May 24, 2013
Indiana advanced to the championship round of the Big Ten Baseball Tournament - and kept its hopes alive for securing a national seed in the NCAA tournament - with an 11-3 drubbing of Ohio State on Friday night at Target Field.
Ohio State will play Nebraska at 3:35 p.m. on Saturday in an elimination game. The winner will then face Indiana at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday and must beat the Hoosiers twice to win the league crown. If necessary, the final game of the tournament will be at 12:05 p.m. on Sunday.
Indiana jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when catcher Kyle Schwarber crushed a home run to right field. The teams traded runs in the third inning and the Buckeyes then took a short-lived 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth when Troy Kuhn doubled to left center scoring Zach Ratcliff and Greg Solomon.
The Hoosiers broke open the game in the bottom of the fifth when they scored six unearned runs after a throwing error by pitcher Brian King. Indiana then added a run in the sixth inning off a solo home run by Sam Travis, who had four RBIs. The Hoosiers also scored two runs in the eighth inning to complete the scoring.
Joey DeNato (8-2) pitched 7.0 innings for Indiana and gave up seven hits, three runs and struck out six in the win. King (7-6) lasted 4.2 innings for Ohio State after giving up 12 hits, eight runs (two earned) and striking out three.
Indiana Head Coach Tracey Smith
“This the pivotal game where it can send you to the long road to the championship or much shorter. So, I think we are very fortunate to get the win. From a team standpoint, I was very pleased with the way we came out and set the tone offensively, even though we didn’t have a lot to show for it. I think we put a lot of good swings on the baseball. At that point, I could tell that our guys were locked in offensively.”
“I think if you just look at the record, we are below a .500 club when he is not healthy. I think what he brings to the plate physically is a lot of pop. He is a fine baseball player. He loves to play, he will probably die on a baseball field.”
Ohio State Head Coach Greg Beals
On what to tell team tomorrow…
“It is an elimination game, our backs are against the wall. We have responded in this situation well and you are playing for your baseball lives tomorrow. They will bounce back, they are young, they are resilient, they will get good sleep and eat a good meal and we will be ready to go tomorrow at 3:35 p.m."
Second Baseman Troy Kuhn
On wanting to beat Indiana since being recruited by them…
“I guess a little bit, it kind of means a little more because I am from Indiana but I think there is more motivation that they are the top team in this tournament and we are trying to get to that and get to the championship, that is more of a motivation for me.”
Pitcher Brian King
On craziness of 5th inning…
“I just did not execute. I should have closed that inning long before. I made a bad throw to second, and just did not make my pitches so it just kind of fell apart for me.”
On putting this game behind you…
“I think as a team we are going to go out there and pick me up especially, I kind of put them in a hole today and tomorrow we are just going to go out and do what we do best.”
On Wetzel’s defense…
“He has done that for me all year, he has made plays for me out there. He has really helped me out. He did it today, it showed.”
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