Saturday, May 24, 2008

The run ends

After a valiant effort, the IU baseball team fell in the Big Ten tourney semi-finals, losing 11-7 to Purdue.

I wasn't able to watch the game, because I was enjoying my Memorial Day weekend and I am not able to get Big Ten Network. But it didn't look like the Hoosiers were ever in the game. They were down 8-2 going into the seventh inning and 10-3 going into the eighth. IU scored four runs in the top of the eighth, but could not come up with any more in the ninth.

It was a good run. The Hoosiers finished the regular season 28-28, 15-17 in conference. A run to the semi-finals certainly was not expected.

Only three months until football season begins ... Game 1 is at noon Aug. 30 against Western Kentucky. It will not be on TV, not even BTN.

Friday, May 23, 2008

On to the semis

Believe it or not ... a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Hoosiers the win over Penn State 11-8. Big Ten Network coverage is available here.

The Hoosiers move on to the semi-finals at 3:35 p.m. tomorrow, where they will face the loser of Michigan and Purdue, to be played later tonight.

IU was down 8-7 going into the bottom of the ninth after giving up four runs in the top half of the inning on four hits and an error.

The Hoosiers started the bottom half of the inning with two singles, and after a fielder's choice, had runners on first and second with one out. An infield single loaded the bases, bringing up the No. 9 hitter Tyler Cox. The grand slam won the game. Cox was 3-5 on the day.

The Hoosiers had 15 hits in the game. It wasn't a bad double-header. The Hoosiers scored a combined 25 runs on 31 hits. Chris Squires was the winning pitcher.

Boys of summer move on

The Hoosier baseball team took care of Illinois 14-7. They advance to play Penn State at 3:35 p.m. today. Another win would get them to Saturday's semi-finals where they would play the loser of the Michigan-Purdue game tonight.

IU catcher Josh Phegley went 4-4, including two homers, and drove in six runs in the win. IU had 16 hits in the game. Pitcher Tyler Tufts got the win, going nine innings and give up six earned runs.

Hold open tryouts Part II

More news comes out today as Tom Crean continues his house cleaning. The latest casualty is Brandon McGee, who would have been entering his sophomore season. He apparently didn't meet academic and team guidelines, according to the report.

That leaves us with two (yes, two) players remaining from last year's team: Jordan Crawford and Kyle Taber. Crean still has 11 scholarship players, a mix of freshmen and junior-college transfers, coming to Bloomington in the fall.

I must admit, I didn't think Crean would clean out the program as fast as he did. Maybe it's a good thing. Since Hoosier Nation expects him to win now, he has to get his ideal team put together as quick as possible.

The IU boys of summer

Those of us who are IU alumni likely don't have too many fond memories of Hoosier baseball. Not because the team isn't a national powerhouse ... OK because the team isn't a national powerhouse. But the Hoosiers are competitive and this year qualified for the Big Ten tournament. Only the top six teams are invited the the double-elimination event. The winner gets a bid to the NCAA tournament.

IU was the last team in. After getting clobbered by Penn State 6-1, IU beat Ohio State in 10 innings Thursday to stay alive. The team plays No. 4 seed Illinois at 12:05 p.m. today. A full bracket is here.

Michigan is hosting the tournament this year and is the top seed.

Update (1:11 p.m.): I almost forgot, my friend and fellow IU alum T.J., knows all too much about IU baseball. He covered the team one spring for the IDS.

The Hoosiers are leading Illinois 7-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning after a three-run homer by Josh Phegley.