IU Rally Falls Short Against Sycamores
April 22, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana baseball team got the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth for its best two hitters, but a pair of flyballs fell short and Indiana came up on the short end of a 7-4 score against Indiana State on Wednesday. Tyler Rogers went deep twice for Indiana in the loss. The Sycamores improved to 24-13 with the victory, while IU fell to 18-20 on the year.
Down three in the bottom of the ninth, IU got Brian Lambert aboard on a hit-by-pitch and Jerrud Sabourin got on with a single to bring Josh Phegley to the plate as the tying run with one away. The catcher roped a liner to right center, but Kyle Burnam tracked it down for the second out. Alex Dickerson followed and crushed a ball to center, but a harsh wind blowing in from left field knocked it down just shy of the fence to end the ballgame.
In addition to Rogers' two homers, Phegley went deep to right as the wind helped his ball out of the yard, the catcher's 10th bomb of the season. Three of Indiana's four runs were scored on solo homers in a game that saw five total balls leave the park. Wyatt Hoff picked up the loss for Indiana to fall to 0-2, while Michael Manus collected the win with five strong innings of work to improve to 2-1.
The Sycamores took a 2-0 lead in the first with a solo home run and three singles with two outs. Brady Shoemaker started the scoring by hitting a wind-aided homer to right center and ISU followed with three straight singles on the right side to plate the second run. Hoff rebounded to strike out Bronco Lafrentz to end the inning without any further damage.
IU tied the score in the bottom of the third with Phegley's 10th homer of the year and an RBI single by Michael Earley. Phegley started things with one out by hitting a high flyball to right that got some help from the wind to carry onto the IU softball field to make it 2-1. Dickerson followed by lining a double just inside the left-field line and Earley then delivered a line-drive single to center field to tie the score.
Indiana State responded with four runs in the fourth to take a lead it would not relinquish. After Hoff retired the leadoff man, Lafrentz and Joe Meggs got back-to-back singles and a walk to Ben Ferrell loaded the bags. Ryan Strausborger delivered the first run with a seeing-eye single through the right side and Kyle Burnam added a second run on an RBI fielder's choice. Shoemaker and Nick Ciolli then posted back-to-back RBI singles to push the ISU lead to 6-2.
After the Sycamores got a solo homer in the top of the sixth from Ryan Strausborger, Indiana responded with a solo homer of its own, getting a monster shot to center from Rogers to make it 7-3. Rogers added his second bomb to center in the bottom of the eighth off Cordell Greene, but once again it was a solo shot as the deficit went to 7-4.
Both teams got strong performances out of their bullpens, with ISU allowing just three hits out of its pen over four innings and the Hoosiers surrendering just four in five innings of work. Drew Leininger allowed three hits and one run over his three innings, while Matt Igel and Matt Carr combined to keep the Sycamores off the scoreboard in the eighth and ninth.
Indiana returns to action this weekend for a three-game set at Michigan. The Hoosiers and Wolverines will do battle starting at 6:35 p.m. EDT on Friday night in a game that will be carried live on WHCC 105.1 FM in Bloomington. IU will also face U-M Saturday and Sunday at 1:05. GameTracker and live audio for all games will also be available on IUHoosiers.com.
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