Baseball To Wrap Up Florida Swing with Three Against FAMU

    Go Hoosiers! Tyler Tufts will throw for the Hoosiers against Florida A&M on Friday.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Tyler Tufts will throw for the Hoosiers against Florida A&M on Friday.
    Go Hoosiers!

    March 16, 2007

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    The Indiana baseball team will finish its eight-game swing through Florida with a three-game series against Florida A&M from Thursday to Saturday. The Hoosiers split a pair of mid-week contestswith North Florida in Jacksonville, with each team taking a 10-9 victory. Indiana is now 5-8 on the season, while FAMU is 1-19.

    Five different Hoosiers had multi-hit games and Jason Ferrell slammed the door over the final 2 2/3 innings as the Indiana baseball team took a 10-9 victory over North Florida. Indiana (5-8) stole nine bases in the victory, with Andrew Means and Evan Crawford swiping three apiece. UNF fell to 9-12 with the loss.

    With two on and one out in the bottom of the seventh, Ferrell got the Ospreys' top two hitters - Jim Dandridge and Jimmy Glanville - to foul out and pop out in succession to end the UNF threat. The Ospreys got two on again in the bottom of the ninth, and Ferrell responded by striking out Dandridge and Glanville to end the game.

    Means, Crawford, Keith Haas, Reid Briglia and Tyler Cox each had two hits in the ballgame, with Crawford and Josh Phegley each scoring two runs for IU. Phegley, Cox and Haas each had steals in the win.

    The Hoosiers pushed over the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth after Phegley posted his first hit of the two-game set with a single through the left side. The freshman advanced on a Cox groundout, and then Means drove him home with a single to left center to make the tally 10-9.

    This will be the first meeting between the two teams in school history. The Rattlers are the third of three teams that IU is facing for the first time this season. The Hoosiers defeated Georgia Southern 6-1 on Feb. 24 in the first meeting between those two programs, while Indiana and North Florida split their two contests this season.

    The Rattlers are 1-19 on the season, with their lone win a 6-5 victory over Navy in the middle of a three-game set with the Midshipmen. Since then, FAMU has lost 14 in a row, including a three-game sweep at the hands of Mercer last weekend. The only common opponent between the two teams is North Florida, who the Rattlers fell to, 17-15 and 9-5, two weeks ago in Jacksonville. This is their second straight home series, while IU is in the middle of a stretch where it plays 15 games out of 16 away from Bloomington.

    FAMU is led offensively by Darryl Evans, who is hitting .356 on the season in 20 starts on the year. Evans leads with team with 14 runs and five steals on the season. Anthony Mazzeo is hitting .310 with four home runs and 17 RBIs on the season in his 18 games. As a team, the Rattlers are hitting .249.

    On the pitching side, FAMU has an aggregate 7.07 ERA and has allowed 229 hits in 166 2/3 innings. Rattler hurlers have 97 strikeouts to 92 walks on the season. Opponents are hitting .321 on the season against Florida A&M.

    In Indiana's 10-9 victory over North Florida, the Hoosiers swiped a season-high nine bases, the most since IU stole 12 bases against Indiana State on April 18, 2006. On Wednesday night, Andrew Means and Evan Crawford each stole three bags to lead the visitors.

    In his two years with the Hoosiers, head coach Tracy Smith has shown an affinity to be aggressive on the basepaths, and the 2007 Hoosiers have followed suit. IU has attempted 31 steals on the year to its opponents' 15. Indiana has been successful on 23 of its attempts this year.

    One interesting aspect has been the distribution of steals this season, as eight different players have swiped bags already this season with 10 attempting steals. Six different players have at least two steals, with Means' seven leading the way. Crawford's five are second, while Cox' three are right behind. Keith Haas and Josh Phegley have two steals apiece, while Josh Richardson and Chris Hervey have also posted steals this year.

    Junior walk-on Reid Briglia has used the fair weather in Florida to heat up his bat. In the five games against FSU and UNF, Briglia has gone 9-for-21 with three doubles. Briglia's .429 average and .571 slugging percentage are best on the team on the trip. The Cherry Hill, N.J., native has driven in two runs and scored four on the trip.

