UIndy fends off Northern Kentucky
Victory gives Greyhounds their fifth GLVC championship
EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- Indianapolis has captured the 2012 Great Lakes Valley Conference Baseball Championship Tournament, following a 4-3 victory against Northern Kentucky on Sunday. The top-seeded Greyhounds, who won their fifth GLVC baseball crown and first since 2001, earned the GLVC’s automatic bid to NCAA Regionals.
Indianapolis (42-14) used a two-run fourth inning to open a 2-0 advantage. While the Norse (35-19) cut the deficit in half less than an inning later, the Greyhounds continued to stave off a pesky NKU squad.
The pivotal play of the game occurred in the bottom of the seventh inning when Northern Kentucky’s Kris Hecktor singled to centerfield and with Zac Asman rounding third, UIndy leftfielder Ryan Wides delivered a one-hop strike to home plate where Nick Whitty tagged a hard charging Asman.
The Greyhounds carried that momentum into the eighth inning when NKU’s Brett Loeding was pressed for a pair of runs on three hits. Mike Page delivered a single to right field to score Wides, while Jake Hartley drilled a sacrifice fly to center to score Scot Lawley.
UIndy was led in the championship final by Adam Rusche, who went 2-for-4 with a run scored, as well as the 1-for-2 and two-run effort of Lawley. Scott Mourey, Tyler O’Daniel and Page were each 2-for-5 on the day, with Page recording a pair of RBIs in the victory.
Patrick Kraft earned the win for UIndy, going 7.0 innings and allowing six hits, one run and one walk while striking out three. He threw 54 strikes out of 72 pitches.
Hugo Lalonde entered the game in the eighth, but was pulled by head coach Gary Vaught after loading the bases with no outs. Vaught opted to give the ball to GLVC Pitcher of the Year Donovan Drake.
Drake forced Brad Clement to fly out to center, which scored Josh Myers to make the score, 4-2. Drake then threw a wild pitch to the next batter, Phil Smith, which advanced NKU runners to second and third. Smith grounded out to second, but scored a run to bring the Greyhound lead to one at 4-3. Drake fanned Pat Williams to end the Norse rally and bring UIndy just three outs away from the title.
In the ninth inning, Drake retired the side to seal the win and record the save for the Greyhounds.
Drew Campbell registered the loss for the Norse, going 3.2 innings on the mound. He gave up two earned runs on five hits with just one strikeout for NKU, which concluded its final championship event as a member of the GLVC. The Norse will be moving to Division I competition for the 2012-13 season.
Northern Kentucky was paced by Bradley Vanderglas, who was 2-for-3 at the plate with a run scored.
UIndy finished with a line score (runs-hits-errors) of 4-11-0 while Northern Kentucky went 3-7-0.