Saturday, May 16, 2009

IU Falls 7-3 to Michigan State

Freshman Blake Monar started, but was seemingly on a short chain after his recent control troubles in the last two games. Even in the first inning, Coach Tracy Smith started action in the bullpen as Monar walked one and hit one. After surrendering one unearned run in the 1st inning, Monar cruised in the 2nd and 3rd only facing 3 batters in each inning. In the top of the 4th, the Hoosier 8-9 batters stepped up as Vince Gonzalez drove a double to left center and later scored as Dunning hit a shot to straightaway center to put the Hoosiers up 2-1.

In the bottom of the 4th, however, the Spartans managed two singles followed by a fielder's choice. With runners at the corners, 1 out, and the rain really starting to pour down, Monar walked another MSU batter to load the bases. After throwing one ball to the next batter, the grounds crew came out to put field dry on the mound and around home plate. After the field dry was in place, Monar threw the first pitch high and tight to clip the Spartan batter and plate the 2nd Michigan State run of the game. This brought Coach Smith out of the dugout to call for Matt Igel out of the pen.

Igel got out the bases loaded jam allowing one more run to cross (accredited to Monar) to put the MSU up 3-2. In the bottom of the 4th, Alex Dickerson tied the game up at 3 with one swing of the bat. Igel retired the Spartans 1-2-3 in the 5th. In the 6th inning, MSU plated one run with a double followed by an RBI single. With the field getting very wet as the rain continued to fall, MSU started the 7th with a bunt single. After getting two flyouts, MSU's #4 hitter sent one over the fence to put the Spartans up 6-3. A single and SAC bunt in the top of the 8th ended Igel's day in favor of Matt Carr who ended the inning without allowing another run. In the 9th, MSU tacked on an insurance run (unearned) to go up 7-3.

At the plate, the Hoosiers struggled off Freshman righthander Tony Bucciferro who struck out 9 on the day (0 walks) while only giving up 6 hits. Josh Phegley and Kipp Schutz were the only 2 Hoosier starters not to have at least one strikeout and no Hoosier recorded more than 1 hit on the day. Although the Hoosiers only had 7 hits, 4 were for extra bases (HR: Dickerson, Dunning; 2B: Hervey, Gonzalez).

The loss (which didn't end up mattering in the scheme of things) ended IU's regular season with a 16-7 conference record (28-25 overall) which was good for 3rd in the conference. The 3rd seed puts us against instate rival Purdue in the first round of the Big Ten baseball tournament. Go Hoosiers!


  1. Its tough because the conference was so close, but I think you gotta stick with your starter a little longer to show your confidence in him going into the tournament. Regardless, we have to get more hits, score more runs, strikeout way less, and not make mediocre pitchers look like Roger Clemens. Our offense hasn't been as good as advertised in the conference hitting only .290.

  2. more positivity needed in the IU dugout