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IU blows past Northern Illinois



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Second baseman Matt Lloyd throws the ball to first base to make the out against Cincinnati on Tuesday, March 6, at Bart Kaufman Field. Lloyd recorded an RBI single in Wednesday's win at Indiana State. Anna Tiplick Buy Photos

During the heart of March Madness, many IU baseball fans may have thought they stumbled upon an impressive stat line from a first-round game.

Those fans would be mistaken. 

The 18 and 17 they may have saw was not a points and rebounds total, it was actually the runs and hits total IU baseball posted against Northern Illinois on Friday. 

Coming off an 11-1 victory against Western Illinois on Wednesday, the Hoosiers welcomed the northern counterpart and welcomed them with an 18-0 win. 

In the first four games of a 10-game homestand, the Hoosiers scored 11 runs. In the past two games, they have more than doubled that total, scoring 29 runs.

The offense has been firing from all cylinders. For the second straight game, every IU starter reached base at least once. 

It did not take IU long to get started, either. On the second pitch the Hoosiers saw junior outfielder Logan Kaletha launch his third home run of the season to give IU the only run they would ultimately need. 

However, the Hoosiers had different plans than scoring the bare minimum. IU batted around in that first inning, scoring six runs total. That is the most runs IU has scored in an inning this season. 

Junior pitcher Jonathan Stiever started the game for the Hoosiers and threw six scoreless innings while striking out six. 

After a shaky start to the season for the Friday starter, Stiever has pitched 14 innings in his last two outings while giving up just one run.

The box score is impressive all the way throughout for IU, however, the highlight of the game may have come at the very end of the 18-run onslaught. 

Freshman infielder Justin Walker, who has fought for a consistent spot in the lineup, launched his first career home run in the eighth inning. It came in the grand slam variety.

The three-game series will continue tomorrow when junior pitcher Pauly Milto will take the mound at 2:05 p.m. in Bart Kaufman Stadium. 

Stefan Krajisnik

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