Indiana Powers Past Iowa, 25-9
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Propelled by an offensive outburst that included a season-high seven home runs, the Indiana baseball team defeated Iowa, 25-9, to earn a series split on windy Sunday afternoon at Sembower Field. In addition to today's victory, the Hoosiers defeated the Hawkeyes, 5-4, in the first game one of a doubleheader on Saturday. Iowa won the opener on Friday, 7-3, and topped IU, 12-7, in game two on Saturday.
"This is a conference win. It doesn't matter if it's 2-1 or 30-10, conference wins are big," IU coach Bob Morgan said. "Obviously the wind helped us today, but I think we swung the bats well, something we had done all weekend, other than on Friday. Our hitting was contagious in a positive way. Though it was a hitter's day, we have got to pitch better."
Indiana (21-14, 5-7 Big Ten) scored in every inning but the first on its way to the victory, but it was an 11-run explosion in the second that put the game out of reach. The Hoosiers totaled 22 hits in the contest.
Joe Kemp hit two home runs for the Cream and Crimson to bring his season total to five. The junior finished the day 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI and four runs scored. Reggie Watson was outstanding as well, coming up just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. Watson was 4-for-5 with three runs scored. He belted his first grand slam in the third for four RBI.
Corby Heckman, Cody Wargo, Jay Brant and Ryan Parker also hit long balls for IU. Seth Bynum and Wargo registered three hits apiece. Heckman joined Watson with four RBI in the win. Nearly every Hoosier starter collected at least one hit, and nine players drove in at least one run.
Iowa (10-22, 3-9 Big Ten) used a three-run first to take early control of the game. Andy Lytle sent a leadoff single to right , and then scored the Hawkeyes' first run on Jim Reid's triple to the wall in right-center. Reid scored on Nate Yoho's ground ball to second base. Kris Welker singled, moved to second on an errant attempt to pick him off and first and then came home as Jesse Brownell registered Iowa's fourth hit of the inning, a single to right field.
Indiana got on the scoreboard with a pair of runs in the second. Kemp blasted a lead off home run out of the ballpark in the center field, his fourth of the year, to make it 3-1. Seth Bynum singled to left and came around to score on two Hawkeye errors.
The Hawkeyes knocked home a run with a sacrifice fly in the top of the third to pull ahead, 4-2.
But Indiana answered by unleashing its offensive attack in the next half inning. Watson doubled to start the inning. Then, sophomore baseman Jay Brant hit a long ball to left to tie the game at four runs apiece. After Hawkeye pitcher Andrew Hanson issued consecutive walks to Corby Heckman and Kemp, senior shortstop Seth Bynum put the Hoosiers on top with a base hit to left, scoring Heckman from second. Kemp crossed the plate for Indiana's sixth run on leftfielder Kevin Mahar's single through the left side. Casey O'Rourke entered to relieve Hansen with no outs, and Ryan Donley delivered an RBI-double down the third base line, plating Bynum.
In his second at bat of the inning, Watson broke it open with a grand slam homer out of the park in center. His second home run of the season gave IU an 11-4 lead. Brant walked, stole second base and advanced to third on an errant throw by the Iowa catcher. He scored on Heckman's sac fly. Kemp nailed his second long ball of the game to cap the Hoosiers' 11 run-inning.
Wargo hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth
In the seventh, the Hoosiers pushed seven runs across home plate on six hits, a hit batsman and two walks.
Brian Lortz got the win for the Hoosiers on the mound. The junior gave up 14 hits and was responsible for all nine runs in six innings of work. He walked one and struck out four as he improved to 3-1. Dan Pezley and Byron Banks pitched the final two innings in relief for IU.
Hanson (0-3) took the loss for the Hawkeyes. He pitched the initial two innings and scattered seven Hoosier hits while walking two and striking out one. Hanson was responsible for seven earned runs. Iowa used four other pitchers in an attempt to shut Indiana down.
Indiana is back in action on Wednesday, April 21, for the final game of a nine-game homestand. The Hoosiers will face Miami (Ohio) at 3 p.m.
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