    Briglia is in his first season on the field with the Hoosiers. He redshirted while at IU in 2004 before transferring to Rollins College for a year, playing fall ball for Rollins. He then returned to Indiana and redshirted as a transfer in 2006 before joining the Hoosiers this season.

    Freshman Evan Crawford continues to impress in his brief time as a Hoosier. Crawford is hitting .377 with hits in 10 of his 13 career games. In addition, Crawford is atop the squad with 11 runs and 23 total bases. In his last contest, Crawford reached base three times and each time stole second for a career-high three steals in the contest. Crawford also scored two runs in the game.

    Crawford, a native of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, finished his senior year with a .462 average and 21 steals in 22 attempts. He has also been a stalwart defensively this year, helping IU turn 17 groundball double plays in 13 games.

    Senior Keith Haas is at a new position - shortstop - but performance over the first 13 games have been reminiscent of the 2006 all-region selection's previous campaign. So far this season, Haas has hit .373 and has Indiana's only home run. His 10 RBIs also are tops on the team.

    In his five games in Florida, Haas has put together a .381 average with seven singles and a double on the trip. He has recorded 20 assists, which are best on the team, and has helped the Hoosiers turn seven double plays in the five games.

    With Crawford's emergence as a solid leadoff hitter, Haas has hit in the three hole in each of the last five games. Haas led the team with a .353 average last season, spending most of his time in the leadoff spot. His 41 assists are tops on the team with Crawford, and he has helped the IU defense turn 12 double plays already this season.

    Junior third baseman Tyler Cox has raised his season average to .310 with a current three-game hitting streak. Cox has four multi-hit games on the season and is second on the squad with five doubles. He has five RBIs, six runs and three stolen bases on the year.

    The Georgetown, Ind., native hit .316 on the year in 39 games with 19 starts. He has already matched his career high in steals, who swiped three bags in six attempts in his freshman year of 2005, when Cox played 25 contests for the Hoosiers.

    Freshman Josh Phegley had quite an outing against Butler, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and one run, with all three of his hits being doubles. Phegley is leading the Big Ten in doubles with six on the season. He is fourth on the team with 19 total bases.

    Sophomore Andrew Means has had a solid start for the Hoosiers after making the transition from right field to center. Means has covered a ton of ground in center defensively, and has also put together a .306 average with three doubles and a triple on the season. The speedster leads the team in steals as well, going 7-for-8 on the basepaths this year after his three steals on Wednesday night. His eight runs are tied for second on the team with Josh Phegley.

    The sophomore is also a wide receiver on the Indiana football team. In 2006, he made 20 catches for 263 yards and a touchdown for the Hoosiers. Last season, the two-sport athlete hit .301 with 16 stolen bases for the Hoosier baseball team.

    Indiana's 16-inning game against North Florida was the longest in the Tracy Smith era for the Hoosiers. Last season, IU lost a 14-inning game to Charlotte on Feb. 26, 2006, in the team's third game last season. The Hoosiers are 0-2 in extra-inning contests and are 2-5 in Smith's career when games go to extras. The game lasted 4:40, the longest contest since a 17-7 loss to Michigan State on March 31 of last year. Andrew Means had four hits in seven at-bats in the contest to lead the team.

    The Hoosier pitching staff has had a strong year through the first 13 games. Indiana held Florida State - which was hitting .415 entering the series and had scored 10 runs in 13 of its 17 games - to under 10 runs and a .306 average over the three games.

    IU's three starters in the series - Tyler Tufts, Matt Bashore and Jason Ferrell - all threw solid outings on the mound on the weekend, with Tufts and Ferrell going seven-plus innings in each start. Tufts allowed nine hits and four earned runs in seven innings in the series opener. Bashore had perhaps the best start of the weekend, going five innings and allowing just five hits and one earned run. Ferrell's end line - 7.1 innings, five earned runs - are not indicative of how well he pitched, as the freshman allowed just seven hits and at one point set down 15 Seminole batters in a row. When he was removed from the game, the FSU crowd showed their approval with a standing ovation.

