Long Ball Lifts No. 24 Hoosiers Past Hawkeyes in Series Opener
April 5, 2014
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Indiana baseball team (16-10, 6-1 Big Ten) hit four home runs - including a pair from Sam Travis - on their way to a 6-3 win at Iowa (16-10, 3-4 Big Ten) on Saturday. IU senior pitcher Joey DeNato recorded his sixth win of the season and 30th of his career, tying the IU career record for wins by a pitcher.
The Hoosiers pounded out 13 hits in the game, the fifth straight game of 10-plus hits with four of those coming in Big Ten play. The top four in the IU batting order - Casey Rodrigue, Kyle Schwarber, Sam Travis and Scott Donley - combined to go 10-for-20 at the plate with five RBI and five runs scored. Dustin DeMuth went 1-for-3 with a double, extending his hit streak to 15 games and his consecutive games reaching base safely streak to 23 games.
DeNato (6-1) went 6.0 innings to pick up the win, allowing three runs on eight hits with five strikeouts, increasing his IU career strikeout record to 253. Luke Harrison and Sullivan Stadler came on in relief in the seventh inning before Scott Effross was brought in to get out of the inning. Effross would go on to pitch the final 2.2 innings, surrendering just one hit with four strikeouts to earn his fifth save of the season and 10th of his career.
The Indiana bats erupted in the top of the third inning starting with a Rodrigue double to left center followed by a towering home run to center field off the bat of Schwarber, his fifth long ball of the year. Travis stepped in and smashed the first pitch he saw well over the fence in left field for his first homer of the season before Scott Donley lifted a solo shot to left center, giving the Hoosiers back-to-back-to-back home runs and a 4-0 lead.
But the inning did not end there, as Dustin DeMuth laced a double to left field - extending his active hit streak to 15 games and came around to score on a sac fly by Nick Ramos to make it a 5-0 Indiana advantage.
The Hawkeyes responded with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, trimming the IU lead to 5-3.
Travis stepped in to open the top of the seventh inning and lifted a fly ball to left field that cleared the left field fence for his second home run of the day to give Indiana the 6-3 lead. It is his first career game with two home runs and he now has 21 in his career. He entered the game without a home run this season.
The last time IU had a player hit two home runs in a game was May 4, 2013 at Nebraska when Schwarber and Ramos both hit a pair of home runs.
Indiana and Iowa will resume the series on Sunday with first pitch slated for 3 p.m. ET. Indiana will have Christian Morris (1-2, 2.23 ERA) on the mound while Iowa will send Sasha Kuebel (2-2, 5.50 ERA) on the bump.
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