April 20, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
It was a typical Joey DeNato outing on Friday as the southpaw guided Indiana Baseball (17-21) to a 7-2 win over Georgia Southern (22-18) with a final line that read like this: W, 6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. The offense came from a multitude of angles as four different Hoosiers drove in five different run scorers.
Through 10 starts this season, DeNato has allowed one or fewer earned runs in six appearances. His 2.43 season ERA is tops on the team, and dips down to 1.83 when taking out his lone poor outing of the year against Iowa. On Friday, he handed the ball over to Ryan Halstead and Jonny Hoffman in relief. The bullpen duo took care of the rest, teaming up to allow just two hits in the final 2.2 innings and seal the deal. Hoffman picked up his second save of the season.
Sam Travis, Dillon Dooney and Chris Sujka each tallied a pair of RBI while Kyle Schwarber and Travis both plated two runs. Indiana caused havoc on the basepaths as well, swiping five bags, including two by Will Nolden.
Indiana got right after GSU starting pitcher, Chris Beck, plating two runs in the first inning. Beck, rated as the No. 8 overall prospect according to MLB.com, was tagged for first-pitch base hits by Schwarber and Travis in IU's first at-bat. Travis' hit was a shot over the center field wall, marking his fifth homerun of the season.
A nice defensive play from Travis in the next half inning helped keep the Hoosier lead at 2-0. With one out, Travis scooped up a hard hit grounder, stepped on first, spun around and flung to second to catch the lead runner before hustling back to re-cover first as Michael Basil completed the 3-6-3 double play.
Schwarber came around to score once again in the third frame, escorted by a Dooney RBI-single into right field. It was Dooney at it again in the fourth, slapping a tailing triple off the right-field chalk line rolling into the visiting bullpen to push across another run and put the Cream and Crimson ahead, 4-0.
Georgia Southern finally got to DeNato for back-to-back hits and two runners in scoring position in the seventh. Halstead's damage control was effective though, holding the Eagles to a pair of runs (one unearned) and stranding three runners aboard to maintain a 4-2 advantage.
The Eagles came back and threatened in their next at-bat thanks to a pair of one-out walks. The next GSU batter than smoked a liner up the middle and into shallow center field. As the lead runner barreled towards home, Justin Cureton unleashed an absolute rocket and a well-placed tag by Schwarber stymied the scoring attempt. Hoffman followed with a grounder back to the mound to maintain the 4-2 lead.
Indiana would blow the doors open in the home half, taking advantage of a two-out error from the Eagles. Sujka got it started by pushing a ball up into the jet stream (20+ mph winds) and rode it for a two-run double. Dustin DeMuth poured more salt in the wounds, hammering a pitch back up the gut to plate Sujka for the seventh Hoosier tally.
Game two of the weekend series is slated for a 1:05 pm first pitch on Saturday. Indiana will send LHP Kyle Hart (1-4, 3.83) to the bump, countered by Georgia Southern's RHP Justin Hess (2-1, 5.40).