Hoosiers Drop Finale at SLU
HAMMOND, La. -- The Indiana baseball team endured a cold day at the plate and dropped a 9-1 decision at Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Field in Hammond. The Hoosiers, who lost the first two games of the three-game series by a combined three runs, slipped to 0-3 on the season as the Lions completed the sweep.
The Hoosiers scored first in the top of the second inning, courtesy of back-to-back doubles by senior designated hitter Ryan Donley and senior leftfielder Kevin Mahar. IU failed to find an offensive spark the rest of the way.
The Lions responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second, and then added four more in the third on an IU error, three hits and a walk. Centerfielder Russell Taylor led SLU with four RBI, and third baseman Anthony Garibaldi collected three hits and scored two runs in the victory.
Southeastern starter Paul Garner kept Indiana's hitters off balance as he allowed only four hits and recorded five strikeouts in five innings. Garner did not issue a walk as he moved to 1-0 on the season. Reliever Chad Pendarvis shut Indiana down in the sixth and seventh innings to seal the sweep. Pendarvis did give up a hit and fanned three IU hitters. Due to IU's travel plans, the game was called after the seventh inning.
Four Hoosier pitchers gave up 13 hits in the contest. Starter Nick Vitielliss, who pitched for the first time since the 2002 Big Ten Conference Tournament, took the loss. Vitielliss sat out last season after undergoing arm surgery. The righthander allowed four hits, two runs and two walks in two innings of work. Senior lefty Chris Behrens relieved Vitielliss in the third and recorded a pair of strikeouts. None of the four runs he was charged with were earned. Sophomore Dan Pezley and freshman Doug Fleenor finished out the game for Indiana.
Southeastern won Friday's opener, 4-2, and nipped the Hoosiers, 12-11, on Saturday.
The Hoosiers return to Bloomington for their 2004 home opener on Tuesday, Feb. 24, when DePauw University visits Sembower Field. Game time is set for 3 p.m.
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