In what we hope will be the first of many complete game efforts in a Hoosier uniform, freshman Blake Monar threw 9 strong innings and struck out a career-high 9 batters as IU downed Iowa 6-2 Friday evening. The lefthander scattered 10 hits and walked only 2, baffling the Hawkeyes batsmen on a number of occasions with his breaking ball and changeup. The win improves IU's record to 4-2 in the conference and 14-17 overall.
Leftfielder Kipp Schutz led the way at the plate with 3 hits (including a double) and 2 RBIs, while Jerrud Sabourin also contributed a pair of hits (both for extra bases) and RBIs. Josh Phegley (C) and Tyler Rogers (2B) each had 2 hits as well. The Hoosiers banged out 10 hits for the game, and none was more timely than Schutz's pivotal 2-out, 2-run single in the top half of the 6th that stretched IU's lead to 3-1. After Iowa tallied its 2nd run in the 7th, the Hoosier batsmen gave Monar some much needed breathing room by putting 3 runs on the board in the 9th and helping him pick up his 4th victory of the season.
This was the 2nd consecutive strong outing for Monar (he beat Illinois last Friday), and we can only hope for more of the same moving forward in the conference season. Although this was by no means IU's best performance of the season at the plate, it was very refreshing to see the team come through with timely hits and runs tonight. It will be critical for this to continue if IU hopes to remain among the top teams in the conference this season.
Eric Arnett will be on the mound for the Hoosiers tomorrow. Another complete game performance would certainly be nice! The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network. Game time is set for 2:30ET. Go Hoosiers!