Hart Baffles Buckeyes In 5-0 Hoosier Shutout
May 18, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana Baseball (29-26, 15-8 Big Ten) claimed its sixth Big Ten series in eight tries this season on Friday, blanking the Buckeyes (31-24, 11-12) in a 5-nil game two victory. Kyle Hart carved up Ohio State for eight strikeouts in eight shutout innings to earn his fifth win of the year and lowering his ERA to 3.16.
Hart's three-hit outing was backed by Ryan Halstead's nearly perfect ninth inning. Halstead closed out Indiana's 11th win in the last 14 games with a hitless final frame. The Hoosiers have been particularly hot in Big Ten action, taking nine of the last 11 conference contests to hold onto their share of second place in the standings. With a win on Saturday, IU would clinch the #2 seed and the accompanying first-round bye at the Big Ten Tournament due to its tiebreaker over Penn State via a series victory in Happy Valley earlier this season.
`Small ball' was certainly not the name of the game in this one as the only runs scored came by virtue of homeruns. Indiana lifted three long-balls over the wall while Hart limited the Buckeyes to just a pair of hits reaching the outfield.
In a bit of foreshadowing for Saturday's airing of the Big Ten Network's `Diamond Report,' which will feature a profile on Kyle Schwarber and Sam Travis titled `'Bash Brothers," the two freshmen heavy hitters combined to give IU a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Schwarber clubbed a pitch back up the middle to reach in his first at-bat. It was quickly followed by a blistering shot off the bat of Travis which cleared the wall in left for his team-leading ninth homer of the season.
Dustin DeMuth and Chris Sujka then mimicked them in the second stanza. DeMuth slapped a single into center; quickly shadowed by a two-run homer over the Crowe's Nest in left for Sujka's fifth blast of his rookie campaign.
The 4-0 Hoosier edge went undisturbed over the next four innings until Michael Basil joined the long-ball party in the seventh. The Cincinnati, Ohio native led off the home half with a solo shot to center, stretching the Cream and Crimson advantage to 5-0.
Hart essentially crumbled any hopes of an OSU comeback in the subsequent half inning, striking out the side in the top of the eighth to earn all fans in attendance free breadsticks from Mother Bear's Pizza on the strength of his eighth K of the day.
Halstead relieved Hart for the ninth and sealed up Indiana's triumph in just over two hours (2:04).
Saturay's Sembower Send-off begins with a 3:05 pm first pitch and will be broadcast nationally on the Big Ten Network.
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