IU Splits Mothers' Day DH
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana baseball team split a doubleheader on Mothers' Day against the Michigan State Spartans. On a day that saw the Hoosiers honor their mothers with roses prior to the game and a resounding rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" from the mothers, Indiana rallied in both games, claiming game two and the split with the Spartans. The Hoosiers rallied in game one but fell short, 13-8. The Cream and Crimson got a pair of solid pitching performances and a big third inning in the second game of the double dip for a 5-3 victory. With the split, the Hoosiers are 24-23 overall and 7-16 in the Big Ten.
Juniors Zach Boswell and Reggie Watson and sophomore Josh Richardson each collected a pair of hits in the game two victory. Junior Jay Brant, senior Joe Kemp, junior Ryan Parker, senior Kurt Weigle and Boswell all collected an RBI, while senior Corby Heckman, Watson, Brant, Kemp and Weigle crossed the plate in the win.
The Spartans got on the first board in the second game with a pair of runs in the top of the third. Three straight singles from Kris Morris, Steve Gerstenberger and Ryan Sontag loaded the bases with one out. Troy Krider drove Morris and Gerstenberger home with a single through the right side to give MSU a 2-0 lead.
The Cream and Crimson came back with four runs in the bottom of the inning. Weigle walked to lead off the inning. After Watson singled to right, both runners moved up a base to second and third on a wild pitch. Brant brought home the Hoosiers' first run with a single through the left side. Kemp followed that up with a double down the right field line, plating Watson to tie the game at two. Parker gave IU the lead for good with a sacrifice fly to right field that brought Brant home and advanced Kemp to third. The following batter Boswell looped a 3-1 pitch just out of the reach of MSU shortstop Troy Krider for a double, scoring Kemp to give IU a 4-2 advantage.
Krider drew the Spartans back within one on a solo blast to right center field in the top of the fifth. The MSU shortstop drove a 1-0 pitch over the fence for his third homer of the year, closing the gap to 4-3. The shot chased IU sophomore starting pitcher Matt Saba from the game after 4 1/3 innings. Saba allowed three runs and five hits, while striking out a pair. After a pair of Spartans reached, sophomore reliever Joe Trucchio retired the next two batters by virtue of the strikeout and fly out to end the Spartan rally.
The Hoosiers added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh. Heckman battled a full count for a walk to open the inning. He advanced to second on a pass ball and over to third on a single to right by Richardson. Weigle plated Heckman on a sacrifice fly to center field, giving the Hoosiers a two-run advantage at 5-3.
Trucchio picked up his fourth save of the season, retiring the side in the seventh inning. The Melbourne, Australia, native went 2 2/3 innings and retired eight of the final nine batters he faced. Trucchio struck out one and allowed only one MSU hit. Saba picked up the victory, running his season record to 5-1.
Michigan State used a pair of big innings to claim the opening game of the double dip. The Spartans batted around, sending 10 men to the plate in both the second and fourth innings. In the second, MSU got five runs on six hits, while plating seven on three hits and four free passes two innings later. In the second, the Spartans got a pair of homers with catcher Erik Morris hitting a solo shot down the left field line followed by a Jamey Embree three-run shot.
The Spartans scored a single run in the third on a RBI ground out by James Keyton, pushing the lead to 6-0. In the fourth, Gerstenberger started the scoring for MSU with a RBI single to right field. Later in the inning, Embree racked up his fourth and fifth RBI of day with a two-run single to right. One batter later, Spartan center fielder Ryan Sontag tripled on a ball that rolled all the way to the fence in left center field, plating a pair. He scored on a pass ball one batter later to push the MSU advantage to 13-0 after 3 1/2 innings.
The Hoosiers put up a big inning of their own in the bottom of the fifth, scoring eight runs on five hits. Boswell reached on an error to start the inning. After Heckman was hit by a pitch and Richardson walked to load the bases, sophomore pinch hitter Michael Nilles extended his hitting streak with a bases clearing double. Nilles roped a 1-2 pitch down the left field line, plating the three runners and running his hitting streak to six games.
After a MSU throwing error allowed freshman pinch hitter Brad Udoff to reach, Brant drove Nilles home with a single through the left side. Kemp cleared the bases for the Hoosiers with his second triple in as many days into the right field corner. He came home one batter later on a sacrifice fly by Parker. Boswell singled up the middle and came around on Heckman's full-count double to the gap in right center field.
MSU relievers Mike Monterey and Chris Toepper would clam the rally, retiring seven of the final eight Hoosier batters. Monterey pitched a third of an inning to stop the scoring barrage in the fifth, while Toepper pitched the final two, striking out a pair.
Brant was 2-of-4 in game one with an RBI and a run scored. Kemp finished with two RBI, while Nilles had three.
The Hoosiers and Spartans will wrap up their four-game set on Monday, May 9. The two teams will battle at Sembower Field with first pitch set for 1 p.m.
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