Hoosiers Head West to Take On Bulldogs

    Go Hoosiers! Matt Bashore is scheduled to pitch Saturday against Fresno State as IU takes on the Bulldogs for a two-game set.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Matt Bashore is scheduled to pitch Saturday against Fresno State as IU takes on the Bulldogs for a two-game set.
    Go Hoosiers!

    March 6, 2008

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    Pete Beiden Field (3,000) • Fresno, Calif.
    First Meeting in Series History

    Saturday, March 8 - 2:05 p.m. PST - Indiana vs. Fresno State

    GameTracker | Live Audio

    IU: LHP Matt Bashore (1-1, 0.87)
    FSU: RHP Tanner Scheppers (1-1, 1.38)

    Sunday, March 9 - 1:05 p.m. PDT - Indiana vs. Fresno State

    GameTracker | Live Audio

    IU: RHP Doug Fleenor (0-0, 6.14)
    FSU: LHP Justin Wilson (0-2, 5.23)

    The Indiana baseball team heads west to take on Fresno State for a pair of contests before taking part in the 2008 Pepsi/Johnny Quik Classic, hosted by the Bulldogs, over Spring Break. The Hoosiers are 3-3 entering the weekend two-game set, while Fresno State is 3-6 on the year. Most recently, the Hoosiers took part in the Austin Peay Invitational, where Indiana tied Illinois State and Austin Peay with a 2-1 record. Wednesday's scheduled contest against Indiana State was cancelled due to inclement weather.

    Indiana's offense was red-hot in the series in Clarksville, as the top four hitters in the lineup combined for 26 hits in 57 at-bats (.456 average), scoring 18 runs and driving in 17 in the three games. Terre Haute native Josh Phegley led the way for the IU offense, as the sophomore catcher went 5-for-5 and hit for the cycle in IU's 17-14 win over Valparaiso. Phegley hit .571 for the three-game set, and was named to the All-Tournament Team, where he was joined by Andrew Means, Evan Crawford and Matt Bashore.

    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 44-72. 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 361-292-1 (.553).

    Mike Batesole is in his sixth season with the Bulldogs, and has a 180-140 record in his tenure. In his 13-year career he is 431-308-1.

    This will be the first meeting for the Hoosiers and Bulldogs in program history. Indiana has played just three of the seven teams that are currently in the Western Athletic Conference, and has a combined record of 2-2 in games against these foes. The last time IU played a team from the WAC was in 1991, when IU defeated San Jose State.

    Indiana will double its all-time games total against the conference in the next week, as IU will face Fresno State three times and New Mexico State once.

    Fresno State enters the weekend with a record of 3-6 against some stiff competition this season. The Bulldogs split a four-game set with UC Davis in Fresno in the opening weekend for both teams, then traveled to San Diego for four games there. FSU went 1-3 in San Diego, losing close games to USD and Cal Poly, but taking a 9-2 decision against San Diego State.

    On Tuesday, Fresno State battled Santa Clara, but lost in 10 innings. In that game, Steve Detweiler went 4-for-4, but SC was able to take a 6-5 decision. Eric Wetzel paces the offense with his .366 average, while the Bulldogs have hit .270 as a team. The staff has an aggregate 3.84 ERA, with its top starters combining for just eight earned runs in 37 1/3 innings (1.93).

    Sophomore catcher Josh Phegley has consistently been one of IU's best hitters throughout the 2008 season, but his performance against Valparaiso stands out from all the rest. The Terre Haute native went 5-for-5 with five RBI and four runs scored and hit for the cycle - the first for an Indiana player since Joe Kemp did so against Michigan State on May 7, 2005. Phegley also matched IU's school record with his five hits

    Phegley, who entered the game with a .381 average but without an extra-base hit, came up in the first with runners at the corners and nobody out and rocketed a double off the centerfield wall and drove in a run. In the third, Phegley hit a one-out triple to deep right center and scored on a Kipp Schutz triple shortly thereafter.

