Hoosiers Travel to Wright State
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana baseball team will play at Wright State on Tuesday evening with a chance to avenge an a home loss to the Raiders earlier this season. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at Nischwitz Stadium in Dayton, Ohio.
The Hoosiers bring a 22-9 record into Tuesday's game and are coming off a Big Ten Conference series split with Michigan State in Bloomington over the weekend. IU took the opener, 4-2, on Friday. The Spartans evened the series at one game apiece with a 6-1 victory in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader. The Hoosiers battled back, scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh and final inning of game two to defeat MSU, 6-5. Michigan State was victorious in game four on Sunday, using an eight-run fifth inning to move past the Hoosiers, 8-5.
Minnesota currently leads the Big Ten reace with a flawless 10-0 record while Indiana's opponent for the upcoming weekend, Ohio State, is second at 8-4. The Hoosiers are third with a 7-5 record through three Big Ten weekends.
Five Straight and Counting For Cary
Senior righthanded pitcher Jacob Cary has come up big for the Hoosiers, proving to be the anchor of the pitching staff. Cary is a perfect 7-0 on the season and pitched five consecutive complete game victories. Three of those five efforts have come in nine-inning games and three have been against conference opposition. Cary is one of only three Big Ten pitchers will an undefeated record and he is the owner of the third-best ERA at 2.24 among league hurlers.
Spanos A Slugger
Now in his fourth season at Indiana, Vaili Spanos has already proven he's a great hitter. And in Spanos' senior season, once again, the numbers don't lie. He owns the best slugging percentage of any conference hitter overall (.752) and in league games only (.921 in 12 games). He also paces the league in on-base percentage (.496) in all games.
Overall, the Hoosier third baseman and preseason All-American ranks in the top five in batting average (.392), total bases (74), doubles (13) and home runs (7). In conference contests only, Spanos is hitting a robust. 447, which ranks fourth in the league. He is first in total bases (35), third with 17 hits and second with four home runs.
Pitching Staff Getting It Done
The Indiana pitching staff continues its perch atop the conference with the Big Ten's best ERA (3.38) in all games. Illinois is second at 3.63 and Ohio State ranks third at 3.88.
Last Time Out Against Wright State
Indiana lost a heartbreaker to Wright State, 7-6, at Sembower Field on March 26. The Raiders scored three runs, two of them unearned, in the top of the eighth to edge the Hoosiers and leave head coach Bob Morgan with 999 career wins. Indiana fell to, 14-3, while Wright State moved its record to 6-12."
Wright State opened the scoring with a run in top of the first inning on two hits and an Indiana error.
It took the Hoosiers until the bottom of the third to score, but they grabbed a 3-1 lead. Sophomore second baseman, Jay Brant, playing in his third game of the season after missing the early part while recovering from shoulder surgery, hit a leadoff double to left field. Brant moved to third on a passed ball and senior leftfielder Mark Calkins drove him in with a single to center field. Calkins advanced to second with a stolen base and then to third on a dropped third strike by the Wright State catcher. Senior third baseman Vasili Spanos drew walk. Both Calkins and Spanos scored on an errant throw to third by the catcher.
The Raiders battled back with three runs of their own in the top of the fifth. Ty Brown drew a leadoff walk from IU reliever Dan Peazley and moved up to second on Mark Barhorst's single to right. Pat Masters hit a double to left-center and both runners came home. Adam Morton single later in the inning to score Masters and make 4-3, Wright State.
The Hoosiers tacked one run in each of the next three innings to regain the lead. Senior centerfielder Brad DeStefano singled to right-center and advanced to second on an error by the Raider rightfielder to start the fifth. He moved all the way around on passed ball and Calkins' ground out.
In the sixth, junior designated hitter Ryan Donley walked, went to second on ground out and to third on a wild pitch. Junior catcher Cody Wargo walked. Wright State attempted to catch Wargo in a run down and Donley stole home, sliding under the tag for IU's fifth run.
In the seventh, DeStefano scored his second run of the game after a stolen base, moving on Corby Heckman's hit and coming home on a wild pitch to put the Hoosiers up, 6-4.
Wright State rallied in the eighth to take the lead for good. Morton singled and pinch-hitter Ryan Zenn walked with one out. Kofi Gyimah came in to pinch run for Zenn. Justin Wilson's single up the middle scored Morton to make it 6-5. Wright State plated two more runs when Brown reached base as Brant mishandled the ball at second.
The Raiders held Indiana over the final two frames and snapped the Hoosiers' five-game win streak against them.. Indiana used five pitchers in the game. Freshman Troy Ragle returned to the lineup for the first time since opening weekend and threw effectively for four innings. The lefty, who had been nursing an injury, scattered four hits and struck out three while issuing no walks. Peazley allowed three hits and three runs in one inning of work. Freshman Chris Hynes worked one inning with one hit and one strike out. Freshman Derek Hibbs pitched 1.2 innings, allowing two hits, two walks and three runs, only one of them earned. Hibbs struck out two. Senior Kevin O'Brien finished the final 1.1 innings for IU without giving up a hit. Chris Snyder moved to 2-2 with the win for Wright State. Snyder pitched the final two innings and allowed just one hit while striking out two.
Heckman extended his hit streak to eight straight games, the longest on the team this season.
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