sports   |   baseball

IU extends Big Ten Tournament run with comeback, walk-off win



MattGorski1

Sophomore Matt Gorski scores the second run for IU after a teammate hits a line drive out against Purdue during the 2018 season. Gorski hit a three-run home run Thursday, which extended IU's walk-off win against Michigan State into extra innings. Anna Tiplick Buy Photos

For most of Thursday afternoon's Big Ten Tournament elimination game between Michigan State and IU, the Hoosiers had difficulty executing on offense with runners on base.

IU stranded eight runners on base entering the ninth inning at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.

But in the final two innings of the 10-inning game, IU took full advantage of its scoring opportunities.

With the Hoosiers down to their final out and trailing the Spartans 5-2 in the bottom of the ninth, sophomore outfielder Matt Gorski launched a three-run home run into the left field bleachers to send the game to extra innings.

In the bottom of the 10th, junior catcher Wyatt Cross had his biggest hit in an IU uniform to win the game.

Cross sent a flare single into left field, which scored freshman infielder Cole Barr from second base to win the game for IU, 6-5. Barr slid into home plate ahead of a throw from the Michigan State outfielder for the winning run.

Barr reached base by hitting a single into center field, then stole second base during Cross' at-bat.

It was Cross' sixth hit of the season, and just the third time Barr had scored a run in 2018. Both players entered the game as defensive substitutions for IU, at catcher and at second base, in the top of the eighth.

The Hoosiers trailed by as many as five runs during the game. Junior starting pitcher Pauly Milto lasted just three innings for IU, as he allowed six hits and was charged with three earned runs. Sophomores Cam Beauchamp and Cal Krueger combined to pitch the next four innings, with Krueger allowing four hits and two earned runs.

Freshman Tommy Sommer and junior utility player Matt Lloyd pitched the remaining three innings of the game, allowing just one hit and no runs while striking out four Spartans combined.

Prior to Gorski and Cross' heroics in the late innings, IU had scored just one run from consecutive bases-loaded situations in the seventh and eighth. Cross struck out to end the eighth inning.

The victory extends IU's run in the Big Ten Tournament. The tournament is a double-elimination format, and following IU's loss to Illinois in the opening round, each game will be an elimination game for the Hoosiers.

IU will play at 8:30 p.m. Friday night in a rematch against Illinois, after the Fighting Illini lost to Minnesota on Thursday night. 

Cameron Drummond

Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

More in Sports



Comments powered by Disqus