Wild Winner for #16 Hoosiers at Nebraska
May 4, 2013
LINCOLN, Neb. - #16 Indiana Baseball (35-8, 12-4 Big Ten) grinded out a wild 8-6 road win at Nebraska (20-24, 11-5) in front of a national audience on the Big Ten Network. Nick Ramos and Kyle Schwarber each connected on a pair of homeruns en route to the Hoosiers extending their current winning streak to nine games.
Ramos & Schwarber are the first Hoosier duo to post multiple homeruns in the same game since Michael Earley and Ethan Wilson did so against Illinois on May 20, 2010; also marking the last time IU hit four homers in a game (stroking a total of six long-balls that day).
It's wasn't all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows for the Hoosiers though, digging a 2-0 hole in the opening frame. The Huskers got to Joey DeNato for two tallies in the first inning before having the door slammed shut for the next five. It took DeNato 28 pitches to escape the first, but just 47 tosses to cruise through the subsequent five frames. He retired 16 of the next 19 batters, including eight straight at one point, after allowing the second run to come in. DeNato's six-plus inning effort earned him the win, improving his season record to 7-1.
As DeNato settled in, the Hoosier lineup scored in four consecutive innings to go ahead 5-2. Ramos' first shot got IU on the board and was quickly followed by Schwarber's blast which cleared the stadium and landed in an adjacent parking lot.
Indiana then tacked on lone runs in the next three innings, starting with a sacrifice fly by Chad Clark in the fourth. Dustin DeMuth set up Clark's first of three RBI by hustling from first to third base when Casey Smith rolled a single through the right side of the infield. Ramos' second trip to the homerun buffet came in the fifth, pushing IU ahead 4-2.
A two-base error and wild pitch in the sixth inning handed Indiana its fifth run, but was quickly reciprocated in the home half of the frame when Nebraska scored on a wild pitch as well to make it 5-3.
With two-out, two-on in the eighth, Clark pushed a pitch opposite field and just inside the foul line to bring across two more runs. The Huskers would not go down without a fight, however, starting off their eighth-inning at-bat with four straight hits and three runs to pull within in one tally at 7-6. The potential game-tying run rounded third two batters later, but was gunned down by Will Nolden from left field. His fourth outfield assist of the season maintained Indiana's slim advantage. Following an intentional walk to fill an open first base, Ryan Halstead struck out the next four Huskers to secure the IU victory.
Halstead caught the final two batters looking at strike three for his eighth save of the season and 19th of his career. Both save numbers pull the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native within one of tying school records. His 2009 total of nine saves is already tied for Indiana's single-season high while a 20th career save would even him with Chris Squires (2007-10) for the most all-time at IU.
Schwarber had added an insurance run in the top of the ninth, parking another baseball outside of Hawks Field. The behemoth has exploded for five homeruns in the last six games, slugging at a 1.038 clip. His dozen dingers not only lead the Big Ten, but are also more than six conference schools' team totals.
Game Two of the three-game series is slated for a 1:05 pm CT/2:05 pm ET first pitch. A pair of sophomore southpaws are expected to square off in the pitching match-up as Indiana's Kyle Hart (7-0, 2.39) faces Kyle Kubat (3-0, 1.50) of Nebraska.
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