Three-Run Ninth Wins It for IU Over Bucknell
March 15, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana Baseball (12-3) ran its current winning streak to five games and 10 of the last 11 with a ninth-inning victory over Bucknell. The #24 Hoosiers broke up a late tie with three runs in the top of the ninth to earn an 8-5 triumph over the Bison (4-12).
Sophomore Kyle Schwarber drove in three runs, including the go-ahead tally with bases loaded in the ninth. He got the scoring started as well, blasting his fourth homerun of the season. After Dustin DeMuth led off the game with a two-bagger, Schwarber cleared the right field fence on the very first pitch he saw to give Indiana a 2-0 edge. It marks the ninth time in the last 10 games in which IU has scored in the opening frame. The remainder of the offense was spread throughout with five additional Hoosiers driving in a run and seven different players coming across to score.
Ryan Halstead picked up the win in relief, tossing three scoreless innings with four strikeouts and two hits allowed. A pair of Ks came in the bottom of the ninth, helping to seal the exciting Hoosier victory.
Bucknell's closer Max Kra entered in the ninth, owner of a 0.00 ERA in 7.1 innings of previous work. He inflicted some pain by plunking three Hoosiers, but Indiana really made it hurt with three runs for the 8-5 final tally.
Following Schwarber's two-run shot at the beginning, a see-saw battle ensued. The Bison recorded the next four scores before IU responded with three unanswered runs of their own to regain a 5-4 advantage. Momentum then swung back the other direction when back-to-back hits for Bucknell in the seventh evened the score at five runs apiece.
Halstead did more than simply blank BU for the final three innings. Indiana lost the right to a designated hitter earlier in the contest when Sam Travis went from DH to first base. Rather than pinch hit for Halstead, head coach Tracy Smith elected to let him swing away. The gamble paid off as Halstead belted a pitch into right field for a lead-off single in the ninth. He would later come in to score the go-ahead run off an RBI-single for Schwarber.
Indiana's eight-game spring break trip comes to its conclusion Saturday when IU faces UAB (9-9) in a 2 pm contest.
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