Davidson Leads IU to Win
BRADENTON, Fla. - Freshman left-hander Brad Davidson tossed seven scoreless innings, leading the Indiana baseball team to an 8-0 shutout victory over Yale at Academy Park on Monday. In three games in Bradenton, the Hoosiers (9-3) are a perfect 3-0 and have outscored their opponents 34-6. The Bulldogs are now 2-7 on the season.
Davidson stifled the Bulldog hitters, surrendering five hits with six strikeouts and only one base on balls for his second victory in two decisions this season. The Novelty, Ohio, native has not allowed a run in his two starts, a span of 12 innings, and lowered his ERA to 1.29 (two earned runs in 14 innings).
"I just went out and tried to throw strikes and get ahead of the hitters," said Davidson. "The team played great today, and we executed perfectly."
Junior Dan Pezley pitched a perfect eighth, and redshirt freshmen Tony Tevis contributed a scoreless ninth to seal the shutout. The Hoosier hurlers held Yale to five hits with only one walk and eight punchouts. IU has recorded shutouts in both of Davidson's starts this season and has three overall on the campaign.
After Yale starter Alex Christ (0-0) retired the first two Hoosiers in the bottom of the first, senior Joe Kemp roped a single into right and advanced to second on a wild pitch before junior Ryan Parker doubled him home with a one-hopper off the right field wall. The hit extended Parker's hitting streak to 10 games and gave the Cream and Crimson a 1-0 lead.
Junior Jay Brant used his speed to manufacture Indiana's second run in the third. The Indianapolis native reached on an infield single and proceeded to steal second and third, allowing Kemp to bring him home with a sacrifice fly to right center.
Davidson controlled the Bulldogs early on, retiring eight straight batters before Matt Stone doubled into left center field to lead off the fourth. The Bulldogs went on to load the bases with no one out, but Jake Doyle lined out to shortstop Tyler Cox, who flipped to Brant at second for a double play. Davidson then struck out Eric Rasmussen to escape the inning unblemished.
Speed contributed to the Hoosiers' third and fourth runs as junior Reggie Watson reached on an error to open the fifth. Always a threat to steal, reliever Chris Wietlispach threw over to first twice, with the second toss going into the right field bullpen. Watson advanced to third on the wild pickoff attempt and came home on a two-bagger by Brant down the right field line.
Brant continued his aggressiveness on the basepaths, scoring the team's fourth run as the ball sprayed away from catcher Eric Rasmussen.
The offense gave Davidson some cushion with a pair of runs in the sixth. Senior Kurt Weigle drilled a double into right center, plating senior Corby Heckman and freshman Brad Udoff to make it 6-0.
Indiana added to its lead in the seventh when Brant roped a double to start things off, and Kemp knocked him in with a two-base hit into the right field corner. Parker moved Kemp to third with a deep fly out to right, and Heckman drove him in with a sacrifice fly to right for the final run of the ballgame.
Offensively, the Cream and Crimson stole three bases with Brant accounting for two bags to give him a team-leading seven swipes on the year. Brant also went 4-for-5 to go along with one RBI and three runs. In his last two games, he is 9-for-10 with three RBI and four runs and raised his team-leading batting average to .462.
In addition, Kemp finished 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI and runs scored, and Weigle drove in two runs.
In its fourth game in Florida, IU will face Illinois State on Tuesday, March 15. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. EST.
*Junior Reggie Watson had his 13-game hitting streak snapped. It marks the first game this season Watson has not recorded a hit.
*Junior Ryan Parker extended his hitting streak to 10 games, and senior Corby Heckman pushed his streak to eight games.
*Freshman Brad Davidson set a new career high with seven innings pitched. His previous high was five innings in a 16-0 win over Arkansas-Little Rock (3/6).
*Including today's game, the Hoosiers' pitching staff has tossed three shutouts this season. IU shut out DePauw, 5-0, on Feb. 22, and blanked Arkansas-Little Rock, 16-0, on March 6.
Check back soon