Hoosiers Seize Slot in Big Ten Title Game
May 25, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS - #11 Hoosier Baseball (42-13) unleashed an 11-run, 17-hit barrage on Ohio State (35-22) Friday night to advance to the Big Ten Tournament title game with an 11-3 win. Ten different Hoosiers, including all nine starters by the fifth inning, recorded a hit in the game. The 11 runs were driven in by a half dozen IU student-athletes, paced by Sam Travis' four-RBI effort.
Joey DeNato improved to 8-2 on the mound, lasting seven innings for his 22nd career win. The 22-win total pulls DeNato into a tie with Bob Scafa (1991-94) for sixth place on the IU all-time list. The junior southpaw cracked the strikeout top-10 as well, owning a share of eighth place all-time with 198 Ks (Gary Sargent 1966-68).
The Big Ten's homerun leader Kyle Schwarber added to his total in the first inning, punishing an inside pitch soaring over the wall in right-center to give IU a 1-0 edge. His 15th long-ball of 2013 made it 26 of 55 games for Indiana scoring in the first inning. The #HotStartHoosiers own a +34 run margin (52-18) in the opening frame this season.
Ohio State lead-off hitter Joe Ciamacco started a two-out rally in the third with a bunt single. After stealing second, he came into score when Troy Kuhn placed a double into the right field corner. The score wasn't tied for long when IU manufactured a run in the home half of the third.
Justin Cureton got it going, traversing his way through a 10-pitch at-bat and ultimately singling through the left side of the infield. Chris Sujka followed with a bunt single and Cureton scooted over to third base on a Schwarber fly ball. Sam Travis came to the dish next, yanking a pitch into left to regain Indiana's lead.
The lead exchanged hands again in the fifth. Kuhn came through with another two-out double, this time pushing across a pair and giving OSU a 3-2 edge.
Just as they did the first time Ohio State edged ahead, the Hoosiers had an immediate response in the bottom half of the fifth. The first of six runs in the frame was also a push of the repeat button. Cureton and Sujka each were on the corners again after Cureton tagged up on a fly ball from Schwarber. Travis brought him home once again, lifting a sacrifice fly to right field to knot the game at three runs apiece.
Michael Basil, a week after willing IU to a regular-season-title-clinching series win at Ohio State, continued to terrorize the Buckeyes. The senior shortstop from Cincinnati rolled a go-ahead single up the middle to drive in Sujka. With two outs still on the scoreboard, Dustin DeMuth then capitalized on rainy conditions, laying down a perfect bunt single dying flat in the moist turf. Casey Smith kept it going with an RBI into right field before ducking under a tag to escape a pickle and allowing DeMuth to plate another IU run. The whacky, circus-music-worthy play continued the next batter. Chad Clark connected on what essentially was a swinging bunt, flashing his wheels down the line and beating out the dribbler for an infield single. Smith wasn't to be outdone on the play, however, circling in to score all the way from second base on the nubbed base hit. In all, the Hoosiers posted six runs on six hits to jump ahead 8-3.
Sam Travis clanged a pitch off the eighth row of the left field bleachers in the subsequent inning, inflating the IU lead to 9-3. Indiana would go on to add two more tallies for the 11-3 triumph.
Ohio State and Nebraska face off Saturday afternoon at 3:35 pm CT/4:35 pm ET. The winner then takes on Indiana in the nightcap at 7:05 pm CT/8:05 pm ET. A win and IU brings home the hardware. A loss and the Hoosiers get another shot in the double elimination tournament, playing again in a Sunday showdown.
Check back soon