Hoosiers Set For Pepsi/Johnny Quik Classic
March 10, 2008
INDIANA AT PEPSI/JOHNNY QUIK CLASSIC
Pete Beiden Field (3,000) Fresno, Calif.
THE FIRST PITCH
The Hoosiers were topped in both games of their two-game set against Fresno State over the weekend, with the Bulldogs taking a 6-2 decision on Saturday and a 9-4 victory on Sunday. Michael Earley had a strong weekend at the plate, going 3-for-6 with his first home run in a Hoosier uniform. Josh Phegley continued his hot streak at the plate, extending his season-opening hit streak to eight games. Matt Bashore had another strong game on the mound in the opener, allowing just five hits over seven innings in the loss.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES
SCOUTING THE FIELD
Host Fresno State is 5-6 after sweeping the two-game set from the Hoosiers. The Bulldogs are 4-2 at home on the year.
Utah enters the week at 3-7 on the year after sweeping a three-game set against Southern Utah. Despite the record, the Utes have been outscored by just eight runs on the season.
Gonzaga is 6-5 on the year after sweeping a three-game series from the University of the Pacific and taking three of four from BYU. The Zags started the year against Oklahoma State and was swept by the Cowboys.
New Mexico State is 4-3 on the year as the Aggies opened the season by taking two of three from New Orleans before splitting a wild four-game set against Ball State.
WHAT A DAY
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.
THE FOUR TOPS
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 22-for-80 (.275 average) and have scored just eight 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-18 (.056) in losses this year.
SHORE FIRE WAY
That followed Bashore 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.
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.
EARLEY RETURNS ARE STRONG
With the recent hot string, the Anderson, Ind., native has raised his season average to .318 to go along with a .545 slugging percentage. Earley joined the Hoosiers over the summer after transferring from the University of Cincinnati, where he hit .320 with five home runs last year. As a senior at Anderson, Earley was a runner up to now teammate Josh Phegley in the voting for Indiana Mr. Baseball after posting a .523 average with 14 doubles, four triples, four doubles and 30 RBI.
Check back soon