Hoosiers Erase Extra-Inning Deficit in Walk-Off Winner
April 28, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana Baseball scored twice in the bottom of the 10th inning to erase a Michigan homerun in the top half of the extra inning to complete a weekend sweep of the Wolverines (22-20, 8-7 Big Ten). The #17 Hoosiers (34-8, 11-4) have now won 4-of-5 conference series, including three sweeps.
After Michigan's Patrick Biondi led off the top of the 10th with a solo shot, Kyle Schwarber matched him in the home half to even it back up at two runs apiece. The IU designated hitter smoked a 3-2 fastball for a `no-doubt' homerun, clearing the 400-foot center field wall with room to spare.
Will Nolden came to the plate two batters later and slapped an opposite-field single over the outstretched arm of a leaping shortstop to put the winning run on first. He then moved into scoring position when a failed pick-off attempt went bouncing past the first baseman. `Big Game Bill' would further live up to the nickname his teammates gave him after several clutch plays in 2012, sliding head first to score a dramatic walk-off run. Another mid-game substitution, Chris Sujka, shined under the pressure as well, connecting on a single to shallow left field to win the game. Nolden sprinted from second base, never hesitating to turn at third and beat the off-line throw to home plate. A team dog pile surrounding Sujka in foul territory near first base followed.
Starting pitchers Aaron Slegers and Logan McAnallen dueled for six-plus innings, each receiving no decisions after allowing lone runs in a combined 13.1 innings of work. Slegers lasted an entire seven frames, giving up five hits and a walk while striking out three.
Indiana broke up a scoreless tie in the fourth when Sam Travis scored on a Michael Basil sacrifice fly. The 1-0 IU lead would stand until Biondi ripped an RBI-double in the seventh to drive in his first of two runs on the days.
Both squads threatened with runners in scoring position in each of the next five half innings, but ultimately failing to disrupt the 1-1 stalemate. It was Biondi again inflicting damage in the top of the 10th, crushing the very first pitch he saw over the wall for Michigan's first lead all weekend long. The long-ball set the scene for Indiana's thrilling walk-off winner in the bottom of the inning.
The Hoosiers' 34 wins are the most under Head Coach Tracy Smith and highest season total since 2003 (34-22). Indiana still has 11 games remaining on the regular season docket. With Finals Week upon us the Hoosiers are off from competition through the midweek, next taking the field in Lincoln, Neb., against the Huskers.
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