24-Runs Give IU 14th Victory
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - In its final game before the Big Ten season, the Indiana baseball team picked up season-high offensive totals on its way to a 24-9 victory over Shawnee State on Wednesday afternoon at Sembower Field. IU registered season-bests in hits with 22 and runs with 24, eclipsing the previous highs of 21 hits and 17 runs set against Illinois State on March 15. The Hoosiers improve to 14-6 on the season, while the Bears fall to 8-8-1.
A trio of Hoosiers led the hit parade with three knocks apiece. Senior right fielder Joe Kemp went 3-for-6 with three RBI, a double, a home run and three runs scored. Fellow classmate Corby Heckman was perfect on the day, 3-for-3, with a pair of doubles to go along with two RBI. Junior Ryan Parker was 3-for-4 on the day with a homer, a double, two RBI and three runs scored. Senior Jay Brant led the Hoosiers with six runs scored on the afternoon, while junior Zach Boswell and sophomore Bobby Segal added three RBI apiece in the victory.
Sophomore Matt Saba (2-1) earned the win for IU, pitching four innings, allowing two runs and striking out three. Shawnee State starter Matt Thompson (2-2) picked up the loss, pitching three innings.
The Cream and Crimson got on the board in the opening inning on consecutive doubles by Parker and Boswell. With two outs and Brant on via the walk, Parker doubled to center, driving in the Hoosier second baseman. Boswell followed that up with a two-bagger to left center, scoring Parker and pushing the Hoosier lead to 2-0.
Shawnee State answered with a pair of runs in the top of the third. Four straight singles plated one run for the Bears while loading the bases with only one out in the inning. Saba walked Jared Perdue on four pitches to even the game at two. The Hoosiers got out of the bases-loaded jam via the ground ball double play. Heckman fielded the grounder just inside the grass at third, fired home to freshman catcher Jon Fixler, who in turn threw on to first for the 5-3-2 inning-ender.
The Cream and Crimson regained the lead in the bottom of the third on back-to-back doubles by Boswell and Heckman. With one out in the third, Brant and Kemp reached by way of the base on balls. Kemp was cut down at second on a fielder's choice by Parker, advancing Brant to third. Parker stole second on the third pitch of Boswell's at-bat to put runners on second and third with two out. The junior designated hitter then laced a full-count rocket to the gap in left center, plating Brant and Parker to reestablish the two-run Hoosier lead. Heckman added to the lead with a double just out of the reach of Shawnee State center fielder Nathan Timberlake to score Boswell and make it 5-2.
After Brant extended his hit streak to 14 games with a single through the left side of the infield, advancing junior Reggie Watson to second, Kemp cleared the bases with his fifth homer of the year to center field. Parker followed the blast with one of his own down the left field line, pushing the lead to 9-2 after four innings of play.
Shawnee State added an unearned run in the top of the fifth, but the Hoosiers tacked on four more, pushing the lead to 13-3. Heckman started the inning with a double and later scored on a single to left center by Fixler. After Watson walked to put runners on first and second, Brant hit a pop fly double to left center, plating Fixler. Watson and Brant both scored on an error by Shawnee State second baseman Dan Wiemer on a grounder by Kemp.
Cody Piguet led off the sixth with his first home run of the season to left field for Shawnee State. The Bears added another tally as Timberlake scored on a deep sacrifice fly to straight-away center field by Dan Wysong.
Shawnee State scored one in the top of the seventh, and the Hoosiers countered with 11 in the bottom of the inning to push the lead to 24-6. Brant walked to lead off the inning before advancing to third on a bloop double down the right field line. After Parker walked to load the bases, pinch hitter, sophomore Steve Head laced a single inside the right field line, plating Brant and Kemp. Parker came home on a single by Heckman. The Hoosiers once again loaded the bases on a walk by freshman Arden McWilliams.
Segal cleared the bases with his first career hit on a pinch-hit triple to left center field. The scoring parade continued as Segal scored on an infield single by freshman shortstop David Trager. Kemp picked up another RBI with a seeing-eye single through the right side of the infield. Brant, who reached on a fielder's choice, scored on a wild pitch. The Hoosiers loaded the bases again in the inning with one out as Head walked in his second at-bat of the frame. McWilliams drove in a pair with a double just inside the first base bag.
Indiana will return to action at Sembower Field on Friday, April 1, as they open the Big Ten regular season against Northwestern. The opener is set for 3 p.m. The game will be part of a four-game series over the weekend. The Hoosiers and the Wildcats will face off in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 2, with the first game starting at 1 p.m. The finale of the set will come on Sunday, April 3 at 1 p.m.
At Friday's game, head coach of the 2004 national champion Indiana men's soccer team, Mike Freitag, will sing 'Take Me Out To The Ballgame' during the seventh-inning stretch.
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