Northwestern at Indiana baseball, series finale


FINAL: INDIANA 9, NORTHWESTERN 2.. Solid, convincing, key bounce-back win for the Hoosiers on Senior Day, with Trace Knoblauch going 1-for-1. Nice to see. All 16 IU hits were singles, but the Hoosiers made “small-ball” pay off big.

END EIGHTH: Still 9-2, Indiana over Northwestern, heading into the ninth.

END SEVENTH: Indiana 9, Northwestern 2. Northwestern mounted a two-out threat to finally chase Slegers. A single by Trevor Stevens and a double to left by Kyle Ruchim left men on second and third for reliever Evan Bell, who got Zach Morton to pop out to right and end the threat.

END SIXTH: Indiana 9, Northwestern 2. Northwestern suddenly smacked Aaron Slegers around. Four straight singles without an out cut IU’s lead to 6-2. Slegers then induced a pop-out and a come-backer, but a Zach Jones single loaded the bases for Jack Mitchell. Slegers came back from a 3-0 count on Mitchell to get a pop-out to third to end the rally. Hoosiers fortunate to only give up two runs, given NU’s five hits in the inning, but then they roared right back with a big two-out rally. Kyle Schwarber and Sam Travis both worked two-out walks, followed by singles by Scott Donley, Michael Basil and Dustin DeMuth (the latter a beautiful bunt single, making DeMuth 4-for-4 on the day and giving him his first RBI.)

Scott Donley frozen-rope liner nearly takes NU reliever Kyle Ruchim’s head off, but fortunately doesn’t. Consecutive RBI singles. IU, 8-2.

END FOURTH: Indiana 6, Northwestern 0. Dustin DeMuth makes all three put-outs in a quick frame. Slegers sharp on the mound. Then DeMuth led off the Hoosier fourth with a single to center, took third on a Casey Smith single, then scored on a wild pitch. After Nick Ramos moved Smith to third on a ground out to the right side, Justin Cureton beat out a perfect squeeze bunt for a single to score Smith. Following a Will Nolden single, Sam Travis capped the rally with a line-shot 2-RBI single to left. IU has 11 hits already, all of them singles.

END THIRD: Still 2-0 Indiana over Northwestern on a gorgeous, if a bit brisk, Mother’s Day afternoon at The Bart.

END SECOND: Indiana 2, Northwestern 0. Hoosiers take the  lead on a 2-RBI single to left by Nick Ramos, following singles by Michael Basil and Dustin DeMuth and a sac bunt by Casey Smith, but NU starter Zach Morton escapes further damage by getting Will Nolden looking and inducing a full-count pop-out by Kyle Schwarber with two on.

END FIRST: Scoreless. Already a better start for IU than Saturday.  A fortuitous 5-6-4 put-out helps keep Northwestern off the board. NU then turned a nifty 4-6-3 double-play to thwart a two-on, one-out Hoosier threat.

Senior Day. Mother’s Day. All sorts of reasons why Indiana’s host Hoosiers want to make sure Saturday’s 12-1 loss to Northwestern was an anomaly and not anything resembling the start of a trend. IU sits percentage points out of first in the B1G standings behind Minnesota entering today’s play, with the Gophers taking on third-place Nebraska in Minneapolis. Should be an excellent pitching matchup today at Bart Kaufman Field between Indiana’s Aaron Slegers (1.89 ERA) and NU’s Zach Morton (2.55).

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