Baseball Travels to Florida For Spring Trip

    Go Hoosiers! Josh Phegley brings a hot bat to Florida as the Hoosiers play eight games in eight days.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Josh Phegley brings a hot bat to Florida as the Hoosiers play eight games in eight days.
    Go Hoosiers!

    March 13, 2009

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    March 14 • 9 a.m. • Winter Haven
    Indiana vs. Bowling Green

    March 15 • 12:30 p.m. • Winter Haven
    Indiana vs. Jacksonville State

    March 16 • 4 p.m. • Winter Haven
    Indiana vs. Northern Iowa

    March 17 • 10 a.m. • Lakeland
    Indiana vs. Eastern Illinois

    March 18 • 6:30 p.m. • Deland
    Indiana at Stetson

    March 19 • 10 a.m. • Lakeland
    Indiana vs. Hartford

    March 20 • 10 a.m. • Winter Haven
    Indiana vs. Ohio State

    March 21 • 2:30 p.m. • Winter Haven
    Indiana vs. Central Connecticut State

    Indiana heads to the Winter Haven area for its annual spring trip as the Hoosiers will play eight games in eight days in the Florida sun. IU split its midweek contests, throttling Morehead State, 18-3, but losing a winnable contest at Kentucky, 8-7. The Hoosiers hit a school-record nine home runs against the Eagles on Tuesday, with three off the bat of Josh Phegley. IU outhit Kentucky 14-7, but the Wildcats used timely hitting and IU miscues to deliver the one-run win.

    Starting off the week, IU will face Bowling Green for the fifth time in school history. The Hoosiers have had no trouble with the Falcons in the past, sporting a 4-0 series record. Jacksonville State will be the second opponent for Indiana for the first meeting of the two schools. Day three of the spring trip will pit IU against Northern Iowa, who Indiana sports a 3-1 all-time record against. Eastern Illinois and Indiana will be playing for the lead in their series, where the teams are square at 4-4. The Hoosiers will try to keep the streak going after winning three out of their last four meetings against the Panthers.

    In the second half of their trip the Hoosiers will face Stetson where they will try to improve their all-time record of 2-4. The two teams have not met since 1989. Hartford will be next on the list for IU. After playing three times in 2006, Indiana will look to stay perfect against the Hawks, with their series record at 4-0. The Hoosiers will then take on conference rival, Ohio State, who they do not face in the regular season. IU will try to improve on their record against the Buckeyes where they are trailing 150-100, but won a decisive extra-inning affair at the Big Ten Tournament last year. Wrapping up the week of games will be Central Connecticut State. It will be the first meeting of these two teams in over 15 years, with the Hoosiers leading the series 2-0.

    Indiana is in its fourth year under the direction of Tracy Smith. In his time at the helm of the Hoosiers, IU is 77-106. In 11 years as a head coach, Smith has a career record of 394-326-1 (.547). The 2008 season was a significant upward turn for the Hoosiers, as Indiana made its first Big Ten Tournament appearance since 2004 by rallying for a sixth-place finish in the regular season. IU then eliminated Ohio State, Illinois and Penn State at the conference tournament before falling in the semifinals to Purdue. With a 31-30 record on the season, IU had its finest season in Smith's tenure.

    When the Hoosiers started their game against Morehead State on Tuesday, March 10, IU had hit five home runs as a team - three by Alex Dickerson, one by Josh Phegley and one by Evan Crawford. But with a favorable wind and a hungry Hoosier lineup, the home squad lit up Sembower Field to the tune of a school-record nine home runs - all coming in the first six innings.

    During Indiana's 18-3 victory, the Hoosiers hit three in the first inning, including Jake Dunning's grand slam to cap off the scoring at eight runs in the frame. In the second, Phegley and Dickerson went back-to-back, becoming the first Hoosiers to do that since Jay Brant and Joe Kemp against St. Francis on March 20, 2005. Phegley's bomb was his second of the day, as he hit a two-run shot as well.

    In the third, Jerrud Sabourin started things with a one-out home run, and Phegley disappointed the ravenous crowd by only knocking a double to left center. But Kipp Schutz got into the act that inning, bringing Phegley home on a blast to the deepest part of the park in right center.

    After a scoreless fourth, Phegley delivered a two-run shot in the fifth for his third longball of the game. He is the first Hoosier with three homers since Eric Blakeley had three against Indiana Wesleyan on Feb. 15, 1999. In the sixth, Cody Webber became the seventh starter to go deep, leading off the inning with a solo home run to right. Later in the frame, Sabourin delivered a sac fly and Phegley had an RBI single to represent the only two runs not scored on homers on the day.

    Junior Eric Arnett has always possessed the potential to be one of the top arms in the conference and the nation, but his first two years produced somewhat disappointing results on the mound. So far in 2009, the Pataskala, Ohio, native has come through with his potential to post arguably the three most impressive starts by a Hoosier this year.

    In his season debut against Georgetown, Arnett allowed just four hits and two walks, striking out a career-high eight in a 12-4 victory. He followed that by one-upping himself in last Sunday's start against Cleveland State. In his seven innings, Arnett again topped his career high with nine Ks. This time, he allowed just three hits - two of them infield singles.

    Against ECU this weekend, his stat line wasn't as pretty, but he pitched a gutsy performance, going a complete game to up his career-high strikeout total for the third time in a row, striking out 10. He limited the Pirates - a team with a .403 batting average entering the game - to just 10 hits and three earned runs. He leads the conference with 27 strikeouts in just 22 innings and has a strong 2.05 ERA.

    Arnett did not have a typical offseason, as he tried out for and made the basketball team, and impressed Tom Crean instantly to earn a roster spot. He served as a key post player during practice for the first 2 1/2 months of the season. Due to scholarship limitations, he could not play in a game per NCAA rules, but practiced with the team until early January.

    Jerrud Sabourin had a stellar freshman year, picking up Freshman All-America honors from several publications after hitting .383 and leading all conference frosh with 53 RBI. The first baseman has followed up on that by tearing it up in 2009, as he sits atop the conference with a .538 average and 28 hits.

    Sabourin is the only Hoosier to have registered a hit in all 12 games this season for Indiana, and his hitting streak runs to 13 games when including last season. In his 12 contests so far in 2009, 10 have been for more than one hit, and he matched his career high when he delivered a four-hit game against Le Moyne on March 8.

    Sabourin went 8-for-12 at the Eagle Invitational, driving in two runs and adding three walks for a .733 on-base percentage. After starting the season hitting in the five hole, IU skipper Tracy Smith has moved him up to second in the lineup, where he has gone 12-for-18 (.667) to raise his average 68 points, and he has scored five runs in the four games he has hit in the two hole. Sabourin hit his first home run of the season against Morehead State on Tuesday.

    After a stellar 2008 season, Josh Phegley entered 2009 with high expectations. After a quick start in the season opener, Phegley entered a bit of a slump, but has heated up over the last three games.

    In his first at-bat of 2009, Phegley came up with runners at the corners and nobody out against West Virginia, and promptly dumped an RBI single into right field for his first hit of the season. He followed that up with three more singles to go 4-for-5 in the season opener for his seventh career game with four hits or more.

    Phegley posted his fourth career five hit game against Morehead State, hitting three home runs and adding a double and single for six RBI. Over the last three contests, Phegley is 9-for-13 with four home runs, 10 RBI and a whopping 1.691 slugging percentage. With his surge he now is atop the team in home runs (4), RBI (16) and slugging percentage (.717). He is also second with 11 runs, a .413 average and a .525 on-base percentage.




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