IU Splits With Iowa On the Road
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Indiana baseball team split Sunday's doubleheader but took the series against the Iowa Hawkeyes three games to one in Iowa City. Indiana won the opener, 5-1, but dropped game two, 8-5. IU is now 19-6
The Hoosiers took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Third baseman Vasili Spanos laced a double down the right field line to lead off. First baseman Kevin Mahar followed with a single through the left side to put Spanos on third. Spanos came in to score as designated hitter Ryan Donley grounded into a double play.
Indiana tacked on a two more runs in the third. Centerfielder Brad DeStefano got things going with a double down the leftfiield line. DeStefano advanced to third on Kenny Marrs' ground out. Leftfielder Mark Calkins clubbed an infield single to place runners on the corners. Calkins stole second and the Iowa defense struggled on the play. DeStefano scored on an error by the Hawkeye catcher and Calkins advanced to third on a second error by the shortstop.
Iowa used a leadoff home run in the top fifth frame to get on the scoreboard. Brian Bucklin launched it to left-center and the wind helped to carry it out of the park, cutting the score to 3-1.
The Hoosiers responded in the top of six as Spanos powered his fourth home run out of the park in left. Second baseman Corby Heckman, who drew walk to begin the inning, scored ahead of Spanos and Indiana extended its lead to 5-1.
Freshman Josh Lewis (1-0) picked up his first collegiate win in the complete-game effort. The righthander allowed just five Hawkeye hits and struck out six batters while issuing just one walk.
The Hoosiers jumped on Iowa early in game two, scoring two in the opening half inning. With one out, DeStefano dropped a single into shallow right field and Heckman added a base hit through that right side and DeStefano hustled to third. Spanos walked to juice the bases and then designated hitter Nick Evans came through in the clutch, knocking a two-out, two-RBI single up the middle for the 2-0 advantage.
Iowa battled back in the bottom half as the Hoosiers faltered defensively. The Hawkeyes used a lead-off single, three walks, a hit batsman, a Hoosier error and a scored on wild pitch to gain the 3-2 lead. IU starter Chris Behrens was replaced by redshirt freshman Austin Rhoads with two outs and the bases loaded.
Indiana evened it up at three runs apiece in the third. Heckman slugged a single to right field and Spanos followed with a hard hit ball to the pitcher that resulted in a base hit. Mahar laid down a perfect bunt in an attempt to sacrifice the runners over, but Iowa was unable to get the out. Heckman scored on Evan's ground out to tie it up. The Hawkeyes were able to get out of the jam, stranding Spanos and Heckman.
The Hoosiers broke the stalemate in the sixth. Calkins drew a leadoff walk and was sacrificed over by DeStefano. Heckman tallied his third hit of the contest, a double to the wall in left, and plated Calkins for the go-ahead run.
But back Iowa would come, scoring five runs in the bottom of six. Senior closer Ryan Smith entered to relieve Rhoads with one out and a runner on first. Smith surrendered a walk and then three consecutive hits before Kevin O'Brien was called out of the bullpen, the Hoosiers trailing, 7-4. The Hawkeyes collected two more hits and tacked on another run before Indiana was able to get out of the inning.
Rhoads was effective for the Hoosiers, scattering three hits over 4.2 innings. He walked just one and struck out two while allowing the Hawkeyes one earned run.
Smith was tagged with the loss, his first setback of the season, after giving up three hits and four earned runs.
For the first time all season, the Hoosiers are slated for a full week at home. On Wednesday, April 9, the Valparaiso Crusaders visit Sembower Field for a 3 p.m. game. IU will host Michigan State in its Big Ten home opener over the weekend. Friday's game is set for 3 p.m., Saturday's doubleheader will begin at 1 p.m. and Sunday's final game will start at 1 p.m. as well.
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