Although IU freshman Blake Monar turned in a brilliant effort on the mound, defensive and baserunning miscues cost the Hoosiers as they fell 6-2 to Michigan on Friday evening. Monar only gave up 5 hits (including 2 weak infield singles and a pop-up to short that was lost in the lights) through 7 strong innings, but the defense failed him as IU committed 4 errors in addition to a number of other miscues that don't show up in the box score. The result was 6 runs to Monar's credit for the game, but only 1 was earned as the left-hander (who struck out 4 and walked 2) kept the Wolverine's off balance, allowing just 1 or 2 hard hit balls the entire night.
On the offensive side, the Hoosiers outhit Michigan 8-6 but simply could not get the timely hit and struck out 12 times against Wolverine ace Chris Fetter (Josh Phegley was the only Hoosier starter that didn't strikeout at least once). Phegley, Jerrud Sabourin and Evan Crawford each had 2 hits to lead the way for the Hoosiers, and Kipp Schutz had a big RBI single in the 4th that produced IU's first run of the game. Unfortunately, though, Phegley was called out at home trying to score on the play although it seemed pretty clear to everyone but the plate umpire that he was in fact safe (an IU play-by-play commentator said the call was "pathetic"). The call effectively killed the Hoosier rally in the 4th, and (with just 4 hits and a single run the rest of the way) the team could get little going thereafter.
While Fetter worked a complete game and struck out 12, it could be argued that Monar actually pitched a better game in that Michigan really struggled all night to make solid contact off of him. It was unfortunate that the Hoosiers squandered an opportunity to knock off one of the best (if not the best) pitchers in the Big Ten. IU simply cannot afford to make so many mistakes in the field and on the bases (or strikeout so many times) if they hope to remain among the leading competitors for the Big Ten title. Let's hope yesterday's performance was simply an aberration and that they can rebound today behind the arm of Eric Arnett.
Game time is scheduled for 1:05. Tune in live at IUHoosiers.com via Live Audio and follow all the action. Go Hoosiers!