Hoosiers Dig the Long Ball in 10-7 Win Over Iowa
March 30, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana Baseball improved to 3-1 in Big Ten play early Friday evening, topping the Iowa Hawkeyes, 10-7, in a wildly entertaining start to the home weekend series. Offense was aplenty in this one, seeing the two teams combine for 17 runs on 24 hits. The Hoosiers (11-15, 3-1) notched 10 of those runs, nine of which were driven in by the duo of Michael Basil and Sam Travis.
In what was expected to be a pitchers' duel featuring a pair of the conference's best hurlers, the bats stole the show and came alive at Sembower Field. Travis immediately extended his hitting streak to a baker's dozen at 13 games, blasting a three-run homer in the bottom of the first. He has now successfully reached base in all 26 games of his young Hoosier career.
Iowa had its' offense geared up as well, totaling 14 hits. Ten different Hawkeyes recorded at least one base hit. For Indiana, Basil's five-RBI day and a three-hit, three-runs performance by Kyle Schwarber further added to Travis' run production.
It wasn't all bad for IU on the mound though as Jonny Hoffman earned his second `W' of the season, working the bump for three scoreless innings. He was relieved by Matt Dearden, who got the final three outs to pick up his third save.
The Hawkeyes got after it from the jump, scoring two runs on three hits in the opening half inning. The lead was short-lived, however, when Travis' longball in the home half pushed IU ahead, 3-2. Schwarber opened the at-bat roping a pitch so hard that despite landing just a few feet past the infield, it found its way all the way to the wall for a double. He and Dillon Dooney, who was hit by a pitch, came around to score on the Travis dinger.
Schwarber kept it coming in the third, muscling an inside pitch into center for a single. Dooney followed by blistering a single back up the middle, resulting in Hoosiers at the corners as Schwarber put on the jets and scooted over to third on the hard chopper into center. Travis then drove in his fourth run of the day, lifting a sacrifice fly into deep right center to score Schwarber. Basil came to the plate next, delivering a two-run homer clearing the center field wall in nearly the exact same location as Travis' homer past over back in the first inning.
Iowa gashed into its 6-2 deficit the next half inning, plating three runs to pull within a lone run at 6-5.
In the bottom of the fifth, Schwarber yanked a breaking ball into center field. Center field of the IU Softball Field that is, crushing a solo shot to increase the Hoosier lead to 7-5.
Hoffman entered the contest facing a bit of a jam in the sixth inning. With two runners in scoring position and no outs, Hoffman got two strikes on the first batter. But then a check-swing single by Keith Brand found its way into right center and evened the score at 7-7. Schwarber settled things down a bit for Indiana, gunning out Brand trying to steal second. Schwarber's missile recorded the first out of the inning and marked his second caught stealing of the day. Hoffman locked it down as well, inducing a fly ball and fanning the final batter to preserve the tie score.
Dustin DeMuth opened the bottom of the seventh by connecting on a tailing liner into center field. Iowa's centerfielder was shaded slightly towards left, and it cost him as DeMuth's stroke faded just out of his reach before one-hopping over the wall for a ground-rule double. Justin Cureton then put on a speed clinic. The Indianapolis, Ind., native started with a bunt single, blazing down the first base line and beating the throw easily. He kept the burners firing as he took off for second and tallied his 12th steal of the season. Jarred Hippen actually sniffed out Cureton's base-swiping intentions, tossing to first to pick him off. Cureton was too quick though, beating out the throw from first to second in an impressive track meet.
The Hawkeyes elected to load the bases, intentionally walking Travis. Basil took exception to Iowa's preference to face him, annihilating the first pitch he saw deep into left center for a bases-clearing double.
After back-to-back pinch-hit base knocks for Iowa in the top of the ninth, Head Coach Tracy handed the ball over to sophomore Matt Dearden to close things out; and he did just that. Dearden retired the first three batters he faced to seal the deal and notch his third save.
Game Two is slated for a 1:05 pm first pitch on Saturday. Come back right here to IUHoosiers.com for live stats and an audio broadcast of the ball game.
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