It happened a day later than anticipated, but IU baseball defeated No. 22 Maryland 9-2 Saturday afternoon.
The ballgame began Friday night at 4:05 p.m. after being moved up from the 6:05 p.m. scheduled start time due to rain, but the elements did hold off long enough for the Hoosiers, now 23-16-2 overall and 9-6-1 in the Big Ten, and the conference-leading Terrapins, 28-12 and 12-4, to play nine innings.
After the conclusion of the top of the third inning Friday night, lightning was spotted in the area and the game was delayed and the rest of the six innings were postponed until Saturday.
Sophomore pitcher Jonathan Stiever started Friday for IU and threw three scoreless innings before the delay. Freshman Cal Krueger was on the mound for the Hoosiers when the game resumed Saturday afternoon.
Krueger kept the Terrapins at bay by tossing the remaining six innings and allowing just two runs on five hits with five strikeouts.
IU may have caught a break from an offensive standpoint, as Maryland pitcher Brian Shaffer did not venture back out to the mound Saturday after pitching two innings Friday before the delay.
Shaffer gave up two hits and did not let up a run in his two innings of work. The junior is the Big Ten’s leader in the earned run average category with a 1.73 ERA. He has struck out 75 batters in 2017 to lead the league as well, with almost 30 strikeouts more than the next on the list.
The Hoosiers had success early off of Terrapin pitcher Ryan Hill. The junior took the bump to get Saturday started and struggled with pitch location and control.
In Hill’s lone inning of work, IU managed to push across three runs on just one hit. After loading the bases, Hill relinquished a run in each of three consecutive plate appearances on a hit-by-pitch and two walks.
IU added three more runs the very next inning off of Maryland sophomore Hunter Parsons. Senior left fielder Alex Krupa roped a double for the Hoosiers’ first extra base hit of the day and senior second baseman Tony Butler added a two-run home run to left field.
After sophomore designated hitter Matt Lloyd recorded IU’s second out of the inning, sophomore third baseman Luke Miller cranked a double to set up another scoring opportunity. Miller wasn’t done yet.
Senior center fielder Craig Dedelow followed Miller’s double with one of his own, IU’s fourth extra base hit of the inning, to plate Miller and extend the lead to 6-0.
Maryland got two runs back in the fifth inning with an RBI triple by junior shortstop Kevin Smith and an RBI groundout by senior catcher Nick Cieri.
The Hoosiers’ runs came in threes, as they added three more runs in the sixth inning when Miller crushed a three-run homer to deep left field that flew out of the ballpark.
IU dropped the second game of the day by a score of 9-2, so Sunday's series finale will be the rubber match.
“It’s huge for us,” Krueger said. “This is a huge series for us and both teams need this series. To come out with a series win would be huge.”
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