17-Run Outburst Lifts Hoosiers
BRADENTON, Fla. - Scoring a season-high 17 runs, the Indiana baseball team dropped Illinois State, 17-7, on Tuesday afternoon at Academy Park. The Hoosiers are now 4-0 on their seven-game spring break trip and 10-3 overall on the season, while the Redbirds fall to 6-8.
The IU offense produced 20 hits, its second-highest total this season, and reached the 10-hit mark for the 11th time in 13 games this season. Every Hoosier starter recorded a hit and eight of the nine starters drove in or scored at least one run. Senior Corby Heckman (two RBI, three runs) stroked four hits, and juniors Jay Brant (two RBI, two runs), Ryan Parker (one RBI, two runs) and Reggie Watson (two RBI, three runs) recorded three hits apiece.
"Offensively, we had a great day at the plate, and we have been swinging really well. Hopefully we can continue to do so," said Indiana head coach Bob Morgan. "Overall, our pitching has been carrying us this season, but we struggled today."
As ISU held all the momentum after cutting the IU lead to 9-5 with four fifth-inning runs, junior Zach Boswell assured the Cream and Crimson would not lose their lead with a grand slam to dead center field in the seventh, highlighting a six-run seventh inning rally. The blast was his first career grand slam and his third homer this season. Boswell concluded the afternoon with four RBI and three runs.
Joe Trucchio relieved Hoosier starter Adam Poole and kept Illinois State at bay, and the Hoosiers rebuilt their lead to 10 with the six-run seventh inning. Senior Joe Kemp worked a leadoff walk, and Parker bounded a single up the middle. With runners at first and second, Heckman dented a bunt down the third base line for a single to load the bags for Boswell, who crushed a Luke Baughman delivery over 400 feet away.
Watson continued the on-slaught, tripling home sophomore Josh Richardson, and Brant singled in Watson to give Indiana its largest lead of the game at 15-5.
Trucchio earned his first Division I victory and evened his overall record to 1-1. The sophomore yielded two runs in 2 1/3 innings of work. Sophomore Clint Crosier fired a scoreless eighth, and senior Steve Nielsen did not allow a run in the ninth.
For the sixth straight game and the fourth time in four games on its Florida trip, the Cream and Crimson pushed across the first run. Watson and Brant led off with back-to-back singles and advanced to second and third on a passed ball.
As it has done the entire trip, IU executed perfectly to bring the runners home. Kemp grounded out to second baseman Lee Fischer, scoring Watson and moving Brant to third, who came home on a Parker sacrifice fly to make it 2-0 heading into the bottom of the first.
After the Redbirds responded with a run in their first at-bat, the Hoosiers continued to execute flawlessly and tacked on two more runs in the second. Freshman Jon Fixler laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to put freshman Brad Udoff and Boswell on second and third with one out.
Following a walk to Richardson, Watson hit a shot to Fischer, who flipped to shortstop Ryan Anetsberger to force Richardson. However, the attempted double play went array as Anetsberger threw wildly to first, allowing Boswell and Udoff to score for a 4-1 Hoosier advantage.
In the fifth, Indiana added to its lead when Brant delivered a single past third baseman Blake Schoonover, knocking in Richardson and putting Watson on third. Kemp then bounced out to Fischer, driving home Watson with the Hoosiers' sixth run.
Parker kept the line moving with a base hit to left field, extending his hitting streak to 11 games and putting runners on the corners for Heckman. The Spencer, Ind., product ripped a two-RBI triple into the left center field gap, giving him a nine-game hitting streak and giving the Cream and Crimson an 8-1 lead. Two batters later, Udoff connected for an RBI single to left for the final run in the frame.
Poole settled in after the first inning, setting down 10 Redbird batters in order before Fishcer doubled to open the fifth, leading to a four-run ISU rally that cut its deficit to 9-5. The Redbirds would not get any closer despite plating two runs in the seventh. IU came right back with two in the eighth as Fixler (single) and Watson (sacrifice fly) collected RBI for the final 17-7 margin.
Following an off day tomorrow, the Hoosiers return to action on Thursday, March 17, taking on Columbia at 10:30 a.m. EST.
*Junior Ryan Parker moved his hitting streak to 11 games, and senior Corby Heckman extended his streak to nine games. Additionally, junior Jay Brant currently holds a seven-game streak.
*Sophomore Joe Trucchio earned his first Division I victory.
*Junior Zach Boswell hit his first career grand slam and his third home run this season.
*Senior Joe Kemp and juniors Reggie Watson and Ryan Parker all have reached base in each of the 13 games the Hoosiers have played this season.
*Including today's performance, the Cream and Crimson have pushed across 10-plus runs in five games and laced 10-plus hits in 11 of 13 contests this season.
*Indiana's 17-run output is its highest total this season, surpassing a 16-run effort against Arkansas-Little Rock (3/6). The team's 20-hit attack is its second-highest hit total this season behind 21 hits in its victory over Bucknell (3/13).
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