Late Rally Clinches Road Series Victory for IU
March 9, 2014
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The fifth and final lead change of #17 Indiana and Jacksonville's Sunday rubber match came in a 2-run top of the ninth for the Hoosiers (7-6), clinching a road series victory over the Dolphins (4-9). JU had flipped the script with two runs of their own in the previous half inning to surge ahead 6-5 before IU mounted the come-from-behind triumph in dramatic fashion.
Four days after earning the win in his midweek start versus Xavier, Kyle Hart came out of the bullpen to close out the see-saw battle. The lefty out of Cincinnati worked a perfect ninth frame, sitting down the Dolphins in order for his first career save. Despite pitching just one-third of an inning, Evan Bell was credited with the win while Luke Harrison's two shutout innings of relief gave IU the chance at a win.
The top of the order got after it again with six more hits coming from the 1-2-3 hitters; Kyle Schwarber, Casey Rodrigue and Sam Travis. The same IU trio combined for a half dozen base knocks in the Hoosiers' 9-2 victory on Saturday as well. Will Nolden and Dustin DeMuth each chipped in runs scored and a pinch-hitting Craig Dedelow drove in a run.
Indiana drew first blood, starting a four-inning scoring streak with a lone run in the top of the third. Schwarber's one-out walk ultimately became a run when Travis drove him in on a single. The Dolphins counterpunched with a three-spot in the home half before IU pushed across another in the fourth, two in the fifth and one more in the sixth.
The 5-3 lead lasted just two innings when JU scraped in a tally after the stretch and jumped back in the driver's seat with a pair in the eighth to go up 6-5 heading to the final frame.
Rodrigue kick-started the rally immediately, stretching a single into a double to lead off the ninth for his third hit of the afternoon. The next three Hoosiers were issued free passes and an errant throw from JU's catcher rolled into the dugout allowing a pair of runs to come.
Hart sat em down 1-2-3 in the bottom half and the Hoosiers escaped northern Florida with a road series in hand.
Next up for the Cream and Crimson is a top-25 match-up versus Kentucky at Bart Kaufman Field in Bloomington. First pitch scheduled for 4:05 pm ET on Tuesday. The forecast calls for highs in the mid-60s and sunny skies.
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