Hoosiers Lose Heartbreaker to Iowa
May 4, 2007
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iowa got three two-out hits in the bottom of the ninth inning to earn a walk-off, 3-2 victory over the Indiana baseball team on Friday night. Andrew Means went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run while Jason Ferrell pitched 6 1/3 strong innings on the mound in the loss.
The Hoosiers struck first with a run in the top of the second. Sterling Mack got on base after being hit by a Steve Turnbull offering and he moved to third on the next pitch when Keith Haas poked the ball into right field. After an Evan Crawford strikeout, Means fisted a fastball into left field that fell inside the line to plate Mack and give IU a 1-0 lead.
But the Hawkeyes rebutted with a run in the bottom of the frame. Ben Geelan slapped a single between short and third to get things started and moved up 90 feet when Justin Toole was hit by Ferrell. Geelan moved to third on a stolen base and scored on a line-drive sacrifice fly by Jason White. Ferrell then got out of the inning with a pair of groundouts to keep the score 1-1.
Ferrell had a brilliant start for the Hoosiers, going 6 1/3 innings in a no-decision. The freshman allowed five hits and one walk, with just the one Hawkeye run. He got into trouble in the top of the seventh when he walked Kevin Hoef and then hit Geelan. After Justin Toole sacrificed the runners over, Chris Squires came out of the pen for IU. Squires snuffed out the threat by striking out White and getting Iowa's leading hitter Travis Sweet on a groundout to second.
Indiana grabbed the lead in the top of the eighth with an unearned run. Crawford led off the inning with an infield single and Means followed with a sacrifice that was mishandled to give the Hoosiers two on and none out. Jon Fixler followed with a walk to load the bases with nobody out. The Hawkeyes helped the cause by getting a pair of outs with a 1-2-3 double play, but after a Michael Nilles walk, Geelan was unable to handle a Mike Schurz offering and Means scampered home to give IU a 2-1 lead.
But again, Iowa was able to score quickly to tie the game again. Dusty Napoleon drew a leadoff walk and pinch runner Justin Brauer moved up to second on a sacrifice. Then, Matt Wooldrick dribbled a grounder to Crawford and the throw got away from Tyler Tufts, allowing Brauer to come around. The Hawkeyes then loaded the bases with two outs, but reliever Chris McCombs was able to get Justin Toole on a grounder to end the threat in the eighth.
In the ninth, McCombs got the first two hitters and then surrendered three straight singles to score the winning run. McCombs fell to 1-3 with the loss, while Schurz advanced to 5-1. The two teams will square off again on Saturday with a doubleheader scheduled to start at 2 p.m. CDT in Iowa City.
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