Indiana Edges Vermont in Extra Innings

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!
    BRADENTON, Fla. - The Indiana baseball team mustered a run in the bottom of the 12th inning Saturday to defeat the Vermont Catamounts, 4-3, in the final game of its spring trip in Bradenton, Fla. David Hughes' single to left field scored Kenny Marrs for the Hoosiers' 13th win of the season (13-2) and the 998th of head coach Bob Morgan's career.

    Indiana took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Centerfielder Chad Coder drew a two-out walk and came around to score on a double to right by catcher Cody Wargo.

    In the third frame, IU placed its first two hitters, leftfielder Mark Calkins and rightfielder Kenny Marrs, on base by way of a walk and a bean ball. Third baseman Corby Heckman sacrfice bunted them over to second and third, but Vermont starting pitcher Jamie Merchant stepped up and struck out Kevin Mahar and Nick Evans to end the inning and the Hoosier scoring threat.

    Indiana worked itself out of a jam in the top of the fourth. Hoosier starter Chris Behrens gave up consecutive singles to start the inning. Junior Adam Pegg came in to relieve Behrens and Vermont moved the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Pegg struck out the next batter and then got a ground out to third to maintain a 1-0 lead and end the inning.

    In the fifth, the Hoosiers extended their lead as Calkins got things started with a base hit. Marrs moved Calkins to second with a sac bunt and Heckman smacked a hit to left field. Calkins beat the play at the plate to make it 2-0, Indiana. Mahar followed with a base hit of his own. The Catamount pitcher was called for a balk and both Heckman and Mahar moved to second and third. Heckman scored on a passed ball to put IU up 3-0.

    Vermont would not go quietly. In the top of the seventh, Pegg struck out the leadoff batter but then gave up a walk and a base hit. Ryan Smith came in for Pegg, but Vermont continued its offensive spark. The Catamounts managed to push across three runs and tie the game before Indiana halted the scoring with a double play to end the inning. Vermont held IU in the bottom of the frame to force extra innings.

    For the next four innings, neither team was able to score.

    In the bottom of the 12th, the Hoosiers came out fired up. With the IU dugout cheering loudly, Marrs walked on four straight pitches. Heckman turned in his third hit of the game. Mahar flew out to right and Marris moved to third. Hughes, who was 0-for-5 at that point and had three strikeouts, ripped a single to left to bring Marrs in for the win.

    Senior Kevin O'Brien pitched the final two innings to take home the win for IU. He is now 1-0 on the season after giving up just one hit and striking out one today.

    Freshman Chris Hynes held the Catamounts scoreless through the eight, ninth and 10th innings. Hynes also allowed just one hit while walking three and striking out two.

    Indiana finishes its spring trip with a 5-1 record and a 13-2 mark overall. The Hoosiers defeated Bradley, Yale, Fairleigh-Dickinson and Army. Their lone loss came to Northeastern, 3-2, in a rain-shortened game.

    The Hoosiers return to Bloomington on Sunday and will next play at home on Tuesday, March 25, against Saginaw Valley at 3 p.m. Should IU win that game, Bob Morgan will have a chance to clinch his 1000th career victory on Wednesday when the Hoosiers take on Wright State at home. Both games are set for a 3 p.m. start at Sembower Field.

    Morgan entered the season ranked No. 12 on the Active Division I Coaches List for Career Wins with 985. In addition, he is No. 20 on the national list for career winning percentage among active coaches. Morgan is in his 20th season as the head coach at Indiana and his 28th season overall. His record stands at 998-506-6.




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