Arnett's Gem Lifts Hoosiers to 9-1 Win
May 20, 2009
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Eric Arnett allowed just four hits and one walk, striking out 10, to lead the Indiana baseball team to a 9-1 victory over Purdue on Wednesday in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament. The Hoosiers (29-25) will now take on No. 2 seed Minnesota (35-15) on Thursday at 3:35 p.m. in the second round of the postseason.
Arnett lowered his team-leading ERA to 2.58 on the season and now has 103 strikeouts on the campaign. He also improved to 12-1 on the season, matching the school record for wins, set by Brian Partenheimer in 1997. He is just six strikeouts away from matching Indiana's single-season strikeout record as well.
Offensively, IU got three hits from Kipp Schutz and Chris Hervey went 2-for-4 with his third home run of the season, as the senior led off the game with a longball over the left field wall. The Hoosiers also got multi-hit games from Jerrud Sabourin, Vince Gonzalez, Tyler Rogers and Brian Lambert.
After the Hoosiers got ahead 1-0 on Hervey's leadoff bomb, the Boilers threatened Arnett in the second. Dan Black got a leadoff single, but Arnett helped his own cause by delivering a good pickoff throw to catch the junior leaning. After striking out Drew Madia, Arnett surrendered consecutive hits to Eric Charles and Nick Overmeyer, but the junior used his awareness on the mound to catch Charles off second base to end the inning.
The three hits were the only three that Purdue would muster until the seventh off Arnett, and the Hoosier bats struck with solo runs in the third and fourth to boost their lead to 3-0. Hervey got a one-out single in the third and IU used a single up the middle from Sabourin to move him to third. Josh Phegley then brought Hervey home on an RBI fielder's choice to score IU's second run. In the fourth, Gonzalez got a leadoff single to right and two batters later, it was Lambert bringing him home with a smash double to right center to push IU's lead to 3-0.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Hoosiers opened the floodgates with five runs and five hits to make it an 8-0 ballgame. Phegley reached on an error to start the inning, and then three straight doubles by Schutz, Michael Earley and Gonzalez plated three runs. After a Rogers groundout moved Gonzalez to third, the freshman came home on a single that Jake Dunning ripped up the middle. Lambert followed with his second double of the game, the fourth of the inning for IU, to score Dunning for the final run of the frame.
Arnett finished off his day with a pair of strikeouts in the sixth and two more in the seventh, as he recorded four straight outs via the K. His day came to an end after retiring catcher Eric Charles on a lineout to right to end the seventh. Arnett needed just 95 pitches to get through the game.
IU scored its only other run with an unearned tally in the bottom of the sixth, as Schutz scored his second run of the game on a throwing error by Charles. The Boilers got on the board with a tally in the eighth, as Brandon Haveman hit a leadoff double and two batters later he came home on a John Cummins sac fly to right. Joe Vicini pitched a third of an inning in relief for the Hoosiers, while Joey O'Gara threw the final 1 2/3 of the game to seal the deal.
The Hoosiers and Gophers will face off in the second of three games at Huntington Field tomorrow. Purdue and Michigan State will go head-to-head in the first elimination game of the tournament at 12:05. Illinois, which defeated the Spartans 16-5 in the first game on Wednesday, will take on No. 1 seed Ohio State in the nightcap in Columbus at 7:05. Live audio and GameTracker will be available for the Indiana game at IUHoosiers.com.
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