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Monday, June 24
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Squires earns first save

Junior Josh Phegley throws to second base during warm-ups before the third inning against Valparaiso on Wednesday afternoon at Sembower Field. Phegley had one hit and one RBI in the Hoosiers' 9-5 victory.

Junior pitcher Chris Squires came out of the bullpen firing his irregular delivery and emotions all over Sembower Field in IU’s 9-5 win against Valparaiso.

After striking out the first batter he faced, Squires laid an emphatic tag on Valparaiso left-fielder Steven Scoby to get IU out of a seventh-inning jam. Scoby reacted with a push that sent tempers flaring from each side of the field.

Freshman designated hitter Alex Dickerson spoke with his bat, sending his 10th home run of the season sailing over the left-field wall to give IU an 8-5 lead. Squires said he thought Dickerson’s home run was revenge-driven. 

“Anytime you’re jawing back and forth with a team, you take anything good after that as a victory,” he said. “Not necessarily fighting, but showing them, ‘Hey, we’re winning this game.’” 

Squires didn’t expect the escalation Scoby added to the routine play at first base. He said he was simply trying to make an out when the small spat erupted. 

“I didn’t feel like I did anything dirty,” he said. “But if it would have gotten a little out of hand, I’m sure some of my teammates would have had my back.”

IU coach Tracy Smith applauded Squires’ enthusiastic stay on the mound, where fist-pumping and chest-pounding were not at a premium. 

“He’s a fiery competitor,” he said. “I wish more guys would compete like that. If you got the entire dugout on the opposing side cursing you out, it means you’re probably doing something right. I love it. We needed that today.”

While Squires registered his first save with a strikeout of pinch-hitter Ranko Ivetic to end the game, sophomore pitcher Matt Carr set him up in registering the win. He went three innings, where he only allowed one earned run. Sophomore pitcher Joey O’Gara also pitched, but gave up four runs in only three innings. 

Freshman pitcher Marshall Gorham also made a brief stint on the mound in which he rendered the Crusaders scoreless and allowed a mere two hits. 

Hurlers excelled on from their incline thanks to a scoring cushion provided by the offense of Dickerson, junior outfielder Evan Crawford and second baseman Tyler Rogers. The three accounted for all of IU’s nine runs, either batting in or scoring a run themselves. 

Dickerson said his often, yet timely, hitting came to counter Valparaiso’s competitiveness.   

“They were scoring runs, and that team wasn’t going to sit back and quit,” he said. “I knew we had to find a pitch to hit. I got fooled on a changeup, but stuck with it and happened to get it out of the park.”

The game didn’t always lean in IU’s favor. The Hoosiers were down early, after O’Gara allowed four runs on only seven hits. However, consistent defense and resilient stints within the batter’s box ultimately opened the door for IU to widen the scoring margin beyond Valparaiso’s reach. 

While IU bats drove in nine runs on 15 hits and the pitchers collectively struck out six and only gave up five runs, Smith said he wasn’t satisfied. 

“Even though we won, we have to do a better job of having every guy into the game,” he said. “In conference, everyone seems to turn it up a notch, but I’d like to see us getting after whether it’s midweek or not.”

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