IU Opens Big Ten Play With 9-3 Win Over Penn State
March 22, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The start of Big Ten play didn't slow down Hoosier Baseball's momentum as Indiana downed Penn State, 9-3, for consecutive win number nine and the 14th victory in the last 15 games. The 22nd-ranked Hoosiers improve to 16-3 overall and 1-0 in conference action. Indiana tallied 10 hits while committing zero errors in the series-opening win over the Nittany Lions (5-12, 0-1).
Joey DeNato twirled another gem for the Cream and Crimson, fanning eight batters in the first four innings and a total of 10 Ks. The junior southpaw worked 7.1 innings, allowing a lone run on five hits and two walks. DeNato is now 3-1 with a 2.51 ERA on the year. Freshman Scott Effross took over with one out in the eighth and a runner aboard. The only Lion he faced lined into a double play and Effross' season ERA dipped to 0.47 through 18.1 innings of relief.
Scott Donley strengthened his case to be the answer of a future Bart Kaufman Field trivia question. On Wednesday vs. Miami (OH), Donley recorded the very first hit and scored the first run in the facility's history. He kept the firsts coming against PSU, lifting a three-run homer in the opening frame for the first longball in Bart Kaufman Field. Justin Cureton led off the home half by doubling down the right field line. Following a Sam Travis walk, Donley yanked an inside pitch over the right field wall.
It was `small ball' doing the trick in the fifth inning. Chad Clark legged out an infield single to get it started. He advanced to second on a sac bunt from Will Nolden. The ball stayed in the infield once again on a perfectly-placed bunt single for Cureton to push Clark over to third. Kyle Schwarber finished off the task, slugging a sac fly into deep right field for a 4-0 Hoosier lead.
Penn State matched Schwarber's efforts with a sac fly of their own in the seventh. Schwarber came right back in the home half, combining with Nolden to drive in a pair of runs.
Pinch-hitter Ricky Alfonso highlighted a three-run eighth inning for Indiana, smashing the first triple in facility history to push across two more tallies. Clark then rolled one through the left side to score Alfonso, giving IU a 9-1 advantage. Penn State would start a mini rally in the ninth, pulling within 9-3, before Christian Morris shut the door and the Hoosiers tallied the 16th triumph of 2013.
An unfavorable weather forecast for Sunday has altered the game schedule for the remaining series. Both contests will be played as part of a Saturday doubleheader, starting at noon.
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