Hoosiers Take Conference-Opening Series at Michigan
April 2, 2011
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Indiana Baseball closed out the first weekend of Big Ten play by taking game three and the series at Michigan (7-18, 1-2 Big Ten). The Hoosiers (18-9, 2-1) rolled to a 10-3 victory in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader.
Freshman Matt Dearden earned the win on the mound, working the bump for six innings and allowing just one earned run (three runs total). Justin Cureton had a day to remember, driving in three runs and stroking the first homerun of his career.
Everyone got into the action offensively for Indiana. Eight starters recorded a hit while seven different Hoosiers tallied an RBI as IU compiled a team total of 10 runs on 12 hits.
Game three was very similar to the series opener on Friday. Michigan scored two runs in the bottom of the first in both contests before seeing the Hoosiers go on a tear. It was 10 unanswered runs on Friday, and eight straight scores for Indiana in the Saturday night-cap. The Cream and Crimson lit the scoreboard in three consecutive frames (2nd-4th) for an 8-2 lead after three and a half innings.
Michigan stopped the Hoosier scoring bonanza in bottom of the fifth, squeezing across a lone run; their first earned run of the ballgame. Indiana re-established its six run lead the next half inning, however, converting back-to-back singles into a run via a sacrifice fly by Micah Johnson. Cureton's longball in the seventh extended the IU edge to seven runs at 10-3.
Freshman closer Ryan Halstead had a long shift of relief, entering in the seventh and lasting the remainder of the way. His three-inning stint closed the door and picked up his fifth save of the season. That total places him in the IU record book already, owning a share of eighth most in a single season at Indiana. The all-time mark is held by Chris Squires (2010) and Ryan Smith (2002) with nine saves.
The bottom of the lineup came up big for IU. The 7-8-9 hitters each stroked two hits and drove in a combined five runs. Cureton preceded his solo homerun with a 2-RBI single in the third while Casey Smith and T.C. Knipp each posted run-scoring hits as well.
Next up for Head Coach Tracy Smith and his Hoosiers is a midweek trip to Oxford, Ohio to take on Miami (OH). Coach Smith guided the RedHawk baseball program to eight consecutive 30-win seasons before coming to Bloomington. First pitch is slated for 6 pm EST on Tues., April 5. Indiana then hosts the Ohio State Buckeyes for a weekend series starting on Friday.
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