Hoosiers Head to Austin Peay Invitational
Feb. 28, 2008
THE FIRST PITCH
Kyle Leiendecker led the pen with four innings of work, striking out four and allowing two hits and no runs in a pair of appearances, while Doug Fleenor and Eric Arnett were also strong. Jerrud Sabourin paced the offense, going 5-for-9 in his first collegiate weekend, while Josh Phegley and Kipp Schutz each went 5-for-12 in their opening weekend of 2008.
Valparaiso took two games out of three from Austin Peay in Clarksville last weekend, while Illinois State lost two of three to Tennessee Tech to start the season.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES
The Hoosiers have the longest history with Valparaiso out of the three teams they will face in Clarksville. IU is 29-12-1 in program history against the Crusaders. The two teams squared off at least once a season from 1999-2006, but 2007's contest between the teams in Gary was rained out. IU has won 5 of the last 6 from Valpo.
SCOUTING THE REDBIRDS
Kevin Dubler was 5-for-12 with a double in the series, while Gabe DeMarco hit the team's only home run. Kevin Tokarski was 4-for-4 on the basepaths as well. Tyler McNeely was 3-for-6 in his two starts for the Redbirds.
On the mound, Ryan Copeland won his only start, as he went five innings and struck out four, while Jim Sajewich, who is slated to start against the Hoosiers, had a strong outing out of the bullpen, throwing five strong innings of his own.
SCOUTING THE GOVERNORS
The Governors hit just .245 in the series, though Joshua Kemph hit .444 with a home run and three RBI. Nine different players drove in runs and 10 scored for APSU. The home squad also was 6-for-6 on the basepaths, led by Trey Lucas' 3-for-3.
The pitching staff had a 7.67 ERA in the series and the team had five errors behind it, as Governor hurlers allowed a .321 average. Ryan Harper was strong in relief in his only appearance, while Stephen Huff allowed two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings of work, winning his only start.
SCOUTING THE CRUSADERS
On the mound, the relief corps had an excellent weekend, as Derek Smith, Matt Stucky and Austin Siwiec combined to allow two hits and no runs in 7 1/3 innings of work. Overall, the team posted a 5.88 ERA and allowed 18 walks in 26 innings.
He followed that up with a strong game in the series finale, going 2-for-3 and driving in a pair of runs. In the fourth, he came through with a two-out single to score Evan Crawford. In IU's four-run sixth, the freshman scored Kipp Schutz on a sacrifice fly that knotted the game at 5-5.
NO K PLAY
More impressive was the performance of Indiana's top four hitters. Andrew Means took a called third strike on a borderline pitch in the seventh inning of the final game for the only punchout of the Hoosiers' top four hitters. Making 14 plate appearances apiece, Means, Evan Crawford, Josh Phegley and Kipp Schutz put the ball in play 52 times and drew three walks. Brad Henke had nine at-bats without striking out as well.
PENNING A MASTERPIECE
In the series opener, the bullpen allowed three hits over the final four innings, and did not allow a single Tiger batter to cross the plate. Freshman Anthony Agnew was the first out of the pen, and after hitting the first batter he faced, settled down to allow two hits and no runs in his two innings of work. Kyle Leiendecker followed with a perfect inning and Anthony Cera allowed a hit and a walk in his inning of work.
In game two, Eric Arnett came on with the bases loaded and one out, and promptly got a soft fly ball to shallow center and a groundout to second to strand a trio of inherited runners. He pitched 3 2/3 innings in the game, allowing three hits and one earned run, striking out a pair.
Game three saw magnificent work by Doug Fleenor and Kyle Leiendecker out of the pen for the final 8 1/3 innings. Fleenor came on with runners at the corners and two outs in the first and prevented any further damage by getting Michael Hollander to fly out to left. He went on to allow seven hits in his remaining five innings of work, limiting the Tigers to just two runs. Leiendecker then pitched the final three frames, and struck out Leon Landry with the tying run on second to end the game.
BEHIND THE DISH
Phegley, who made just two errors and had a .991 fielding percentage in 2007, showed why he is one of the top pro prospects in the midwest by terrorizing LSU baserunners throughout the series. Phegley gunned down four of the five runners who tried to steal on him in the three-game set and picked off a fifth Tiger runner, as he posted 18 putouts and seven assists for the Hoosiers.
The catcher capped off his debut campaign in style in 2007, as he came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth against Minnesota with the bases loaded and promptly drove a laser deep to center field. The line shot went in the book as a walk-off single, but missed being Phegley's first career home run by under a foot. He finished the season with a .232 average, eight doubles and 16 RBIs.
The weekend started off on a scary note for the Evansville, Ind., native, as in the bottom of the first inning of Friday's contest he was mildly shaken up after colliding with the right field wall while chasing a foul ball. But Schutz came back and caught fire toward the end of the series with four hits in his final six at bats, with one of his two outs a line drive that was caught on the right-field warning track. Saturday, he nearly knotted the game in the top of the ninth, when his towering flyball hooked just foul in LSU's 5-4 victory.
Schutz began the 2007 season as one of the top freshmen in the Big Ten, and was named to the AutoZone Classic All-Tournament Team after hitting .545 and slugging .727 for the weekend in Memphis. But his season came to a screeching halt in the seventh game of the season, when he collided with the outfield wall of Indiana State's Sycamore Field, breaking his collarbone and ending his season.
LEIEN `EM UP
Leiendecker was drafted in the 25th round by the Cleveland Indians after the southpaw had a standout season for Homestead High, but elected to come to Bloomington rather than sign with the big league club. Leiendecker earned all-state status in 2007 after striking out 58 batters in 35 innings and posting a .506 average at the plate
HE MEANS BUSINESS
Means picked up second team All-Big Ten honors after finishing among the league leaders in average and steals a season ago. In his second season for the Hoosiers, Means was the team leader in average, steals, slugging percentage (.467) and on-base percentage (.397). Additionally, he finished second on the team in both runs (32) and RBIs (30).
The two-sport athlete was also a star on the gridiron in 2007. As a sophomore wide receiver, Means finished second on the team with 559 receiving yards and third among Hoosiers with 48 receptions, helping IU Football to its first bowl appearance in 14 years.
SHORE FIRE WAY
The Tipp City, Ohio, native was among the conference's leaders with his 4.33 ERA and .262 batting average against in his first season for the Hoosiers. He was recently ranked by Big Ten coaches as the most underrated pitcher in the conference in a poll run by College Baseball Insider. His 50 strikeouts and four wins led the Hoosiers in 2007.
The Reynoldsburg, Ohio, native hit .333, second-best on the team, and led Indiana with 13 doubles in 2007. After suffering a late-season slump, Crawford rebounded with a .522 average over the season's final six games. He wrapped up his debut season in style, going 4-for-5 with three RBIs in the season finale against Minnesota.
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