IULoses First Game at Classic to Centenary
SHREVEPORT, La. - Coming off a doubleheader sweep on Friday, the Indiana baseball team lost its first game at the Gent Classic to Centenary, 11-3, on Saturday afternoon. The Hoosiers (5-2) took the opening two games at the Classic before today's defeat, while the Gents (5-7) picked up their first win in three tries this weekend.
After Centenary scored two runs in the top half of the first, the Cream and Crimson came right back in the bottom half of the inning to even things up. Senior Joe Kemp started the two-out rally by stretching a single into a double, extending his hitting streak to 14 games in the process. Junior Ryan Parker then legged out a two-bagger, bringing Kemp home to make it 2-1.
Junior Zach Boswell walked to set the table for senior Corby Heckman, who continued his torrid hitting in the series with a shot up the middle to plate Parker and knot the game at 2-2.
The Gents regained the lead in the fourth behind an RBI double from third baseman J.C. Biagi. IU threatened in the bottom half with runners on the corners and one out, but sophomore Steve Head got caught off third as the Hoosiers attempted a double steal, and Kemp grounded out to end the inning.
Trailing 4-2 in the fifth, the Cream and Crimson appeared ready to cut into the lead. Boswell and Heckman delivered back-to-back singles, and sophomore Josh Richardson walked to load the bases with one out for pinch-hitter Tyler Cox. The freshman proceeded to hit a rocket to shortstop David Kiefer, who flipped to second baseman Alex Vadivia to double up Heckman and close out the frame.
In the top of the sixth, the Gents added one run and could have pushed across more if not for a brilliant defensive play by Kemp.
The Bowie, Md., native dived, fully extended and on the run, corralling a drive into the right field corner by Chris Wilson. Following the web gem, Kemp hit cutoff man Ryan Parker, who threw a strike to catcher Jon Fixler to gun down Valdivia at the plate. Biagi scored ahead of Valdivia to push the Centenary lead to 5-2.
Once again, Indiana placed a pair in scoring position in the bottom half of the inning, but Parker lined out to center field with runners at second and third to retire the side.
The Gents tallied six runs in the top of the ninth inning, and IU posted one in the bottom half for the final 11-3 margin.
Leading the way for the Hoosiers, Heckman pounded out three hits in four at-bats, giving him nine hits in three games at the Classic. The Spencer, Ind., native also drove in a pair of runs. In addition, Kemp, Parker and junior Jay Brant each posted two hits and scored once with Parker adding an RBI and Brant swiping two bases.
On the mound, Clint Crosier was solid in relief of starter Adam Poole (0-1). The sophomore southpaw threw four innings, giving up one run on no hits. Crosier has a 1.29 ERA in seven innings pitched this season.
Centenary starter David McElroy (2-0) tossed eight innings and allowed three earned runs to earn the victory in his first start of the season.
Indiana concludes play at the Classic on Sunday morning with an 11 a.m. CST match up against Arkansas-Little Rock. The Hoosiers dropped the Trojans in the opening game of the Classic, 9-4. Freshman Brad Davidson (0-0) will make his first start of the season for IU.
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