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Tuesday, April 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Early runs lead IU to 17-2 win

O'Gara pitches no-hitter through 5 innings

Infielder Tyler Rogers tries to bring home runners at second and third, including catcher Josh Phegley, with two outs in the ninth inning against Miami (Ohio) on Tuesday afternoon at Sembower Field. Though they lost 9-6 on Tuesday, the Hoosiers bounced back and beat Western Illinois 17-2 on Wednesday.

Sometimes, teams are just overmatched.

Just ask Western Illinois, which was dominated in all aspects of Wednesday’s 17-2 loss to the Hoosiers at Sembower Field. 

IU scored 13 runs in the first two innings against Western Illinois. Sophomore pitcher Joey O’Gara (2-2) earned the win after throwing a no-hitter in five innings.

He had six strikeouts and did not walk a batter on the afternoon.

“The biggest thing today was that I had my slider working,” O’Gara said. “I had good plays behind me. (The early runs) allowed me to focus on throwing it up and into the zone.”

After O’Gara’s dominating performance, freshmen pitchers Wyatt Hoff and Marshall Gorham took the hill and gave up only two earned runs and six hits to close the game.

While the relievers pitched well, IU coach Tracy Smith raved about O’Gara’s day on the mound.

“Joey did a great job of coming there and setting the tone right away and throwing strikes,” Smith said. “When your offense jumps out to a lead like that in the first inning, it’s very important that your pitcher bears down like it’s a 0-0 game.”

The Hoosier bats were just as impressive against the Leathernecks.

Sophomore centerfielder Brian Lambert tied the IU record for most hits in a single game, with five. Freshman catcher Josh Lyon added to the offensive attack with three hits, three runs and four RBI.

IU began its scoring onslaught in the first inning.

Lambert singled on the fifth pitch of the game to shallow left field and followed with a stolen base. Sophomore first baseman Jerrud Sabourin had a similar hit to left field, driving in Lambert from second base and providing a 1-0 lead. 

After a walk by junior catcher Josh Phegley, freshman left fielder Alex Dickerson hit a three-run homer to left field.   

The Hoosiers added to their total in the second inning behind seven hits and three errors by Western Illinois.

Lyon, junior shortstop Jake Dunning, and Lambert led off with a trio of singles. Sabourin’s deep sacrifice fly ball in the next at-bat allowed Lyon to tag from third base.        

With the bases loaded, a pair of sacrifice fly balls by Dickerson and sophomore outfielder Kipp Schutz brought in two more Hoosier runs. A single by senior outfielder Chris Hervey drove Phegley in for an 8-0 advantage.

After a Leatherneck pitching change, Lyon doubled down the right-field line and a throwing error allowed IU to score junior second baseman Tyler Rogers, Hervey and Dickerson.

Three more IU runs would score in the inning, pushing IU’s lead to 13-0 to end the second inning.  

“We had good approaches today,” Lambert said. “We saw balls up and took good swings on them. Anytime you do that, you have a good chance of winning.”

IU focused on its defense for the remainder of the game and only allowed two runs to score – both came in the sixth inning.

While Western Illinois struggled at the plate, IU had ten different players tally a hit on the afternoon. 

“Guys swung the bat well, got pitches to hit and did something with it,” Smith said of the offense. “It’s good to get guys feeling good about themselves before we head into the Purdue series.”

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