Hoosiers Earn Walk-Off Win over Gophers
May 20, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Josh Phegley hit a bases-loaded, walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth to lift Indiana to a 10-9 victory over Minnesota on Sunday. Doug Fleenor pitched 5 1/3 hitless innings in relief for IU and Evan Crawford had four hits and three RBIs in the win.
In the ninth, Crawford led things off with a hustle double to right-center field. Andrew Means followed by dropping a bunt down the third base line and beating the throw for a single. The Gophers walked Michael Nilles intentionally to load the bases for Phegley, who rocketed a 2-2 pitch deep off the wall in right center to plate the winning run for Indiana.
Fleenor came on in relief in the top of the fourth after Minnesota hit a grand slam followed by a solo home run to take a 9-7 lead in the contest. He proceeded to allow just two walks and strike out two in his best outing of the season. He earned the win to improve to 2-5 on the season, while star closer Josh Oslin picked up his first loss of the season for the Gophers.
The Gophers lit up the scoreboard first with three runs in the top of the first. After a single and a walk, Dan Lyons dropped down a sacrifice bunt that Jason Ferrell threw wide of first to score Minnesota's first run of the game. Then, with two runners in scoring position, Nate Hanson ripped a double to make the score 3-0. But Ferrell recovered to set down the next three batters and keep Minnesota from scoring further.
Indiana used a two-out rally to plate five unearned runs in the bottom of the second. After Dustin Brabender retired the first two hitters, Chris Hervey reached first on a throwing error by Lyons. Ben Greenspan followed with a walk, and then Billy O'Conner drove home Hervey on a bouncing single through the middle to make it 3-1. After Sterling Mack was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Keith Haas drew a walk to bring home a run for the home squad. Crawford then delivered the big blow with a line-drive triple down the left-field line to clear the bases and give Indiana a 5-3 lead.
After Hanson hit a solo home run in the top of the third, Indiana responded once again in the bottom of the frame. Michael Nilles started things with a leadoff walk and then Phegley drew a walk. Hervey moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt and Greenspan earned an RBI with a groundout to short. O'Conner then drove in another run with a single up the middle to make the score 7-4 in favor of IU.
Minnesota responded with five runs of its own in the top of the fourth. With two outs and the bases loaded, Hanson came up big once again, driving a Ferrell offering deep to left center that carried over the wall for a grand slam. Sean Kommerstad made it two in a row as he turned on an inside pitch to send it over the left-field wall and make the score 9-7 with the Gophers holding the lead.
Indiana got one run back in the bottom of the fifth, with a similar start to the third inning. A Nilles single, a Phegley walk and a Hervey sacrifice put a pair of runners in scoring position with one away. Again, Greenspan hit a grounder to short to plate a run, but this time he reached base as Lyons was unable to handle the bouncer for an error. But the threat was neutralized when O'Conner tried to squeeze home Phegley, and his bunt attempt was snared by Bryan Jost at first and Phegley was doubled off third to end the frame.
The Hoosiers knotted the score in the bottom of the sixth with a single run. Haas started things with a one-out single up the middle, and then Crawford moved him to third with the freshman's third hit of the game, a single up the middle. Means followed with an RBI fielder's choice on a grounder to second base to make the tally 9-9.
Before the game, the Indiana baseball program honored its four seniors - Greenspan, Haas, Nilles and Josh Richardson - as part of Senior Day festivities. The Hoosiers wrapped up the 2007 campaign with a 19-35 record and an 8-23 mark in Big Ten play, while Minnesota finished 38-14 with an 18-9 ledger in the conference, earning the second seed in the Big Ten Tournament.
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