Hoosiers Claim Share of B1G Title for First Time in 64 Years With Epic Road Win
May 17, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - For the first time since 1949, the Indiana Hoosiers (39-13, 16-7) have won a share of the Big Ten Championship in baseball. In an epic game on the road against fellow Big Ten title aspirant Ohio State (34-20, 15-8), the Hoosiers came from behind in the ninth inning to beat the Buckeyes 7-2 in 10 innings. The Hoosiers were carried by a standout pitching performance from starter Aaron Slegers and phenomenal offensive efforts from Michael Basil, Scott Donley, and Nick Ramos. Scoreless through the first three and a half innings, Ohio State touched up Slegers for four hits in the bottom of the fourth to assume a 2-0 lead that they held until the top of the ninth. Slegers settled in and kept the Hoosiers in it by holding the Buckeyes to two runs on nine hits through 8.1 innings. The combination of starter Brian King and relievers Brett McKinney and Ryan Riga held Indiana scoreless with only four hits heading into the ninth.
In the top of the ninth against Ohio State ace reliever Trace Dempsey, the Big Ten's most productive offense came alive. Dempsey, heading into the ninth, had not given up an earned run in 30.1 innings, but the Hoosiers found a way to get to the standout right-hander. Leading off the inning, Scott Donley fouled off four pitches with two strikes before knocking a single into center field. Senior Michael Basil promptly wrapped a double down the left field line to score Donley from first. Basil later stole third to set up the game tying run. Freshman Nick Ramos stood in with one out and fouled off six pitches to stay alive and then delivered the game tying RBI by lofting a sacrifice fly to deep center field to score Basil from third easily.
After retiring the first hitter in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Halstead came in to pitch for Slegers and promptly retired the next two Buckeye hitters. In the top of the tenth, Greg Greve came in for Dempsey and walked Sam Travis with one out. Head coach Tracy Smith called the hit and run with Scott Donley at the plate and the sophomore rolled a single through the left side of the infield to advance Travis to third. Basil came to the plate with runners on the corners and just one out and delivered a perfect bunt down the first base line to score Travis from third on the squeeze play to give Indiana the 3-2 lead. Dustin DeMuth was then hit by a pitch and Joey DeNato was walked to load the bases for Nick Ramos. The freshman again delivered in the clutch by crushing the first pitch he saw for a grand slam over the right field wall to give the Hoosiers a stout five run lead heading into the bottom of the 10th. The homer was Ramos' fifth of the season.
Halstead gave up a single in the bottom half of the frame, but yielded no runs giving the Hoosiers the 7-2 victory. Halstead advanced his record to 3-3 on the season, while Greve took the loss for Ohio State and dropped his record to 4-0. The Hoosiers will vie for their first outright Big Ten title since 1932 tomorrow at 4:05 ET at Bill Davis Stadium. The game will be televised live on Big Ten Network and the radio broadcast can be heard on IUHoosiers.com.
Check back soon