Hoosiers Drop a Pair on Saturday Against Minnesota
April 23, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Both Mother Nature and the Minnesota Golden Gophers wreaked havoc at Sembower Field on Saturday as the Hoosier Baseball squad was swept in a doubleheader that spanned over seven hours due to a 100-minute lighting delay in the middle of game one.
At 6-5 in Big Ten play, Indiana (25-14 overall) is now one game back from Michigan State for the top spot in the conference standings. The Gophers, meanwhile, improved to 13-15, 5-6 heading into Sunday's action.
The series opener lasted just two hours and ten minutes in the box score, but took nearly four hours to complete in reality as lightning strikes in the area forced a long delay in the top of the sixth inning.
A trio of consecutive singles for Minnesota in the top of the first garnered the Gophers a 1-0 lead. They added another tally in the third frame, converting a lead-off double into the second run of the day.
Indiana responded immediately in the bottom half of the inning, locking it up at 2-2 with a pair of scores. Michael Basil opened with a single right back past the pitcher. He was pushed up 90 feet to second via a sac bunt provided by Matt Serfling. Dustin DeMuth then poked a pitch into center field. As Basil rounded third base headed for home, he lost traction on the wet grass, fell down and had to hold at third. With runners at the corners, Micah Johnson made sure the slip didn't matter as he sent Indiana's third hit of the inning into center field. His RBI-single was followed by another as Alex Dickerson continued to pound the middle of the infield, crushing a pitch bouncing over second base and scoring DeMuth for a 2-2 deadlock.
Starting pitcher Blake Monar came back after the long delay and retook the mound in the sixth with a runner on. The Rockport, Ind., native showed no ill effects from the break in action, inducing a picture perfect 5-4-3 double play.
Neither team would push across a run until the top of the eighth when Minnesota's AJ Pettersen jacked his first homer of the season to put his Gophers ahead for good at 3-2. It marks the second Big Ten game this year in which the Hoosiers have lost to an opponent's first homerun of the season.
Game two was as ugly as the weather, if not worse. After taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning, Indiana watched the Gophers rip off 12 unanswered runs in a 12-1 ballgame.
Doubles by DeMuth and Dickerson notched the Hoosiers' early run. A disastrous second inning which included six hits, seven runs, a pitching change, defensive error, injured Hoosier and run-scoring wild pitch doomed the Cream and Crimson.
The series concludes on Sunday with a 12:05 pm first pitch scheduled for game three. Can't make it out to Sembower Field? Check out the game on your television as the Big Ten Network is broadcasting the contest. The weather forecast looks gloomy once again, follow @KKatIU on Twitter for the most up-to-date weather delay information.
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