IU Gets Win No. 20 Over Valpo
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana baseball team defeated Valparaiso on a chilly Wednesday afternoon at Sembower Field in Bloomington. The Hoosiers improved their overall record to 20-7 while the Crusaders dropped to 6-15-1.
"Today wasn't a very good offensive day for us or Valpo," Indiana head coach Bob Morgan said. " The weather conditions were cold and windy, and just didn't help the hitters at all. I think Valpo helped us out early with some wild pitches and passed balls that resulted in runs for us. It was nice to see us start hitting late in the game and extend our lead. It was nice to win the mid-week game, and we just hope for better conditions this weekend."
Valparaiso scored first, pushing a run across in the top of the second. Hannan doubled to right field and proceeded home on a sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly for the 1-0 lead.
The Hoosiers evened it at one in the bottom of the third as Reggie Watson, pinch running after Cody Wargo walked, came around to score on a sacrifice bunt by Chad Coder, a ground out from Seth Bynum and then a Crusader passed ball.
Indiana moved ahead, 2-1, in the fifth frame. David Hughes singled to left field and eventually scored on a Valpo wild pitch.
Valpo tied the game in the top of the sixth inning, but the Hoosiers took over from there. IU notched a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning. Vasili Spanos was hit by a pitch and then moved over to third on Nick Evans' second hit of the game, a single through the left side. Spanos scored on another Valpo passed ball. Kenny Marrs, pinch running for Evans, was the second Hoosier to score, crossing the plate as Hughes reached on an error by the Crusader shortstop.
Ryan Donley's single to the shortstop with the bases loaded in the seventh gave IU a 5-2 advantage. Spanos had drawn a walk to reach base. Bynum and Kevin Mahar both hit singles in the inning.
The Hoosiers completed their scoring efforts in the eighth. Coder dropped a base hit in shallow centerfield and then stole second base. Mark Calkins reached on a throwing error by the third baseman and the Hoosiers promplty executed a double steal. Spanos drove in both runners with a single to center for the 7-2 final lead.
Sophomore Brian Lortz picked up his first win on the mound for the Hoosiers. He gave up three hits and one earned run in 2.1 innings of work. Freshman Troy Ragle started the game, going the initial 3.2 innings. Ragle scattered four hits and allowed a run while walking one and striking out two. Austin Rhoads, Kevin O'Brien, Chris Behrens and Ryan Smith all spent time on the mound Wednesday.
Elliott Gibbs took the loss for the Crusaders, slipping to 1-2 on the season.
Indiana will play its Big Ten Conference home opener this weekend when the Michigan State Spartans visit Bloomington for a four-game series. The Hoosiers' 5-3 Big Ten record ties for second in the conference standings with Penn State heading into weekend No. 3 of league action.
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