Indiana University's men's baseball team decided to bring a little Mets flavor to their game on Thursday night, and it paid huge dividends.
Our buddy Chris Feeny is a big Mets fan. You may have seen him on Twitter -- @ChrisF3105 -- frequently using the hashtage #IUBase. That's short for Indiana University baseball, which Feeny has an avid supporter of since he moved westward.
"My brother went to IU, so I knew it was cool out here," Feeny, a New York native, explained. "So when my daughter was old enough to start preschool, we made the move. We go back to New York every Opening Day, and if I have a wedding or something or for some holidays, but I get my regular baseball fix out here now with Indiana."
Feeny's passion for the program runs deep. He helps operate both iubase.com (@iubase17 on Twitter) and the podcast See You at the Bart. But his love of the Mets is deeply ingrained, too. So much so that he has tried for years to get Indiana's PA announcer to play Lou Monte's "Lazy Mary" -- the song that Mets have played after "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" for decades at both Shea Stadium and Citi Field, during the seventh inning stretch.
"When I got out here, I bought season tickets and when I started going to the games, I’d text my guys back home how they need to play "Lazy Mary," Feeny said. "Then I just started putting it on Twitter. I would always give the score with #NoLazyMary or Still No Lazy Mary."
"Through the years, I’ve gotten to know the head coach Chris Lemonis and director of baseball operations Roger Rodeheave, and they would joke with me that one day they would play it. I didn't know if they were serious, but when I started the podcast, I would play it, and it just got some momentum from the fan base. And last night it actually happened."
In the middle of the seventh, with Indiana trailing 4-2, "Lazy Mary" made its debut. And after the Hoosiers surrendered another run in the eighth, it looked like it would just be a footnote in a disappointing loss. Then suddenly, the comeback happened. In the bottom of the eighth, IU scored four, capped by a three-run bomb by infielder Luke Miller, his second homer of the game.
The Hoosiers are currently the 19th-ranked team in the country, and have the Big 10 tournament starting next week, with hopes of a fourth trip to the NCAA Regionals in the past five years. And if the Hoosiers know what's good for them, they'll keep riding the "Lazy Mary" magic for as long as they can.