Hoosiers Head to Austin Peay Invitational

    Go Hoosiers! Matt Bashore and the Hoosiers will take on three different teams at the Austin Peay Invitational this weekend. (Ross Obley)
    Go Hoosiers!
    Matt Bashore and the Hoosiers will take on three different teams at the Austin Peay Invitational this weekend. (Ross Obley)
    Go Hoosiers!

    Feb. 28, 2008

    Friday, Feb. 29 - 11 a.m. CST - Indiana vs. Illinois State
    All-Time Series Tied 1-1
    IU: RHP Tyler Tufts (0-1, 15.75)
    ISU: RHP Jim Sajewich (0-0, 3.60)
    GameTracker | Live Audio

    Saturday, March 1 - 2:30 p.m. CST - Indiana vs. Austin Peay
    Indiana Leads Series 5-0
    IU: LHP Matt Bashore (0-1, 2.08)
    APSU: RHP David Vicini (0-1, 6.23)
    GameTracker | Live Audio

    Sunday, March 2 - 11 a.m. CST - Indiana vs. Valparaiso
    Indiana Leads Series 29-12-1
    IU: TBA
    VU: RHP John Snelten (0-0, 10.80)
    GameTracker | Live Audio

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    The Indiana baseball team enters the second weekend of the season 1-2 after taking one of three games from nationally ranked LSU last weekend in Baton Rouge. The Tigers took the first two games before the Hoosiers rallied for a 7-6, come-from-behind victory in game three. The Hoosier bullpen was extremely strong in the three-game set, throwing 16 innings and allowing 15 hits, four walks and just three earned runs (1.69 ERA) while striking out nine.

    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.

    Tracy Smith is in his third season as Indiana baseball's head coach. In his three years at the helm of the Hoosiers, IU is 42-71. In 2007, Smith led one of the youngest teams in the country, with 19 freshmen and six sophomores, to a 19-win season. He has also been instrumental in the development of junior centerfielder Andrew Means, who earned second team All-Big Ten honors for the Hoosiers after hitting .369 with 30 RBIs, 32 runs and 27 stolen bases. In 11 years as a head coach, Smith has a career record of 359-291-1 (.552).

    Indiana has a history against all three opponents that it will face this weekend. The Hoosiers and Redbirds have only played twice prior to this season's meeting, with IU falling 8-4 in 2000 and taking a 17-7 decision in 2005. Indiana is 5-0 all-time against the Governors, sweeping a three-game series in 1989 and taking both contests in 1990. All the games between the two schools have been played in Clarksville.

    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.

    Illinois State opened its 2008 campaign with a trip to Cookeville, Tenn., where the Redbirds took on Tennessee Tech for a three-game set. ISU lost the opener 8-1 and game two 11-10 before rebounding with an 8-5 victory in Sunday's contest.

    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.

    Austin Peay knows one of the three opponents in its Invitational, as it hosted a three-game set with Valparaiso to begin the season. The two teams split a doubleheader on Saturday, with Valpo opening with a 15-6 win and APSU rebounding with a 12-4 win in the nightcap. The Governors then suffered an 11-5 loss on Sunday to wrap up the series.

    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.

    In Valpo's three-game set with APSU, Zach Rodeghero was 8-for-11 with six runs and three RBI to hit a robust .727. He was supported by Andrew Quinnette's 5-for-7 effort in the series, as the Crusaders hit nine doubles in the three games. Brett Bivens hit .364 with three runs and a team-high six RBI.

    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.

    Freshman Jerrud Sabourin did not start the first game of the season, but he found himself coming up with a key hit in his debut anyway. The San Diego native entered in the bottom of the fifth, and in his first at-bat, he knocked home Josh Phegley with a single up the middle in the sixth. He added another single in the eighth to go 2-for-2 in his first collegiate contest.

    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.

    Indiana's coaching staff put a strong emphasis on the Hoosier offense not striking out heading into the 2008 season. IU responded, putting the ball in play on all but 18 at-bats in the series against LSU. Only two players had more than two Ks in the three-game series, and IU struck out just nine times in the final two games.

    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.

    In the weekend series against LSU, Indiana's bullpen was quite impressive, holding the Tiger offense at bay for all three games. The Hoosier pen allowed just three earned runs and 15 hits in 16 innings of work, striking out nine. That adds up to a 1.69 ERA and a .250 batting average against.

    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.

    After an up-and-down freshman campaign, catcher Josh Phegley started the 2008 season with a stellar weekend both at the plate and behind it. Phegley was 5-for-12, scored three runs and drove in Andrew Means for the winning run in Sunday's come-from-behind, 7-6 victory.

    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.

    Redshirt freshman Kipp Schutz, back after taking a medical redshirt last season, had a very impressive first weekend for the Hoosiers in Baton Rouge. Schutz was 5-for-12 at the plate with a pair of walks and two runs scored. He hit the ball even better than his numbers indicate, as he had three scorching line drives snared by Tiger fielders and missed a home run by just feet in Saturday's contest.

    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.

    Freshman southpaw Kyle Leiendecker entered the 2008 season as the most heralded freshman on the team, and he did not disappoint in his Hoosier debut. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native pitched four innings on the weekend and collected his first career win by throwing the final three innings in IU's 7-6 win on Sunday. He struck out four LSU batters, as his low-90s fastball blew away the Tigers on the weekend.

    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

    Junior centerfielder Andrew Means picked up right where he left off to begin the 2008 season, as the speedster had four hits and scored a pair of runs while covering plenty of ground in centerfield in the opening weekend.

    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.

    Sophomore Matt Bashore had a strong first start, though the Hoosier defense prevented him from collecting a win in his 2008 debut. Bashore started Saturday's game by striking out the side in order - a trio that went 10-for-13 in Friday's opener. He went on to strike out nine in 4 1/3 innings of work, but three Hoosier errors led to two unearned runs and got Bashore's pitch count into the high 80s before he was removed. He finished the day by allowing four hits, two walks and one earned run and allowing three groundouts in addition to his nine Ks.

    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.

    Sophomore shortstop Evan Crawford hit in the two hole in all three games at LSU and went 4-for-13 to open his season. After a slow start that saw him go 1-for-9 over the first two games, he stepped it up on Sunday. He had singles in each of his first three at-bats, had a solid line drive to right snared in the seventh, then sacrificed Andrew Means to third base to set up the winning run in his final time up. Crawford also scored a pair of runs and stole a base in the Sunday finale. The three-hit game was his fourth career game with three or more hits and his 18th career multi-hit contest.

    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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