Five-Run Seventh Leads Hoosiers Over Cardinals
May 9, 2007
LOUISVILLE - Facing Louisville in the second half of a home-and-home series, the Indiana baseball team rallied from a four-run deficit with a five-run seventh to earn a 6-5 victory at Jim Patterson Stadium on Wednesday evening. The Hoosiers now sit at 17-29 this season, while the Cardinals dropped to 33-16.
U of L held a 5-1 advantage and allowed just two baserunners through six innings until IU exploded for five runs on five hits in the seventh. Sophomore center fielder Andrew Means led off with a two-bagger just inside the third-base bag, and junior first baseman Jon Fixler put runners on the corners with a base knock. Junior designated hitter Reid Briglia kept the hit parade going, sending a run-scoring single back through the box.
A Cardinal error loaded the bases for sophomore catcher Billy O'Conner, who served a single to right field to make it 5-3. Freshman left fielder Sterling Mack brought the Hoosiers within one with an RBI hit. Two batters later senior second baseman Keith Haas hit a sacrifice fly to right fielder Daniel Burton, who threw wildly to third base, allowing O'Conner and sophomore right fielder Chris Hervey to cross the plate for a 6-5 Hoosier lead.
Louisville nearly tied the game in the home half of the eighth on a wild sequence. With two down and center fielder Boomer Whiting on second, freshman Brad Henke, who replaced Fixler at first base to begin the inning, could not find the bag as Haas tried to retire Burton on a grounder.
Whiting never stopped as he rounded third base, but Henke threw a strike to O'Conner, who put down the tag just as Whiting reached for the plate, keeping the Hoosiers ahead by one.
Freshman right-hander Eric Arnett pitched the final four scoreless innings to earn his second victory in three decisions this season. The Pataskala, Ohio, native allowed just one hit and two walks, setting down 12 of the 15 batters he faced.
Both teams stranded runners on third in the first and it remained scoreless until the bottom of the third. Center fielder Boomer Whiting led off with a single to left and moved to third on a double by second baseman Logan Johnson.
Burton lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Whiting with the first run of the game and advancing Johnson to third. Hoosier starter Chris McCombs attempted to pick Johnson off, but his throw sailed away from junior third baseman David Trager and Johnson trotted home for a 2-0 Louisville lead.
The Hoosiers bounced back with a solo tally the next half inning. Freshman shortstop Evan Crawford kicked things off with a double down the left-field line. Crawford scampered to third on a fly out by Means and came home on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Fixler.
As was the case in the third, McCombs left runners on first and second in the fourth. With two down, the junior right-hander caught Burton looking on a 3-2 fastball to end the threat and keep it a 2-1 ballgame.
McCombs, making a return to his hometown, pitched around seven hits and three errors to give up just one earned run in four innings. Freshman southpaw Danny Rosenbaum relieved McCombs and the Cardinals added a pair in the fifth, as left fielder Isaiah Howes scored on a throwing error and third baseman Chris Dominguez added an RBI single.
Up next, the Hoosiers travel to Champaign, Ill., for its final road Big Ten series of the season against Illinois. The teams will open the series with a 7:05 p.m. ET first pitch on Friday followed by a doubleheader beginning at 4:05 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday's series finale is slated to kick off at 2:05 p.m.
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