Rogers, Bullpen Lift Hoosiers to Series Sweep
May 10, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Tyler Rogers delivered his first career grand slam and the Indiana bullpen pitched 4 2/3 innings of shutout baseball to lift the IU baseball team to an 11-2 win over Northwestern on Sunday. IU finished off the series sweep of the Wildcats to improve to 25-24 overall and 14-6 in Big Ten action.
The Hoosiers are currently in fourth place in the Big Ten, but are just one game behind first-place Minnesota in a logjam at the top of the conference. The Gophers sit at 15-5 on the season, while Illinois and Ohio State are both half a game behind at 15-6. Michigan State, which plays IU next weekend in Bloomington, is in fifth place, two games behind Indiana.
All of the top five teams have already qualified for the Big Ten Tournament. The double-elimination event takes the top six teams from the conference, and will be held this year at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio. Huntington Park is the brand new home of the AAA Columbus Clippers.
Indiana held NU to just three hits in the win, with the bullpen surrendering just one base knock and no walks in the game. Joey O'Gara pitched 2 2/3 innings without allowing a hit or a walk, collecting the win to improve to 3-3. Freshmen Wyatt Hoff and Matt Igel each threw scoreless innings as well in the game to pick up starter Blake Monar, who walked five in 4 1/3 innings of work.
O'Gara entered the game in a key situation in the top of the fifth. After Monar surrendered a hit and three straight walks to make the score 4-2 in favor of Indiana, O'Gara inherited three runners with just one out on the board. The lanky righty needed just one pitch to get out of danger, inducing a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Northwestern's Chris Lashmet to end the inning.
With the momentum back in IU's favor, the Hoosier bats took it from there in the bottom of the inning. Singles by Jerrud Sabourin, Alex Dickerson and Kipp Schutz scored one run and then Evan Crawford walked to load the bases for Rogers. The second baseman launched a 1-1 pitch to dead center and out of the park to push Indiana's lead to 9-2. Indiana got big days out of its 5-6-7 hitters, as Schutz (3-for-4, 3 runs), Crawford (2-for-3, 3 runs) and Rogers (2-for-3, 5 RBI) each had multiple-hit games.
O'Gara delivered scoreless innings in both the sixth and the seventh to keep it a seven-run cushion and IU tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh to result in the final score. After Dickerson was hit by a pitch to lead off the seventh, Schutz doubled down the right-field line to put two on with nobody out. Two batters later, Rogers delivered an RBI single with the infield drawn in and then consecutive walks by Michael Jahns scored the 11th run of the ballgame.
The game started off in Indiana's favor, as the Hoosiers got RBI groundouts in the first (by Josh Phegley) and in the second (by Jake Dunning) to take a 2-0 lead. After PSU got an RBI groundout of its own in the fourth, the Hoosiers tacked on a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 4-1 lead. NU got no closer than 4-2 when O'Gara delivered the clutch inning-ending double play.
The Hoosiers have a mid-week game against Evansville on Tuesday night prior to playing host to the Spartans next weekend. Game time is set for 6 p.m. CT/7 p.m. ET in Evansville. GameTracker and live audio for the game will be available on IUHoosiers.com.
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