March 4, 2011
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -
T.C. Knipp was the hero in the Hoosiers' 6-5 extra inning win over Morehead State Friday afternoon in Knoxville, Tenn. Knipp's game-saving outfield assist at home plate in the ninth inning and walk-off RBI-single in the bottom of the 13th pushed Indiana to victory. The Hoosiers improve to 5-3 on the season, winning five of the last six games.
Matt Carr, making his sixth relief appearance of the season, was credited with the 'W' after hurling 2.2 innings of shutout baseball to close it out. Nine different Hoosiers recorded a hit on the day, including three for freshman Dustin DeMuth.
Knipp was just one of several Hoosiers to come up with clutch plays to secure the IU triumph. Dillon Dooney, Joey DeNato and Alex Dickerson are some of the others to name a few.
Morehead State went ahead 4-2 in the top of the 11th frame and things were looking dreary for the Cream and Crimson. That's when the California trio mentioned above anchored Indiana's matching two runs in the bottom half of the inning. With a man on, Dooney scorched a pinch-hit double down the left field line to drive in a pinch-running Brian Lambert all the way from first base. DeNato then came in to run for Dooney. The line-up card continued to take a beating when Head Coach Tracy Smith decided to call on his All-American Alex Dickerson, who was planning to sit out the entire game, and asked him to step into the box as a pinch hitter. Dickerson smoked a shot up the gut through the middle infield for the game-tying RBI.
Then came the bottom of the 13th. DeMuth started the rally with a bunt single. He advanced to second via a Wes Wilson
sac bunt. And to the surprise of everyone in the press box, DeNato came out of the dugout to swing away. DeNato, a starting pitcher the first two weekends, lined a shot into right field to put men at the corners. The Eagles quickly elected to intentionally walk Dickerson, setting up Knipp for the walk-off single.
It was a sloppy first three innings for both squads as five of the first six runs were unearned. Quality pitching took over the next seven scoreless innings, however. Indiana's Drew Leininger did his thing during that time, allowing just one man to reach base in his 2.1 innings of work.
The score was locked up three runs apiece heading into the ninth inning. Morehead State's Andrew Deeds led off with a triple deep into center field. Leininger and Ryan Halstead would combine to strand him at third though, recording three outs; thanks in large part to Knipp's outfield assist catching Deeds just in front of the dish.
Starting pitcher Chad Martin lasted six innings, scattering five hits, three walks and three unearned runs. The six-foot-seven righty transfer from Vincennes University fanned six batters in his first start as a Hoosier.
Indiana's game against host Tennessee on Saturday has been moved up to a 1:30 pm start as the teams attempt to beat out the incoming inclement weather. If Mother Nature allows, both live video and live audeo of the game will be available for that contest against the SEC foe; right here at IUHoosiers.com