Travis Double Lifts No. 18 Indiana to Series Sweep of Michigan State
April 20, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Sam Travis ripped a two-run double to break a 1-1 eighth inning tie and lift the Indiana baseball team to its third straight Big Ten series sweep in a 4-1 victory over Michigan State on Easter Sunday at Bart Kaufman Field. The red-hot Hoosiers (25-11, 11-1 Big Ten) have won 13 of their last 14 ballgames, their last five series, all four of their conference series and are 7-1 on their current nine-game homestand.
IU's pitching staff surrendered just two earned runs in 30 innings against the Spartans and has allowed that same number in its last 41 innings of work. In four games this week, all victories, the staff logged a 0.45 ERA, 26 hits, 25 strikeouts and 15 walks in 40 frames.
Today it was Brian Korte and Luke Harrison (3-0). Making his first Big Ten start since 2011, Korte gave up one run on five hits with four strikeouts and four walks over 6.1. Coupled with his Wednesday start, the senior southpaw allowed one run on nine hits in 11.1 innings with five Ks.
Harrison relieved Korte and escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the seventh en route to his second win in as many days. The junior tossed the final 2.2 of one-hit baseball, struck out a pair and walked one.
Travis doubled into the left-center field gap on the first pitch he saw from reliever Jake Lowery to score junior second baseman Casey Rodrigue and junior catcher Kyle Schwarber. Rodrigue narrowly missed putting Indiana ahead with a two-bagger of his own off the left field wall and MSU intentionally walked Schwarber.
Junior designated hitter Scott Donley knocked in Travis with a base knock to left for the final run. Donley went 2-for-4 with the lone RBI.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first, the Hoosiers tied it up in the third. Junior right field Will Nolden walked and sophomore shortstop Nick Ramos singled to start the rally. Junior center fielder Tim O'Conner laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt and Rodrigue brought in Nolden with an RBI groundout.
Korte took over following the opening stanza, facing the minimum over the next five innings before being lifted for Harrison in the seventh. The 6-4 righty stranded Spartans on first and second in the top of the eighth, battling back from a 3-0 count to strike out catcher Joel Fisher and set up Travis's heroics.
Michigan State starter Cam Vieaux (5-3) was the tough luck loser. He pitched 7.1 solid innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits with three bases on balls and five Ks.
Schwarber had a strong day behind the plate, picking off a runner and throwing out another.
IU improved to 12-2 at home this season and 31-5 all-time at Bart Kaufman Field.
Indiana wraps up its homestand with a 6:05 p.m. Wednesday showdown with Ball State. The Hoosiers return to league action at Illinois on Friday-Sunday (7 p.m., 4 p.m., 2 p.m.).
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