Strong Bullpen Effort in 3-1 Hoosier Triumph
May 10, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana's bullpen shined in the #14 Hoosiers' 3-1 series-opening win over Northwestern (21-22, 5-14 Big Ten) Friday at Bart Kaufman Field. A quartet of IU relievers combined to allow a lone run in seven innings of working, including a winning effort by Scott Effross (6-1) spanning four and a third innings.
The Hoosiers (37-10, 14-5) leap-frogged Minnesota (28-17, 11-5) for the top spot in the Big Ten standings after the Golden Gophers were shut out at home 6-0 by Nebraska.
Luke Harrison, Brian Korte and Ryan Halstead teamed up for the final 2.2 innings, concluding with Ryan Halstead earning his ninth save of the season and 20th of his career. Both those totals give Halstead a share of all-time IU school records. The single-season sum pulls even with his freshman save total of nine, as well as, Chris Squires in 2010 and Ryan Smith in 2002. Halstead needs to close out one more contest to grab sole possession of both school records, also surpassing Squires' 20 career saves.
Northwestern starting pitcher Luke Farrell entered with a 1.60 ERA and showed why early on. He rolled through the Hoosier lineup in order with six strikeouts in the first three frames.
Will Nolden was the first man to crack the Farrell code, yanking a single to right field to lead off the fourth. He would advance no further than second base in that inning, but came back in the fifth to deliver a go-ahead RBI. With a runner on third and two outs, Nolden slapped a pitch into shallow left field for the 1-0 Hoosier edge.
Back-to-back Wildcat doubles erased their deficit immediately in the next half inning. Indiana had a quick response as well though, pulling back out in front by two runs in home half. Kyle Schwarber, Sam Travis and Scott Donley strung together three straight base hits. Donley's two-bagger down the line regained IU's lead and inflated his Big Ten-best RBI total to 48. Travis would later come into score on a wild pitch.
From there, the Hoosier pen suffocated Northwestern's offense, limiting the Wildcats to just one hit during the final three innings.
Game Two of the weekend series is slated for a 2:05 pm start on Saturday.
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