Hoosiers swept Sunday in home doubleheader
A 35-minute interval between games did not cool the Michigan State bats, as the Spartans wasted no time scoring four runs in the top of the first against sophomore starter Matt Dearden and senior reliever Drew Leininger en route to a 20-10 win.
MSU’s Ryan Jones singled to begin the game.
Torsten Boss followed with a single to right field. He took second base, as freshman right fielder Will Nolden threw to third.
Ryan Krill continued to torch the Hoosiers’ pitching staff. The Michigan State first baseman hit 6-10 against IU pitching in the doubleheader.
After Krill’s hit, Dearden’s first career start was over.
Leininger relieved him and surrendered two more singles to load the bases.
Justin Scanlon singled up the middle to double the Spartans’ lead.
Following a 1-2-3 bottom of the first, the Spartans continued to tack on runs.
Boss hit an RBI single to score the fifth run for Michigan State. Jones, who hit an infield single, advanced to third. The rout was on.
MSU’s Jordan Keur hit an RBI double down the third base line and knocked Leininger from the game.
Sophomore Walker Stadler’s wild pitch scored Boss from third. After Krill grounded out, designated hitter Jared Hook increased the Hoosiers’ deficit with a two-run home run, his first of the season.
The Hoosiers now trailed 9-0.
“We were connecting with balls,” said junior first baseman Trace Knoblauch, who hit his first career home run in game two. “They were right to guys. Theirs were falling. Ours weren’t. I don’t think we gave up. We just couldn’t shut them down offensively.”
IU Coach Tracy Smith said Friday this series marked the halfway point in conference play.
“We were flat all day,” he said. “We didn’t play with the sense of urgency and focus that we needed to against a quality opponent like that after taking the first game. That’s the part that I’m most upset about.”
Junior pitcher Hunter Brown was the only pitcher to hold Michigan State scoreless in an inning, as he did so in the sixth and eighth innings.
Smith said Brown was not doing anything different than the other four Hoosiers pitchers.
For the Spartans, starter David Garner was outstanding, as he allowed only two runs through six innings — both earned — on five hits. He also struck out seven batters, despite throwing only 60 pitches.
Freshman catcher Kyle Schwarber said Garner was locating his pitches.
“Location is the biggest part of pitching,” he said. “If you hit your spots, you’re going to do pretty well.”
The Hoosiers had a bit more success against him in the seventh, scoring four runs on four hits.
Smith said he doesn’t put too much stock in those runs.
IU cut its deficit to 16-8 after eight innings, but the Spartans added four against
Brown in the ninth to notch their season-high run total.
Schwarber wasn’t happy with the result for a couple of reasons.
“We’re at home,” he said. “That’s the most important thing. We were in second place. It’s disappointing when we drop two to put us in the middle of the pack. We’re a better team than what we showed today. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
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