Indiana Daily Student

Hoosiers sweep NU in 3-game series

Freshman outfielder Alex Dickerson fouls off a pitch by Northwestern's Zach Morton Sunday afternoon at Sembower Field.
Freshman outfielder Alex Dickerson fouls off a pitch by Northwestern's Zach Morton Sunday afternoon at Sembower Field.

Three words define a baseball game: win, loss or rain.

The Hoosiers’ games were defined by win and rain after IU (25-24, 14-6) swept its rain-delayed doubleheader against Northwestern and picked up a win during a third game Sunday.

IU snatched a pair of wins Saturday with the help of junior pitchers Eric Arnett and Matt Bashore. The 3-2 and 5-2 victories were byproducts of the team’s improved hitting and pitching.

IU, just two-and-a-half games out of first prior to the doubleheader, faced the Wildcats, who had three conference wins in 16 matchups. Northwestern still held the lead through seven innings of the first game despite its disadvantage on paper.

Arnett improved his undefeated streak in the Big Ten to 7-0 after allowing just five hits. Arnett pitched a complete game and garnered eight strikeouts. After a team loss to Purdue, Arnett was able to help his teammates turn around the mind-set.

“We just had to regroup and know that wasn’t our best baseball,” Arnett said. “We have to control our own destiny.”

Game 1
But the whole game wasn’t perfect for the Hoosiers.

Arnett opened the game with a walk, a single, and a pair of wild pitches, forcing a run with no outs.

Arnett tightened his pitches, following up with three Ks – two swinging and one looking – leaving a runner stranded.

Seven innings of hitless baseball proceeded from both sides of the mound before Arnett gave up a pair of walks to the Wildcats’ Trevor Stevens, who knocked in a run to give Northwestern a two-run edge with the bases loaded and no outs.

Northwestern’s third baseman stepped up to the plate next, hitting the ball to third base where IU freshman Vince Gonzalez tagged up and threw home to junior catcher Josh Phegley for an unusual 5-2 double play.

“This team has confidence,” IU coach Tracy Smith said. “Whether they’re up or down, they play at a steady place. We know we have good players. They struck balls well. They just didn’t fall.”

But the Hoosiers battled back with three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Two singles plus a walk by Phegley left the bases at capacity with no outs to begin the inning.

Freshman Alex Dickerson and sophomore Kipp Schutz contributed with consecutive RBI groundouts to tie the score at Sembower Field.

With Phegley on third, junior Evan Crawford delivered an infield single, beating the throw to first, which allowed Phegley to score and put the team ahead for the first time and the eventual win.

“We got off to a slow start and then kind of got nervous at the end of the first game,” Arnett said. “Then we got that big eighth inning with three runs, and we were able to keep the momentum into the second game.”

Game 2
During round two of the doubleheader, Bashore did not disappoint Hoosier fans, striking out 10 and driving Northwestern to strand nine.

The Hoosiers scored two runs in the third off Phegley’s 14th homer of the year. Bashore kept the Wildcats from scoring through five innings but gave up two runs on four hits.

Picking off a runner in a lead-off double in the eighth, Phegley used his arm instead of his bat to help his team.

IU took the lead in the eighth again when it scored three runs off three hits. A leadoff single and a sac bunt placed two on with one out when Crawford came to the plate to deliver a game-changing double. Gonzalez contributed a run-scoring single for the Hoosiers’ last score.

“I just tried to have good at-bats, and whenever I was on I tried to get in scoring position for somebody to hit me in,” Crawford said. “We just played a whole bunch of baseball. We didn’t get ahead in the first two games until the bottom of the eighth inning.”

Game 3
The Hoosiers finished the weekend by beating Northwestern 11-2 on Sunday.

During the Hoosiers’ second at-bat, sophomore Jerrud Sabourin hit a triple and ran in for the first run of the game after Phegley grounded out to third.

“We got our runs early in the last game,” Crawford said. “The first two games, we kind of waited until late in the game to score. The third game, we came off strong offensively.”

IU scored once again in the second and twice in the fourth, but the most action came during the fifth inning. Although the Wildcats posted two runs on the scoreboard, they would see no more purple jerseys cross the plate.

Sabourin again used his bat to get on base, later leading to a run off a left-field single from Schutz. With the bases full and one away, junior Tyler Rogers sent one to the center field wall, scoring the final runs of the inning.

Two innings later, Rogers singled, knocking in another run, bringing his total RBI to five on the day, 27 on the season.

The win completed a trifecta of victories for the cream and crimson.

“I don’t know if it was because of finals that we came out lethargic the first couple games,” Smith said. “We just played with more energy today.”

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