Hoosiers Take Series Finale from PSU
April 29, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana baseball team took an 8-7 victory over Penn State in the series finale between the two teams. Jon Fixler had two hits and four RBIs, while Andrew Means went 3-for-5 with a pair of runs in the victory. Chris Squires pitched the final 3 2/3 innings, allowing four hits to garner his first career win in relief for IU.
The Hoosiers got single runs in the first two innings, while Penn State posted a solo run in the top of the second. Keith Haas led off the first with a single, and scored on a Fixler sacrifice fly after Means moved Haas over to third with an infield single. In the second for IU, Tyler Cox drew a one-out walk, moved up to third on a Brad Henke single up the middle, and scored on a Billy O'Conner groundout to give IU a 2-1 lead.
Indiana broke things open with three runs in the bottom of the third, as IU batted around in the frame. Sterling Mack started the inning with a walk, and he moved to third on a single to right by Means. Fixler followed by doubling both runners home on a rope down the right-field line. After an infield single and an error on a bunt loaded the bases, Fixler was cut down at home on a Cox fielder's choice. Tyler Tufts then scored the third run of the inning on a Henke sacrifice fly.
After cruising through the first four innings, Hoosier starter Eric Arnett ran into trouble in the fifth. Garrett Field reached with a bunt single and Matt Cavagnaro followed with a walk. A sacrifice moved each runner up 90 feet, and Field scored on a groundout by Robert Yodice. Then, Dan Blackburn hit a two-out single to score Cavagnaro, and Arnett turned wild, as three wild pitches over a span of the next two batters allowed Blackburn to score and bring the lead to 5-4.
Landon Nakata ended Arnett's day in the top of the sixth as he led off with a double. Danny Rosenbaum came on to allow a walk and a sacrifice to get a pair of runners in scoring position. He gave way to Squires, who started things with a strikeout of Scott Gaffney. Then, Squires threw a wild pitch of his own to score Nakata and knot the score at five.
Indiana brought home three in the bottom of the seventh, with two of the runs of the unearned variety. Means led off the inning with a single, and he moved up to second on a PSU passed ball. Fixler then brought him home with a single through the right side to give the Hoosiers another lead. A sacrifice moved Fixler to second, and Chris Hervey came to the plate. The sophomore hit a grounder deep into the hole at shortstop for a single, and the throw from Gaffney sailed high of first and out of play to move Hervey to second and score Fixler. Hervey moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball to give IU a three-run lead.
The Nittany Lions did not go quietly, though, as Field and Cavagnaro both reached with nobody out. A sac bunt moved the runners to scoring position, and Yodice brought them home with a single to right field. But Squires retired the next two hitters and three of four in the ninth to finish off the win for the Hoosiers to improve to 1-1.
Indiana is back in action next weekend, when it travels to Iowa for three games against the Hawkeyes. Friday's opening contest is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. CDT, with a Saturday doubleheader slated to start at 2 p.m. Sunday's series finale will kick off at 1 p.m. in Iowa City.
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