Hoosier Bats Roll Into Tourney Finals
May 22, 2009
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Indiana bats continued to sizzle, bashing 16 hits in a 13-3 victory over top-seeded and 27th-ranked Ohio State on Friday night at the Big Ten Tournament. The Hoosiers will now play in the championship game at 7:05 on Saturday night against the winner of Saturday afternoon's Ohio State-Minnesota contest.
Tyler Rogers and Alex Dickerson had three hits each, while Jerrud Sabourin, Josh Phegley, Kipp Schutz and Jake Dunning posted a pair of safe knocks apiece. Rogers drove in four runs, including a bases-loaded double, while Sabourin and Phegley scored three runs each for Indiana.
Blake Monar picked up the win for Indiana, allowing just five hits and five walks in 6 2/3 innings for the Hoosiers. He surrendered three runs, two earned, in improving to 5-3 on the season. Matt Igel and Joey O'Gara combined for 2 1/3 of one-hit, shutout relief to close out the game for IU.
The Hoosier bats have been scorching hot in the tourney, scoring 34 runs with a .392 average on 49 hits. Indiana has already broken the Tournament record with 15 doubles. IU's pitchers have an ERA of 2.00 and have just a .188 average against. They have allowed just seven runs.
Ohio State struck the opening blow in the game with a run in the top of the first. Zach Hurley led off the game with an infield single to deep short and he moved to second on a wild pitch. After a strikeout and a groundout moved the leadoff hitter to third, Big Ten Player of the Year Dan Burkhart came up and laced a single to center field to score Hurley and make it 1-0.
In the second, the Buckeyes drew a leadoff walk and took advantage of an Indiana miscue to score another solo run. Justin Miller drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a groundout. That brought Tyler Engle to the plate with one down. Engle chopped a ball down the third base line and Monar handled it, but his throw to first went wide and Miller came around to score to push OSU's lead to 2-0.
Indiana finally began to figure out Dean Wolosiansky in the bottom of the fourth, sending nine men to the plate and scoring three runs. Sabourin led things off with a single through the left side and Phegley followed by doubling down the left field line to put two runners in scoring position. Dickerson followed by lacing a ball into left field to score Sabourin and make it 2-1. Kipp Schutz followed with an RBI fielder's choice to plate Phegley and tie the score. Vince Gonzalez followed with a walk and a single by Brian Lambert loaded the bags, and two batters later Jake Dunning picked up an RBI infield single to give IU a 3-2 lead.
That's when Indiana's defense picked up Monar. The freshman hit a batter, surrendered a single and gave up a walk to load the bases with nobody out. Cory Kovanda then hit a hard grounder to third, and Vince Gonzalez came home to Phegley for one and the catcher fired on to first for a 5-2-3 double play. Monar then gave up a flyout to right off the bat of Michael Stephens to end the inning with no damage.
IU refused to keep the game in doubt any longer, striking for seven runs on six hits to make it 10-3. IU started with five straight singles to score two runs with the bases loaded and chase Wolosiansky from the game. Jared Strayer came on and hit Brian Lambert to bring in another run to bring Rogers to the plate with the bases still packed. Rogers crushed a 1-0 pitch deep into the gap in left center to clear the bases and make it a 9-3 ballgame. He scored with Dunning delivering a sac fly for Indiana's 10th run of the contest.
Monar surrendered his final run in the seventh before giving way to Igel. The lefthander came on and got a flyout to left off the bat of Dan Burkhart to end the inning. IU tacked on three insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth on three this and an error to result in the final score.
IU is seeking its first championship since 1996 and an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. IU can win either Saturday night's contest or a Sunday afternoon game at 12:05 p.m. contest to win the conference tournament. Fans can watch Saturday's game on the Big Ten Network or listen to Matt Brady and Jeremy Gray on WHCC 105.1 FM in the Bloomington area or worldwide on XM/Sirius Channel 196. Live audio and GameTracker will be available for the Indiana game at IUHoosiers.com.
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