No. 13 Indiana Blasts Ball State Behind 9-run Sixth Inning
April 23, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Using a 9-run sixth inning, the 13th ranked Indiana Hoosiers defeated the Ball State Cardinals, 10-1, at Bart Kaufman Field on Wednesday night. IU has now won 14 out of its last 15 games and closes the 9-game homestand with an 8-1 record.
Indiana (26-11) broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring nine runs after entering the inning with the score tied, 1-1. The nine runs in the inning are the most by IU since scoring 11 runs in the fourth inning against Michigan on April 4, 2010.
Brad Hartong paced the Indiana offense with a 2-for-5 day at the plate, which included a 3-run home run and five RBI. Chad Clark, Will Nolden and Brian Wilhite also recorded a pair of hits in the contest.
Sullivan Stadler, making his third start of the year, pitched the first five innings and allowed one run on three hits with six strikeouts. He entered the game with seven strikeouts in 12.1 innings pitched. Luke Harrison (4-0) came on in relief to start the sixth inning and retired the side in order, putting him in line to get the win after the offensive explosion in the bottom of the frame.
Jake Kelzer pitched the seventh inning and recorded two more strikeouts and Will Coursen-Carr matched Kelzer's strikeouts in the eighth. Then in the ninth inning, Evan Bell recorded three strikeouts to give the IU staff 13 in the game, one shy of tying the season-high of 14 vs. Utah on Feb. 22.
Over the last 50.0 innings, Indiana pitchers have allowed a total of three earned runs.
The Hoosiers got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning, without the benefit of a hit. After Sam Travis reached on a two-out walk, Scott Donley struck out but reached on a wild pitch on the third strike. On the play, Travis alertly tried to advance from first to third base and the throw from the Ball State catcher sailed into left field, allowing Travis to score easily to make it a 1-0 Indiana lead.
Ball State responded in the top of the second inning on a solo home run.
Neither team got the bats going over the next three innings, but when the bottom of the sixth rolled around, Indiana was ready to pounce. After the first two batters in the inning reached, Brad Hartong drilled a 3-run home run to left field, his third home run of the year, putting IU ahead, 4-1. Later in the inning, Ricky Alfonso singled home a run and a RBI groundout from Kyle Schwarber made it a 6-1 Indiana lead. The inning continued with Travis being walked intentionally, allowing pinch-hitter Brian Wilhite's single to score another run. DeMuth kept the runners in motion with an RBI double, followed by a 2-run single by Hartong to make it a 10-1 edge for the Hoosiers.
The double by DeMuth extended his consecutive games reaching base safely streak to 34 games.
The Indiana bullpen never allowed the Ball State hitters back into the game over the final three innings, allowing just two hits and a walk.
Big Ten play returns to the Indiana schedule this weekend, as the Hoosiers travel to Illinois to take on the Fighting Illini in a three game series. Indiana has won eight straight Big Ten road games going into this weekend, a streak that started with the last two games of the 2013 regular season.
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