    Then, in the fourth, Phegley came to the plate with Evan Crawford on first and IU trailing for the first time in the game, and the sophomore hit a towering shot over the wall in centerfield for his first career home run, giving Indiana a lead it would not relinquish. Phegley helped ensure that IU held on to the lead, as he came up with the bases loaded and nobody out in the fifth, and completed his cycle with a base hit up the middle that plated two more runs. He also added a bloop single in the seventh and scored Indiana's final run on a Chris Hervey single.

    Phegley became the first Hoosier since David Trager (3/16/07 against Florida A&M) to have five hits in a game, the first to score four runs since Steve Head (3/15/06 against Fairfield) and the first to drive in five runs since Jon Fixler (3/17/07 against Florida A&M). It was the second time in Phegley's career that he notched three extra-base hits in a game, as he had three doubles against Butler on March 7 of last year.

    Four members of the Indiana baseball team have been named to the Austin Peay Invitational All-Tournament Team. Matt Bashore, Evan Crawford, Andrew Means and Josh Phegley were honored for the Hoosiers, who finished in a three-way tie for first place at the weekend event.

    Phegley had a record-setting game in Indiana's 17-14 victory over Valparaiso. He tied a school record with five hits in five at-bats, and additionally he became the first Hoosier since Joe Kemp in 2005 to hit for the cycle. The sophomore also scored four runs and drove in five in the victory for IU. That followed a 2-for-5 performance against Illinois State where the sophomore scored a pair of runs, as Phegley hit .545, scored six runs and drove in seven in the Invitational.

    Bashore collected his first win of the season with a brilliant performance against Austin Peay on Saturday. The Hoosier hurler allowed just four hits - three of them infield singles - and struck out five in six innings for the Hoosiers. In leading IU to the victory, Bashore lowered his ERA to 0.87 and his batting average against to .195.

    Means collected hits in each of the three contests in Clarksville to move his season average to .355. The junior centerfielder finished the weekend with a .412 average, leading all players by scoring seven runs and adding a stolen base. In Friday's game, Means went 3-for-5 and tied his own school record by hitting two triples in the contest. He also went 3-for-6 and scored three times in Saturday's win over Austin Peay.

    Crawford quietly put together a very solid weekend after struggling on Friday, rebounding with three hits each on Saturday and Sunday to finish the weekend at .429. The sophomore scored four runs and drove in three for the weekend and hit his second career triple on Saturday. The Reynoldsburg, Ohio, native is now hitting .370 on the season, fourth on the team.

    The Hoosiers went 2-1 to match the records of Illinois State and Austin Peay for tops at the four-team event.

    Indiana has had the same top four hitters in each game this season - the only four slots in the lineup that have been completely consistent - and those top four hitters have been vital to Indiana's success. Andrew Means, Evan Crawford, Josh Phegley and Kipp Schutz have been IU's top four hitters this year, but their performance has been at its apex in Indiana's victories.

    In IU's three wins, the foursome has gone a collective 30-for-56 (.536 average) with 22 runs scored, 16 RBI, and a .714 slugging percentage. Conversely, the top four hitters have gone 14-for-52 (.269 average) and have scored just five runs.

    Crawford has been the extreme example, as his .692 average in Hoosier victories is best on the team, but he is just 1-for-14 (.071) in losses this year.

    Sophomore Matt Bashore followed up on a fine first start by dominating Austin Peay in his second start of the season. The southpaw held APSU to four hits - three of them infield singles - in his six innings of work. Additionally, he struck out five Governors in the contest and kept the host squad off the scoreboard while he was in the game.

    Combined with an impressive outing against No. 34 LSU in his first game of the year, Bashore is now second in the Big Ten among eligible pitchers in ERA (0.87) and is third in batting average against (.195). Bashore has now struck out 14 batters on the season, which leads all conference hurlers, in just 10 1/3 innings of work this season.

    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.

    More than any other inning, the score at the end of the sixth has been crucial to victory for Indiana in Tracy Smith's tenure in Bloomington. When the Hoosiers have led at the end of the six innings, IU is 35-3 over the last three years. When Indiana trails heading into the seventh, the team is just 5-60.




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