Hoosiers Fall to Indiana State
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana baseball team was unable to completely overcome five Indiana State home runs and a five-run first inning as it dropped a contest to the Sycamores, 11-9, Wednesday afternoon at Sembower Field. The Hoosiers slipped to 16-6 with the loss and ISU improved to 18-5 overall.
"We gave up five runs that we shouldn't have in the first inning," Indiana head coach Bob Morgan said. "The bottom line is that we made too many errors and walked too many guys. We didn't pitch very well today, but they are a good ball club. We would get back in it and with every pitcher that we brought in they were still able to extend the lead. It was a hitter's day with the wind is blowing out, but give them credit, they were able to extend the lead. We just didn't play well defensively and didn't pitch well enough to win the ball game against a good ball club and they are a good team so that's the bottom line."
The Hoosiers got off to a rocky start in the first, surrendering five runs on two hits and a pair of costly errors to the Sycamores. After freshman starting pitcher Troy Ragle hit leadoff man Michael Miller with a pitch, Josh Prickett singled to centerfield. Kevin Egli reached base on a fielder's choice, but an errant throw by IU first baseman Kevin Mahar failed to get Prickett and second and Miller came home to score.
Indiana's defensive woes continued in the next at bat as John Purdom went to first on an error by Hoosier third baseman Vasili Spanos and Prickett scored to make it 2-0. Jereme Hatler grounded out and plated Egli for run No. 3. ISU added two more runs of the Sycamore's first home run of the afternoon, a shot out of the park in left by Ben Vannatter.
The Hoosiers faced the daunting challenge of battling back from a 5-0 deficit after the top of the first. And they responded in the second inning. Spanos led off with a double to right-centerfield and then scored on Mahar's single to center. Designated hitter Nick Evans went to first on a catcher's interference call and Mahar moved up. Rightfielder Ryan Donley stepped the plate and then hammered a long ball to center field to pull within in 5-4. Shortstop Seth Bynum doubled to left and advanced to third as Mark Calkins grounded out to the pitcher. Centerfielder Brad DeStefano drove in Bynum for the tying run.
Indiana State responded with two more runs in the third for a 7-5 advantage. Ragle allowed one hit and a two walks before fellow freshman Derek Hibbs came out of the bullpen in relief.
Spanos came to bat in the bottom-half of the inning and blasted a solo homer over the centerfield fence, his third of the season, to draw Indiana to within a run.
In the fourth Purdom and Chris Hall homered off Hibbs on consecutive pitches, extending ISU's lead to. 9-6.
Indiana scored its seventh run in the fifth. Pinch hitter Ryan Parker walked with the bases loaded and Spanos came home after leading off the inning with a double to the wall in right.
The Sycamore's long ball barrage continued in the sixth when Purdom hit his second home run of the game off junior Adam Pegg to put the Sycamores ahead, 10-7. That hit would be the only one that Pegg allowed in two innings of work.
The Hoosiers scored a pair of runs to make it, 10-9, in the bottom of the sixth when Evans' double dropped fair in deep left field to score Spanos and second baseman Corby Heckman.
Senior Kevin O'Brien pitched the seventh and eighth innings for Indiana and did not allow the Sycamores to score. He gave up two hits but fanned four batters.
The Cream and Crimson trailed just just one run headed into the ninth inning. Senior closer Ryan Smith came in to finish the game. Vannatter hit a lead-off home run out of the park in centerfield to give the Hoosiers a two-run deficit.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Hoosiers looked to be off to a good st art as senior Kenny Marrs started off with a pinch-hit single. Donley grounded into a double play and the Sycamores recorded the final out in the next at bat.
Ragle was tagged with his first loss of the season after working 2.2 innings. The rookie allowed three hits and a pair of earned runs while walking three and striking out one. Brian Woods was the winning pitcher for ISU. Woods pitched five innings, scattering nine Hoosier hits and five earned runs. He improved to 3-1 after walking two and striking out three. Joe Thatcher picked up his fourth save of the season for Indiana State.
Offensively, the Hoosiers were led by Spanos, who went 3-for-5 and scored five runs. The senior All-American hit a pair of doubles and home run, score four runs and drove in another. Calkins, DeStefano and Evans all had two hits for IU as well.
The Hoosiers, who are 2-2 in conference action after a split at Illnois last weekend, hit the road once again for their second weekend of league play. IU will battle the Iowa Hawkeyes in a four-game series. Friday's opener is set for 6 p.m. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday's finale is set for a 1 p.m. start.
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