambert delivered a crucial RBI triple for the Hoosiers. Lambert, Dickerson and Jerrud Sabourin each had two hits in the victory. Mike Lorentson picked up the loss after going five-plus innings and allowing 10 hits for the Nittany Lions. But the damage could have been worse, as reliever Scott Kelley got him out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the sixth with a strikeout and a double play. Kelley did not allow a hit and struck out three in his three innings of work.
In the opener, Eric Arnett delivered a strong 6 2/3 innings in collecting his eighth win of the year. The junior allowed five hits and three walks, striking out seven. IU's bullpen was also strong, with Joey O'Gara and Drew Leininger combining to strike out five and allow just one hit and one walk in 2 1/3. Arnett improved to 8-1 and lowered his ERA to 1.94 on the season.
The Hoosier offense was impressive as well, banging out 17 hits and 15 runs on the contest. Evan Crawford went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, two stolen bases and a career-best five RBI. Jake Dunning went 3-for-4 with two home runs and four runs driven in, while Tyler Rogers had three hits and scored three runs as well. Phegley reached base three times and scored in each instance for the Hoosiers.
The Hoosiers plated six runs in the first, two in the second and one each in the third and fourth to jump out to an early 10-1 lead. IU scored seven of its first eight runs with two outs, as Crawford delivered a pair of two-run hits - one in the first and one in the second - to buoy Indiana's offense. Reliever Paul Cianciolo came on to allow just four runs over his 5 1/3 innings, as he surrendered both of Dunning's home runs.
The Hoosier defense was strong throughout the day, particularly Dunning at shortstop. The junior college transfer made a pair of brilliant backhanded plays deep in the hole in game two and turned a strong double play in the first contest. Vince Gonzalez also made a pair of key defensive stops at third on the day. IU had just one error in the series to raise its fielding percentage in conference games to .977.
The 8-3 conference start is the best beginning to Big Ten play for Indiana since 2002. The Hoosiers have won each of the last three series and split the season-opening set with Minnesota (Sunday's contest against the Gophers was canceled due to rain). Indiana has now earned a split or better in each of the last eight Big Ten series, the longest streak of any team in the conference, and IU is 19-7 in its last 26 Big Ten outings.
The Hoosiers will now play host to a pair of midweek contests at Sembower Field, as Louisville and Indiana State come to town. The Cardinals will visit Bloomington for a 4 p.m. contest on Tuesday, while the Sycamores visit at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. GameTracker and live audio for both games will be available on IUHoosiers.com.
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