Squires Slams the Door in 8-7 Win Over Michigan
April 25, 2009
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Chris Squires pitched a brilliant 2 2/3 innings out of the bullpen to slam the door on Michigan in an 8-7 victory for the Indiana baseball team on Saturday. Squires held the Wolverines off for the final three innings to earn his fourth save and help Eric Arnett improve to 9-1 on the year. Indiana (19-21, 9-4 Big Ten) and Michigan (23-18, 6-8) have each taken a game in the series with the rubber match to be played on Sunday.
Indiana got solid production out of the bottom of its lineup, as five-hole hitter Kipp Schutz and seventh batter Jake Dunning each had three hits. The 5-9 slots in IU's lineup delivered nine hits, seven runs and five RBI in the contest. Josh Phegley also had a solo home run, his 11th of the season, in the win.
Arnett has his toughest outing of the season to this point, surrendering eight hits and five walks in 6 1/3 innings. He did strike out seven Wolverines to push his season total to 76, which puts him just two Ks away from Indiana's single-season top 10. Arnett's ERA climbed to 2.49 overall and 2.41 in conference play in the contest.
The Hoosiers cracked the scoreboard in a big way in the bottom of the second, scoring four runs on four hits to take a 4-0 lead over the host Wolverines. Schutz got it started with a one-out single and Tyler Rogers drew a walk to put two runners on with nobody out. Dunning followed with a bunt single to load the bases for Evan Crawford.
Crawford delivered, drilling an 0-1 pitch from Alan Oaks through the left side to plate Schutz and the throw from left sailed high of catcher Chris Berset as Rogers came around. Both Dunning and Crawford were able to advance on the errant throw to put two runners in scoring position. That brought freshman Vince Gonzalez to the plate, and the third baseman went the other way with a 2-2 pitch to plate two more runs and make it 4-0.
After Michigan got back an unearned run in the bottom of the second, a severe thunderstorm rolled through Ann Arbor to create an hour-long rain delay. After the field was cleared, Phegley wasted no time, launching the first pitch of the top of the third 40 feet over the towering wall in left field for his 11th longball of the season, matching Alex Dickerson for the team lead. In the fourth, IU manufactured another run after Crawford was hit by a pitch, with Sabourin drilling a two-out double into the right-field corner to make it 6-1.
Michigan rallied for two more runs in the bottom of the fourth as a leadoff walk and a single through the right side put runners at the corners with nobody out. Arnett got Coley Crank to look at strike three for the first out, and then looked for a double play off the bat of Chris Berset. Arnett got the grounder to second, but the relay from Dunning was mishandled by Sabourin and Ryan LaMarre scored to make it 6-2. Berset moved to second on a wild pitch and Nick Urban brought him home with an RBI single to plate U-M's third run of the day.
The Hoosiers responded with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. Schutz started the rally with a one-out single to center and Rogers followed with a double off the left-field wall to move Schutz to third. Indiana plated run number seven of the day on a wild pitch and Dunning followed with an RBI single off the wall in left that scored Rogers to push IU's lead to 8-3.
Michigan finally got to Arnett in the bottom of the seventh. The Wolverines used three hits and a walk to score three runs and chase the IU ace from the contest. Chris Squires came on for Indiana with an 8-6 lead, runners at the corners and just one out. The junior caught Coley Crank looking at strike three for the second out, but Berset's hard grounder found its way through the infield for an RBI single to make it 8-7. Squires stopped the bleeding there, though, inducing a groundout from Urban to end the inning.
Squires pitched around a one-out walk in the eighth, ending the frame with a popout and a flyout, but he was forced to face the heart of U-M's order in the ninth. The Fort Wayne native caught leading hitter LaMarre to look at strike three for out number one, then got Mike Dufek, who has 10 homers on the year, to groundout on the first pitch. Crank singled up the middle with two down, but Squires followed that up by striking out Berset on three pitches to end the game. Squires now has a 0.93 ERA in conference play and three saves.
Indiana will have an opportunity to take a road series victory against the Wolverines on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. GameTracker and live audio for the contest will be available on IUHoosiers.com.
Check back soon