Lortz Shuts Down St. Francis
BRADENTON, Fla. - Wrapping up its nine-day, seven-game spring break trip, the Indiana baseball team blanked St. Francis (NY), 9-0, on Sunday morning at Robert C. Wynn Field. The two teams played a seven-inning game due to postponements of games on Thursday, March 17. With the victory, the Hoosiers concluded their trip with a 6-1 record and are now 12-4 on the season, while the Terriers fall to 1-5 on the season.
Brian Lortz dominated on the mound, cruising through five scoreless innings. The senior faced three batters over the minimum and punched out four with no walks and two hits, improving to 2-0 on the season. Junior Dan Pezley relieved Lortz and pitched a perfect sixth, and senior Joe Kemp tossed a scoreless seventh to complete the whitewashing.
The shutout is Indiana's fourth this season and its second on the Florida trip (8-0 over Yale on March 14).
Junior Ryan Parker crossed the plate with the first run of the game in the top of the third, scoring on a two-out base hit to right field by junior Zach Boswell. The hit extended Boswell's hitting streak to nine games and put the Cream and Crimson in front 1-0.
St. Francis advanced the tying run to third in the fourth, but Lortz got Lucian Maldonado on a ground out to third baseman Corby Heckman to escape the inning unharmed.
Junior Jay Brant and Kemp gave Lortz some room to work with, blasting back-to-back home runs in the fifth to make it 3-0. It is the first time the Hoosiers have hit consecutive homers this season. Brant's drive was his third of the season, and Kemp took the team lead with his fourth long ball.
Later in the inning, Parker touched home on a wild pitch, and senior Kurt Weigle doubled off the left field wall to score Boswell and Heckman. Freshman Arden McWilliams crossed with the final tally of the inning, hustling home on a foul out to first baseman Tom Pento. Before all the damage was done, IU built a 7-0 advantage heading into the bottom half of the fifth.
Boswell continued the hit parade in the sixth, driving a one-hopper off the center field wall for a triple to plate Kemp. Junior Reggie Watson added the final run of the ballgame in the seventh, singling home sophomore Michael Nilles, who reached on a double, for the final 9-0 margin.
McWilliams ended the contest 2-for-3, and Boswell went 2-for-3 with two RBI and one run scored. Weigle turned in a 1-for-3 effort with a pair of RBI, and in addition to his home run, Kemp was 1-for-3 with one RBI, two runs and one stolen base.
Up next, the Cream and Crimson return home for its third home game of the season against Ball State on Wednesday, March 23. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Sembower Field.
*Indiana now has four shutouts on the season, the most since the 2003 team recorded five. The Hoosiers also shut out Yale on their spring break trip (8-0 on March 14).
*Junior Ryan Parker moved his hitting streak to 14 games, and junior Jay Brant currently holds a 10-game streak. Additionally, freshman Zach Boswell has recorded a hit in nine straight games. Senior Corby Heckman had his hitting streak snapped at 11 games.
*Senior Joe Kemp and junior Ryan Parker both reached base in today's game and have reached in each of the 16 games the Hoosiers have played this season.
*Freshmen David Trager and Arden McWilliams made their first collegiate starts at shortstop and left field, respectively. McWilliams picked up his first hit with a single to left in the second inning, and Trager reached on a bunt single in the second for the first hit of his career. Trager also netted his first collegiate RBI when McWilliams scored on his sacrifice fly in the fifth.
*The Hoosiers have scored first and outhit their opponents 15 times in 16 games this season.
*With 11 hits in today's game, the Cream and Crimson have recorded 10-plus hits in 13 of 16 contests this season.
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