Baseball

    Hoosier Baseball Heads to APSU Invitational

    Go Hoosiers! Matt Bashore and his teammates will take on Ball State, Austin Peay and Cleveland State at the APSU Invitational.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Matt Bashore and his teammates will take on Ball State, Austin Peay and Cleveland State at the APSU Invitational.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Feb. 25, 2009

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    AUSTIN PEAY INVITATIONAL
    Raymond C. Hand Park • Clarksville, Tenn.

    Friday, Feb. 27, 2009 • 11 a.m. CT
    Indiana vs. Ball State
    IU - LHP Matt Bashore (0-1, 18.00) | BSU - RHP Brad Piatt (1-0, 1.80)
    Gametracker | Live Audio

    Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009 • 2:30 p.m. CT
    Indiana vs. Austin Peay
    IU - RHP Eric Arnett (1-0, 3.00) | APSU - LHP Stephen Huff (0-1, 3.86)
    Gametracker | Live Audio

    Sunday, March 1, 2009 • 11 a.m. CT
    Indiana vs. Cleveland State
    IU - LHP Blake Monar (1-0, 5.40) | CSU - RHP Dylan Henry (0-1, 10.12)
    Gametracker | Live Audio


    FIRST PITCH
    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...
    Indiana has faced all three of this weekend's opponents multiple times and is facing both the Cardinals and Governors for the second straight year. IU is 22-24 all-time against Ball State and BSU has won the last four contests between the two squads. In 2008, the Cardinals won a 5-2 decision at Sembower Field after turning five double plays against the Hoosiers. IU and APSU will face off for the seventh time, with the Hoosiers having won all six of the previous contests. Indiana knocked off the Governors 9-1 at the Invitational last year behind Matt Bashore's six innings of shutout ball. The Hoosiers' lone contests against Cleveland State came in a three-game series in 2004 when the IU offense put up 41 runs and allowed just 12. IU won 10-2, 18-4 and 13-6 in the three-game set at Sembower Field.

    THE COACHES
    Indiana is in its fourth year under the direction of Tracy Smith. In his time at the helm of the Hoosiers, IU is 74-100. In 11 years as a head coach, Smith has a career record of 391-320-1 (.550). The 2008 season was a significant upward turn for the Hoosiers, as Indiana made its first Big Ten Tournament appearance since 2004 by rallying for a sixth-place finish in the regular season. IU then eliminated Ohio State, Illinois and Penn State at the conference tournament before falling in the semifinals to Purdue. With a 31-30 record on the season, IU had its finest season in Smith's tenure.

    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
    After a stellar 2008 season, Josh Phegley entered 2009 with high expectations. He fulfilled some of those in his opening weekend, as he picked up All-Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge honors for his performance both with the bat and behind the plate.

    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
    Josh Phegley wasn't the only Hoosier to collect honors at the Challenge. Freshman designated hitter Alex Dickerson was given honorable mention for his performance at the three-day event as well.

    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.

    STRONG DEBUTS
    Though Alex Dickerson was the standout, a number of new Hoosiers performed well in their first times on the diamond at the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge. Six other newbies played for IU at the Challenge, and each of them made an impact during the three-game event.

    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
    The Indiana baseball team will partner with WHCC 105.1 FM during the 2009 season. Hoosier Country 105 will bring listeners "Hoosier Baseball Friday in Bloomington" throughout the season, with five regular-season contests set to be carried live on the station in addition to providing in-game updates during all the other Friday games.

    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
    Indiana Baseball will pay tribute to one of its legends this season, as IU Hall of Famer Ernie Andres will be honored on every player's cap during the 2009 season. IU caps will feature the emblem "EA 5" on the back to honor the legend who passed away in September at the age of 90.

    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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