Kemp Hits for Cycle vs. MSU
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana baseball team put on an offensive display, including a cycle from senior Joe Kemp, and got another solid pitching performance from junior Josh Lewis to dominate Michigan State, 15-2. The Hoosiers scored in all but one inning, pounding out 16 hits. Indiana improved to 23-22 overall and 6-15 in the Big Ten, while the Spartans fall to 17-23 overall and 6-11 in conference tilts.
Lewis went seven innings in the victory, allowing only one run. He struck out six and did not allow a walk during his outing. The Mt. Airy, Md., native's season total of 69 2/3 innings established a career high. He now has career highs in innings pitched, wins (7) and strikeouts (56) on the year.
On the offensive side, Kemp led the way going 4-of-5 with a career-high five RBI. Kemp homered in the second, tripled in the fourth, doubled in the seventh and singled in the eighth. Junior first baseman Ryan Parker had three singles in the win, while fellow classmate Zach Boswell was 2-of-4 with four RBI. Junior Jay Brant finished 2-of-4 with four runs scored as well.
Hoosiers got on the board in the first. Junior center fielder Reggie Watson hit the first pitch up the middle for a single, and Brant followed suit with a slow roller to third for a base hit. Watson advanced to third after Kemp flew out to center field. The Hoosier center fielder scored on a wild pitch by MSU starter Tim Day, giving IU an early 1-0 lead. Brant took second on the wild pitch and then stole third on the opening pitch of Boswell's first at bat. With a full count, Boswell lined a single to right center field, plating Brant for the 2-0 IU lead.
MSU threatened in the top of the second with runners on first and third after singles by Erik Morris and Steve Gerstenberger. Jamey Embree lined a ball to right field on a 1-2 count, but Kemp was there with the running grab to stop the rally.
IU tacked on another four in the bottom of the second thanks in large part of a three-run blast off the scoreboard in right by Kemp. After retiring the first two batters of the inning, Day got in trouble by walking the next two Hoosier batters. Freshman Tyler Cox and Watson both walked, while Cox proceeded to steal both second and third to set up runners at the corners for Brant. Brant hit a ball up the middle that deflected off Day's glove to short, but with his momentum going up the middle, Troy Krider could not make an accurate throw to first. Cox scored on the Brant base hit. The Hoosiers' next hitter, Kemp, forced a full count before driving one off the scoreboard after the 370 sign in right.
The Spartans got one back in the top of the third with a trio of singles. Erik Morris singled through the right side, driving home Ryan Sontag from second. Sontag had led off the inning with a single followed by a single from Ryan Basham to advance to second.
Indiana got that one back and another in the bottom of the frame. Heckman was hit by the opening pitch of the inning, and Richardson followed it up with a base knock up the middle. Senior catcher Kurt Weigle advanced the pair into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Cox followed Weigle's lead with a sac bunt to the right side driving Heckman home. Richardson scored one batter later when Watson reached on a throwing error by MSU third baseman Alan Cattrysse.
The Cream and Crimson extended the lead to double digits with a three-run fourth inning. Brant reached to start the inning on a bobbled ball by MSU second baseman Steve Gertenberger. Kemp drove him home with a triple down the right field line and scored one batter later on a single by Boswell. Boswell advanced to second after Gertenberger committed his second error of the inning when his throw on a sophomore Josh Richardson ground ball drew MSU first baseman Jamey Embree off the bag. A pass ball advanced Boswell to third before he scored on a double steal for the final run of the inning.
IU added single runs in the fifth and the seventh. Both runs came on sac flies by Boswell. Brant, who reached after being hit by a pitch in the fifth, scored his fourth run of the ball game, while Kemp scored in the seventh after drawing closer to the cycle with a double.
After Michigan State added a single run in the eighth on a triple by relief pitcher Tony Clausen, Indiana capped its day with a pair in the bottom of the inning. Kemp singled home Watson, who had doubled two batters before. It capped off a career day for Kemp, as he hit for the cycle and had five RBI. He came home on a pinch-hit double to left field by sophomore Michael Nilles. The double extended Nilles' season-long hitting streak to five games.
The Hoosiers and Spartans will continue their four-game series on Sunday, May 8, with a double header. First pitch for the opening game at Sembower Field will be at 1 p.m.
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