Feb. 19, 2012
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -
Indiana Baseball exploded for 12 runs in eight innings on Sunday, dumping the Pittsburgh Panthers by a final score of 12-7. The game was called an inning early as both teams had flights to catch.
A quartet of Hoosiers posted multi-RBI days; a list that included Micah Johnson, Sam Travis, Tim O'Conner and Chris Sujka.
Johnson, the Hoosier lead-off hitter, instantly drove in his first run by lacing the very first pitch of the ball game deep over the wall in right-center field. His solo shot would be the first of two run-producing extra-base hits on the day, stroking an RBI-triple later in the seventh inning.
The Hoosier lead was quickly erased in the home half of the inning though. Pittsburgh took advantage of an IU fielding error, scoring two runs, one earned and one unearned to take a 2-1 lead. It would mark the last time Pitt would own a lead, however.
Indiana sent 11 batters to the plate in the second stanza, racking up seven runs along the way. The offensive outburst was anchored by back-to-back RBI-doubles for freshmen Sam Travis and Kyle Schwarber; and concluded when fellow freshman Chris Sujka cracked a liner into center field, scoring two. It marked the fifth and sixth RBI of the weekend for Sujka.
The Panthers were able to scratch and crawl their way back into the game, outscoring Indiana four runs to one over the course of the next two innings. The three-run lead for Indiana remained up until the seventh. That's when the Hoosiers re-extended their lead, pushing across two runs before recording an out.
Matt Dearden and Ryan Halstead took care of the rest, shutting the door for the final 2.1 innings.
In two appearances over the weekend, Dearden worked the mound for four innings of shutout relief. The Gainesville, Fla., native impressed in front of family and friends while in the Sunshine State. Opponents are hitting a dismal .083 against Dearden while four of 12 batters faced were sat down via the strikeout.
Halstead, meanwhile, made quick work of his lone inning; retiring three Panthers in succession to secure the IU victory.
Indiana comes back to Bloomington winners of two of three at the 2012 Big Ten/Big East Challenge. Overall, the Big Ten Conference won 15 games in the 30-game competition, tying the Big East.
The Cream and Crimson head south again next weekend, traveling to New Orleans for a three-game set at Tulane. IUHoosiers.com will have both live audio and GameTracker live stats available for all three contests.