Hoosier Baseball!!??

Tracy Smith’s squad pulled off the program’s first Big Ten series win in two years and the first over rival Purdue in six years with a 13-1 win today at Sembower Field.

Hoosier catcher Josh Phegley, the conference’s leading hitter in 2008, belted a grand slam in the bottom half of the fifth as part of a six-run inning, his ninth homer of the year and 59th RBI’s. Third baseman David Trager collected a career high four RBI’s in the game, knocking in two with a single in the second and the others with a double in the fifth.

After a loss on Saturday, Indiana (21-25, 9-15) responded with a doubleheader sweep on Sunday that saw Phegley cap a come-from-behind win in the bottom of the seventh with a walkoff single that scored Evan Crawford from second. That came after Andrew Means had tied the game with his first homer of the season. In game two, a Kipp Schutz grannie highlighted an 11-run first that also included two-run jobs by Tyler Cox and Jerrud Sabourin, who also hit one on Monday.

Trager, one of four seniors on the team honored before the Sunday games, said he spent a lot of time in the batting cages before today’s game and noticed the effects immediately. “You can’t ask for a better senior weekend to go out on,” he added.

Chris Hervey failed to record a hit in the first game on Sunday, halting his impressive hit streak at 21 games. But he’s got a two-game string going now, going 2-for-4 in game two and 2-for-3 on Monday. Hervey is chasing other marks now, getting hit by Boiler reliever Matt Morgan for his 15th hit by pitch this season, one shy of the school record. The pitch right before was high and inside, causing him to duck down rather quickly to avoid a shot to the head, but he didn’t even get a chance to regret not taking that one off the skull. Told after the game that teammate Michael Earley remained two behind him after getting plunked the inning before, Hervey quipped, “I’m not worried.”

Tyler Tufts tossed a complete-game, his third in a row, and scattered 12 hits. He left runners stranded at third base three times in the game and escaped with one run allowed after surrendering three straight hits in the Boiler third. “Thank God for that,” Tufts said of that third frame, when Purdue’s Ben Wolgamot was picked off after rounding too far around second base on Ryne White’s single right after he had reached with a single of his own. The baserunning gaffe was huge at the time, since White had just knocked in a run to cut the IU lead to 2-1.

With scouts in attendance for the Monday matinee watching pro prospects Dan Black of the Boilers, as well as Phegley and Means for IU, Purdue coach Doug Schreiber let his bullpen ace, Josh Lindblom, work the final two innings of the blowout. Lindblom impressed with a wicked breaking ball and mid 90s speed on the radar guns, striking out three, but also yielded Sabourin’s dinger in the eighth.

“You don’t necessarily want to cater to those guys, and it’s not a tryout,” Schreiber said of the scouts. “Josh is still trying to get guys out, and they get to see what they see.”

The improbable series wins puts the Hoosiers in legit contention for a spot in the Big Ten Tournament. Indiana trails sixth-place Penn State by two games in the league standings, in which the top six make the draw. A non-conference game will be played on Tuesday at Sembower against Louisville, and Hoosier football coach Bill Lynch is slated to throw out the first pitch.

6 comments

  1. IU Baseball whips the Evil Boilers! ! Congrats to the coaching staff and the young men representing IU. Ten games to go, lets take’em all and make that Big Ten Tourney.

    j a c k

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