Buckeyes Take Tight Game One, 2-1
May 16, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The 15th-ranked Indiana Hoosiers (38-13, 15-7 Big Ten) suffered their eighth one-run loss of the season Thursday night, dropping a 2-1 decision in the series opener at Ohio State (34-19, 15-7). Indiana and the Buckeyes are locked up at the top of the conference standings with two games to play.
LHP Joey DeNato (7-2) was forced to take a tough loss after giving forth a win-worthy effort. The junior from San Diego, Calif., was Indiana's lone pitcher on the day, allowing just two runs in eight innings of work. DeNato's extended outing gives Indiana a fully fresh bullpen for the remainder of the weekend.
Indiana totaled seven hits, coming from seven different Hoosiers. Junior third baseman Dustin DeMuth recorded his base knock in the second inning, stretching his current hitting streak to 11 straight games. He has also reached base successfully in 20 consecutive contests.
A two-out single for OSU broke up a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth, bringing home a runner from second base to draw first blood.
The Hoosiers finally put a chink in the armor of Buckeye starting pitcher, Brad Goldberg, in the top of the sixth. After a warning track shot by Justin Cureton, Goldberg issued a four-pitch walk to Will Nolden. Kyle Schwarber then pulled a pitch through the right side of the infield. A botched groundball followed, filling the bases full of Hoosiers. Two batters later, senior shortstop Michael Basil dug in and clawed his way to a game-tying, RBI-walk. He climbed out of a 1-2 count, fouling off several pitches and eventually getting aboard to push across Nolden.
Ohio State threatened immediately in the home half of the sixth, advancing two runners into scoring position. DeNato was able to induce a grounder to DeMuth, however, to thwart the threat and maintain a 1-1 tie.
Another two-out rally came in the seventh though when a single was followed up with a triple to push OSU back ahead, 2-1.
For the second time this week, Ricky Alfonso delivered a pinch-hit base knock. This time it came with two outs in the top of the ninth and gave IU another breath. Chris Sujka replaced Alfonso on the base paths and took off on the very first pitch, swiping his eighth bag of the season. Representing the tying run in scoring position, Sujka would not advance further as OSU closer Trace Dempsey closed out his Big Ten-best 17th save.
The Cream and Crimson still control their own destiny for an outright Big Ten Championship. Indiana earns its first outright title since 1932 with a series win and grabs a share of the regular season crown for the first time in 64 years (1949) by splitting the final two contests.
Game Two starts at 6:35 PM Friday night and will be aired on the Big Ten Network. Make sure to check out the season finale on Saturday as well, also broadcast by BTN (4:05 pm first pitch).
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