April 9, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
Behind the strength of eight strong, if not spectacular, innings by starting pitcher Chad Martin, the Hoosier baseball team (19-11, 3-2 Big Ten) forced a rubber game on Sunday by defeating Ohio State, 5-3, and evening the weekend series at one game apiece.
For the second straight day, Indiana and the Buckeyes each recorded eight hits; but this time it was the Hoosiers who did more with their opportunities in the 5-3 victory. Nearly everyone got into the action for the Cream and Crimson with eight of nine starters either scoring a run or driving one in. Wes Wilson did both with one swing of the bat, a solo homerun in the third inning.
Martin tossed seven innings of shutout baseball, allowing OSU to plate runs in just one inning, a three-run second. The Lexington, Ky., native gave up only four hits in his final six innings pitched to earn the `W,' his second win of the season. Closer Ryan Halstead closed the door in the ninth, picking up the sixth save of his freshman campaign. With 26 regular season games left on the schedule, Halstead is already closing in on an all-time school record. Chris Squires (2010) and Ryan Smith (2002) share the single-season saves record with nine.
Dustin DeMuth wasted little time getting it started, stroking a lead-off single into center field in the bottom of the first. DeMuth's hit was followed by a bunt single for Jerrud Sabourin to put a pair of Hoosiers on the base paths. Next up was Alex Dickerson, and he placed what was originally thought to be an RBI-single into shallow right. Sabourin was forced out at second base, however, as the outfielder had a chance to catch the Dickerson swing and Sabourin had to hold up half-way to ensure not getting doubled up at first. By rule, the runner forced out at second mandates Dickerson's `single' be officially ruled a fielder's choice. Either way, the RBI stood up and IU owned a 1-0 lead.
Ohio State immediately responded in the next half inning, posting a three-spot on the scoreboard. A day after posting five sacrifice plays (three sac flies, two sac bunts), the Buckeyes executed some nice small ball once again. The second run was scored via squeeze bunt.
The Buckeye advantage was short-lived as Indiana matched with three runs of their own in the bottom of the second. T.C. Knipp, Matt Serfling and Sabourin all garnered RBI in the frame as the Hoosiers went ahead 4-1. Serfling's RBI came on IU's second bunt single of the afternoon. In just 25 at-bats, an uber-efficient Serfling was hitting .400 (10-25) and had driven in seven runs.
Martin got himself in a third-inning jam with two runners in scoring position. He retired two straight batters though to end the threat and began his run of dominance the remainder of the afternoon. As Martin flied through the next six innings, so did the time as two hours is all it took to complete Saturday's game.
Indiana scored once again in the bottom of the third, thanks to Wilson's second longball of the season. That would prove to be the last run of the contest, resulting in the 5-3 triumph for Head Coach Tracy Smith's Hoosiers.
Game three is slated for a 1:05 pm first pitch on Sunday at Sembower Field. The rubber game pits IU's RHP Matt Dearden (2-1, 4.35) vs. RHP Greg Greve (1-1, 6.39) of Ohio State. Tune into IUHoosiers.com for a live audio broadcast. Calling the action will be Jeremy Gray, and making his IUHoosiers.com debut will be former Hoosier and Texas Ranger, Kevin Mahar, proving color commentary.