    Billy Kitchen had a tough start against UNF on Wednesday, but prior to that, Hoosier starters had pitched 31 1/3 innings over the previous five contests. Starters allowed just 35 hits and 14 earned runs while striking out 20, led by Chris McCombs' eight on Tuesday night. The one problem as of late for the staff has been its control, as IU walked 11 batters over that time span, including eight in the three-game set against FSU.

    Senior Josh Richardson has found himself in a new spot on the field for the third time this season. After starting 32 of his 37 games at shortstop a season ago, Richardson has played at third base and second base and has started in both left field and at designated hitter. Richardson has helped to fill in the hole left by the loss of freshman Kipp Schutz, who will likely miss the remainder of the season with a collarbone injury.

    The 2007 Hoosiers will look quite different from their 2006 counterparts, largely due to the fact that 19 of the 34 players on the roster are new to the program. Eighteen of the 19 players are freshmen for IU. So far, freshmen Evan Crawford and Josh Phegley have started all 13 games for IU, while three other freshmen have started at least five games this year. On the Hoosier staff, eight of 12 players who have pitched this season are freshmen, and freshmen have started six of Indiana's 13 games this year.

    Freshman Matt Bashore delivered a gem on the mound in IU's 4-2 victory over Northern Iowa, tossing 7 1/3 innings in his first collegiate start. Bashore allowed five hits and three walks in the contest while striking out four and allowing just one earned run. More impressively, Bashore got better as the game went on, allowing just two walks and a hit batsman over his final 3 1/3 innings of work. At one point, Bashore retired 12 Panthers in a row and pitched 1-2-3 innings in the 5th, 6th and 7th.

    The Tipp City, Ohio, native was an all-area selection and earned honorable mention all-state in his senior season for Tippecanoe High School.

    Former Hoosier Mike Smith has been named to the official ballot for the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. More than 300 candidates were originally nominated to be on the ballot, and Smith is one of just 26 players to make the cut on the final ballot.

    The former shortstop hit .369 in his IU career, smashing 47 home runs and driving in 185 runs in his four years. In 1992, Smith posted one of the best seasons in NCAA history, hitting .490 with 27 home runs and 95 RBIs to lead the nation in all three categories. He remains the only player in college baseball lore to win the triple crown. Smith earned first team All-America laurels following his 1992 campaign.

    When the Hoosiers exploded for 16 runs and 20 hits against Eastern Illinois, each marked the highest total in the Tracy Smith era for the Hoosiers. Indiana posted two innings - the third and the ninth - of six runs or more and batted around in each inning.

    Four Hoosiers were named to the AutoZone Classic All-Tournament team for their performances over the weekend. Senior Keith Haas and freshmen Evan Crawford, Josh Phegley and Kipp Schutz were all honored as Indiana (3-3) took second place at the event with a 2-1 record.

    Haas hit the Hoosiers' only home run of the weekend, a three-run shot to deep left center in the ninth inning of IU's 16-7 win over Eastern Illinois. Haas hit .385 on the weekend, going 5-for-13 at the plate, and drove in five runs. He recorded a team-high 12 assists and added six putouts, taking part in all four of Indiana's double plays on the weekend.

    Crawford extended his hitting streak to six games with eight hits in the three-game set. He recorded multiple hits in each game, including a 4-for-6 performance against Eastern Illinois on Friday, March 2. Crawford tied for the team lead with four runs on the weekend, drove in three runs and stole a base.

    Phegley hit .500 over the weekend, going 6-for-12 at the plate with three doubles. His four runs matched Crawford for the team lead, while he slugged .750 over the three games. Phegley also drew two walks and stole his first career base at the Classic.

    Schutz went 6-for-11, including two doubles, on the weekend. He hit .545 for the three games and slugged a whopping .727 over the weekend. Schutz scored three runs on the weekend, including two in the Hoosiers' 16-7 win over Eastern Illinois. His double in the fourth inning against Northern Iowa scored Indiana's first run of the contest en route to a 4-2 victory.




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