Hoosier Baseball Heads to APSU Invitational
Feb. 25, 2009
AUSTIN PEAY INVITATIONAL
Raymond C. Hand Park Clarksville, Tenn.
After going 2-1 in the season-opening Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge, Indiana heads to Clarksville, Tenn., for the Austin Peay Invitational for the second straight year. Last year the Hoosiers went 2-1 at the event, losing the opener against Illinois State but knocking off Austin Peay and Valparaiso. Matt Bashore, Evan Crawford, Andrew Means and Josh Phegley were named to the All-Tournament team for the Hoosiers for their performances.
THE LAST TIME...
Ball State is in its seventh season under Greg Beals, who is 190-150 at the helm of the Cardinals. BSU slugged a program-record 95 home runs a year ago en route to a 28-25 record and a third-place finish in the MAC West. Gary McClure has served as head coach at Austin Peay for 23 seasons, winning 628 games in his time there. The APSU alum has been named Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year four times and he has led them to the NCAAs on 14 occasions. Kevin Kocks is in year three at Cleveland State after a distinguished career as the leader of Spalding University's NAIA program. He led Spalding to the NAIA World Series three times in his career.
RIGHT WHERE HE LEFT OFF
In his first at-bat of 2009, Phegley came up with runners at the corners and nobody out against West Virginia, and promptly dumped an RBI single into right field for his first hit of the season. He followed that up with three more singles to go 4-for-5 in the season opener for his seventh career game with four hits or more. His lone out of the game was a towering flyball to right that the Mountaineers caught at the warning track just shy of a three-run homer.
He added a sac fly against Georgetown in his first at bat, but did not record a hit against the Hoyas. In the series finale against USF, he came through with a key RBI double to right center in IU's five-run fifth and also added a single in Indiana's 9-7 victory.
He finished the challenge at .545 (6-for-11) with three RBI and three runs in addition to a .600 on-base percentage (one walk, two HBP). Perhaps more importantly, he threw out three of four opponents trying to steal on the weekend and also gunned down a WVU baserunner trying to move up on a wild pitch. He has now thrown out 44 of 130 runners (33.8 percent) attempting to steal in his three years behind the plate.
ALEX THE GREAT
After struggling in the season opener (0-for-5 with three Ks) he caught fire over the final two games to lead the Hoosiers to a pair of victories. Against Georgetown, he had his first two career hits, including a double to left center for his first extra-base hit.
In the weekend finale, the burly lefthander busted out with three hits, including his first career home run, and four RBI to lead IU to a 9-7 win. With the Hoosiers up 3-0 in the fifth and Phegley on second, Dickerson crushed a 2-0 offering the other way, sending it over the wall in left center to push Indiana's lead to five runs.
In the sixth, he came up with the Hoosiers again leading by three, this time 7-4, and bounced a chopper into right field to plate Phegley and Chris Hervey to once again give IU a five-run lead. Dickerson finished the opening weekend with a .357 average and a team-leading five RBI.
The Poway, Calif., native was named all-California his senior season and was drafted in the 48th round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals. He was the offensive MVP of the top team in the state after hitting .455 with 12 doubles, six triples, eight home runs, 45 RBI and 40 runs. He also slugged .851, had a .522 on-base percentage and was 7-for-7 on the basepaths in his senior season for the Titans, leading the team to the CIF Championship.
Blake Monar made his first career start against USF on Sunday and showed why he was named a High School All-American at South Spencer High School. Monar went five innings, striking out six and allowing just six hits to one of the more potent lineups in the BIG EAST conference. His biggest pitch was his final one, as with the bases loaded and the tying run on third, he induced a slow grounder to fellow freshman Cody Webber at third.
Webber handled that ball in just his third career game, and made a perfect play, coming home for one out, and Josh Phegley finished it off with a throw to first for a double play to end USF's threat. That play was one of several strong defensive performances by Webber, who also had a pinch-hit, RBI single in Saturday's game.
One big question about IU's team entering 2009 was the depth of the bullpen. A pair of freshmen stepped up for the Hoosiers and showed that inexperience does not equal a lack of talent. Wyatt Hoff came in against West Virginia and shut down the Mountaineer offense for three innings before giving up a pair of runs in his fourth and final inning. Against Georgetown, southpaw Drew Leininger came on in the ninth and set the Hoyas down 1-2-3 to end the ballgame.
Junior college transfer Jake Dunning started all three games at shortstop for the Hoosiers, showing strong range at the position. He also collected a pair of hits and three RBI on the weekend. Dunning plied his trade on the mound as well, coming in during the eighth inning against USF and shutting the Bulls down for the final 1 1/3 for his first save in an IU uniform.
Freshman catcher Josh Lyon also made his debut over the weekend, going 1-for-2 with an RBI double and a hit by pitch in his first two plate appearances.
ON THE AIR
Five contests are slated to be carried live on 105.1 FM. A non-conference affair against Georgia Southern on March 6 will kick off the game coverage of the Hoosiers. Conference contests against Illinois (April 3), Iowa (April 10), Michigan (April 24) and Purdue (Sunday, May 3) will also be broadcast live over the airways. Jeremy Gray, the voice of Indiana women's basketball, and Matt Brady will bring listeners all the game action.
But listeners will hear more than just game coverage this season. For every Friday game, WHCC will provide live reports from the ballpark every three innings. Additionally, Smith will join Rick Evans every Friday morning in a weekly segment - "From the Cheap Seats."
The Hoosiers will also have four regular-season games televised on the Big Ten Network. The Hoosiers' Saturday and Sunday games both at Iowa (April 11 and 12) and at home against Northwestern (May 9 and 10) will be carried live on BTN.
Combined with the five regular-season games that will be carried live on Hoosier Country 105, eight of IU's conference clashes and one non-conference affair will be broadcast on radio or TV. All of Indiana's games will also have live streaming audio on IUHoosiers.com, provided by Stretch Internet, with Gray and Brady providing the commentary for every IU Baseball contest throughout the year.
HONORING A LEGEND
Andres was a recipient of the Balfour Award twice in his time at Indiana. He was an All-Big Ten and All-America selection in basketball in both 1938 and 1939 and is the lone Hoosier to ever crack the professional ranks in two sports, playing for the Boston Red Sox in baseball and the Indianapolis Kautskys in basketball. He was a member of the 1983 Hall of Fame class, the second group so honored by IU Athletics.
As a coach, Andres led the IU baseball program from 1948-73 where he accumulated 402 career victories. He led the team to the Big Ten regular season title in 1949. As an assistant coach to Branch McCracken, Andres helped the Hoosiers to the 1953 NCAA Championship and four Big Ten titles on the basketball court.
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