Hoosier Rally Comes Up Short in Series Finale
April 20, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Indiana baseball team rallied to bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning, but came up just short in an 11-9 loss to Penn State on Sunday. IU scored three in the eighth and four in the ninth only to fall short of the Nittany Lions, who improved to 8-8 in the Big Ten with the victory.
Michael Earley went 3-for-3 after coming on as a pinch-hitter, and Andrew Means, Josh Phegley and Chris Hervey each had a pair of hits in the ballgame. Hervey extended his hitting streak to 15 games with hits in the eighth and ninth innings.
IU scored three times in the top of the eighth to cut into an 11-2 deficit. After a leadoff walk from David Trager, Phegley lofted a bloop single to left. Kipp Schutz reached on a fielder's choice after Trager was tagged out at third, and then Hervey delivered an RBI single to right field to score Schutz for the first run of the inning. Two batters later, Earley delivered an RBI single to right and then Ethan Wilson beat out an infield single to short to each bring home a run and make it 11-5.
In the ninth, the first three hitters reached courtesy two hits and an error - scoring one run - and Schutz followed with a sac fly to plate another tally. Hervey then ripped a double down the left-field line and Jerrud Sabourin added an RBI groundout to make it 11-8. Earley followed with a double to left center to plate the ninth run, but Wilson - the tying run - grounded to short to finish off the contest.
The Nittany Lions struck with a run in the first inning using leadoff man Wes Borden's speed to their advantage. Borden led off the game with a single up the middle, and he stole second on a 1-2 pitch to move up 90 feet. Landon Nakata and Joe Blackburn followed with consecutive groundouts to bring home the run and give PSU a 1-0 lead.
Penn State made it 3-0 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. Cory Wine was hit by a pitch to begin the inning and then Rick Marlin dropped down a bunt. Chris McCombs jumped off the mound and came up with it quickly, but his throw to second pulled Tyler Cox off the bag and Wine was safe at second. Both runners then moved up 90 feet on a pitch that got away from Phegley, and they then came around to score on Ryan Boonie's two run single to make it 3-0.
IU got back in the game with a pair of runs in the top of the third. Wilson was hit by a pitch to lead things off and Cox followed with a walk. Means then dropped down a bunt and beat the throw to first for a single that loaded the bases with nobody out. Evan Crawford brought one run home on a sac fly to make it 3-1, and then Phegley hit a deep fly ball on the first pitch he saw, but it was caught just in front of the fence in left for the second out of the inning. Schutz added an RBI single with two down, but that was all the Hoosiers could manage as the score moved to 3-2.
In the third, the Nittany Lions scored three more times on two hits, the big blow being a two-run single by Marlin, to make it 6-2. PSU continued their offensive in the fourth, plating a single run, and then the Nittany Lions came through with four in the bottom of the fifth to break the game wide open at 11-2.
The Hoosiers are back in action on Wednesday against Indiana State at Sembower Field. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. in Bloomington. Live audio and Gametracker will be available on IUHoosiers.com.
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