IUDowns Kent State, 11-6
BRADENTON, Fla. - Playing at McKechnie Field, the spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Indiana baseball team scored nine runs in the first two innings en route to an 11-6 victory over Kent State on Saturday afternoon. The Hoosiers improve to 11-4 overall and 5-1 on their Florida trip, while the Golden Flashes fall to 8-7 on the season.
The IU offense recorded 18 hits and reached the 10-hit mark for the 12th time in 15 games this season. Freshman Zach Boswell turned in a perfect 5-for-5 effort, collecting four RBI to go along with three doubles and one run scored.
"I had a real good batting practice session, and I was seeing the ball real well," said Boswell. "I took good pitches and hit to the opposite field because they were pitching me outside."
In addition to Boswell, junior Ryan Parker added three RBI and two runs, and freshman Brad Udoff drove in a career-high three runs. Senior Corby Heckman was 3-for-4 at the plate, while juniors Reggie Watson and Jay Brant had two hits and two runs apiece. Freshman Jon Fixler also finished with two hits in four at-bats.
The Cream and Crimson started quickly, scoring first for the sixth straight game with a four-spot in the top of the first. With the bags full, Parker singled to left field, knocking in Watson and Brant while extending his hitting streak to 13 games.
Boswell made it 3-0 with a towering drive that left fielder Chuck Moore could not corral, netting a double to score senior Joe Kemp. Udoff drove in Parker for the fourth run of the stanza with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Parker again came up with the bases loaded in the second following singles by Brant and Watson and a walk to Kemp. This time around, Parker earned an RBI after getting hit by a pitch. Boswell then delivered his second double in as many innings, bringing home Brant and Kemp. Two batters later, Udoff closed out the five-run frame with a two-out single into center, giving the Hoosiers a 9-0 advantage heading into the bottom of the second.
The Golden Flashes rallied with three in the second and a solo tally in the fourth to cut their deficit to 9-4 and placed runners on second and third with no one out in the sixth. Joe Trucchio relieved Hoosier starter Josh Lewis and minimized the damage, letting in one run and retiring Joe Tucker on a ground out to shortstop Josh Richardson to leave runners on second and third to close out the threat.
After IU did not plate a run for five innings, Boswell completed his perfect afternoon with an RBI-double in the left center gap, allowing Kemp to cross with the Cream and Crimson's 10th run of the ballgame in the eighth.
Heckman then singled up the middle and it appeared Indiana would add more, but second baseman Drew Saylor made a diving stab on an Udoff grounder, flipped to shortstop Emmannuel Burriss for the force at second, and Burriss threw to first for the inning-ending double play.
The Hoosiers added an insurance run in the ninth when Brant singled to left, bringing Richardson home with IU's final run of the game. Kent State added a run in the bottom of the ninth, but it was not enough as Indiana earned an 11-6 win.
Trucchio pitched the final four innings to earn his first Division I save. The sophomore gave up one run on five hits with a pair of walks and strikeouts. Lewis fired five-plus innings to pick up his third win in three decisions this season.
"I was really happy with my performance today," said Trucchio. "I went into the game and threw strikes, got outs and helped the team win."
The Hoosiers conclude their seven-game spring break trip tomorrow, Sunday morning, against St. Francis (N.Y.). Game time is set for 10 a.m. EST at Manatee Community College in Bradenton, Fla.
*Junior Ryan Parker moved his hitting streak to 13 games, and senior Corby Heckman extended his streak to 11 games. Additionally, junior Jay Brant currently holds a nine-game streak, and freshman Zach Boswell has recorded a hit in eight straight games.
*Sophomore Joe Trucchio picked up his first Division I save with four innings of one-run relief.
*Senior Joe Kemp and junior Ryan Parker both reached base in today's game and have reached in each of the 15 games the Hoosiers have played this season.
*With 11 runs and 18 hits in today's game, the Cream and Crimson have pushed across 10-plus runs in six games and ripped 10-plus hits in 12 of 15 contests this season.
Check back soon