May 9, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
It was an up-and-down midweek game for Indiana (24-25) on Wednesday, going through several lead changes before an eventual 12-inning defeat to #7 Kentucky (38-11). The biggest low came in the top of the 12th when Kentucky won in `balk-off' fashion, posting the go-ahead run on a two-out balk.
Ryan Halstead performed well in his third start of the season, going five innings strong and producing this final stat line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. When he left the game, Indiana owned a 3-2 lead and Halstead was in line for the `W.'
Indiana out-hit the Wildcats, 17-11, paced by Justin Cureton and his four-hit performance. Kyle Schwarber wasn't far behind, cranking out three base knocks on the day.
Kentucky lit the scoreboard first, plating runs on a sacrifice fly in the second inning and a long-ball from nine-hole hitter, Matt Reida, in the third.
The Hoosiers took their first lead of the day off a three-run third inning. For the second time in as many at-bats, Cureton rolled a ball through the left side of the infield to start the bottom of the third. Schwarber followed Cureton's groove between the UK shortstop and third baseman for another seeing-eye single. A third straight groundball followed, but Wildcat third baseman Thomas McCarthy airmailed his toss to second, allowing Cureton to score. Micah Johnson then lined a pitch into center to even the score at 2-2 and chase out the starting pitcher. Trace Knoblauch kept slicing hits through the UK infield, crushing a pitch skipping past Johnson at first and ending up in right field to load the bases. After a strikeout, a DeMuth infield single gave IU a 3-2 lead; but Johnson overran third base and was eventually caught in a pickle to end the inning.
Kentucky was able to load the bases in the subsequent half inning, but Halstead got a pop fly in foul territory. Travis chased it done and leaned over the fence into the crowd to snare the ball and eliminate the threat.
Michael Basil kept the pipeline open through the left side, pushing another single into shallow left. Back-to-back sac bunts moved Basil across the diamond over to third base. Kentucky did not successfully handle Knoblauch's bunt, however, allowing `Big Tex' to reach; but more importantly leave just one out on the board. The mishap came back to hurt UK as DeMuth's one-out chopper shoved across another run rather than being out number three.
A two-RBI groundout to first for Brian Adams evened the score back up at four runs apiece in the top of the sixth. Yes, a two-RBI groundout to first. In a rare scorebook entry, Adams stroked a would-be double into left center, but an appeal to first was successful as it was ruled Adams missed the bag. He was retired, but the damage was already done.
Runs were tallied in the 10th, but it did nothing to untangle a knotted score of 5-5. The Wildcats complimented a wild pitch and passed ball with two singles to plate their run while Indiana scored when Chad Clark's double was supported by an RBI-liner for Sam Travis to force more bonus baseball.
In the 12th, Kentucky manufactured a runner onto third base via a single, sac bunt and groundball. With two outs and attempting to intentionally walk Austin Cousino, a balk was called and the go-ahead run jogged in for UK. DeMuth would get aboard on a single in the home half, but would not advance as the Wildcats closed out the extra-inning victory, 6-5.
The Cream and Crimson enter this weekend in second place of the Big Ten standings with two conference series remaining. The first starts on Friday, a 4 pm EST contest at Northwestern. Indiana's game on Sunday in Evanston will start at 3 pm and be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.