Jake Dunning stepped up to bat with the bases loaded, the tying and game-winning runs represented on first and second base.
Dunning wasn’t able to convert and was struck out swinging to abruptly end IU’s 9-7 loss to Penn State.
The loss broke the Hoosiers’ four-game winning streak.
IU had fought back to even reach the near game-winning opportunity. The Hoosiers fell into a 7-1 hole heading into the bottom of the fifth inning. IU would tally three runs in that innings and bring itself within three at 7-4.
But Penn State’s early-game lead proved to be too much for IU to overcome. A host of problems were also present for IU, chief of which were 12 strikeouts toiled out by T.J. Macy (9) and Ryan Ignas (3).
Macy lasted seven innings and controlled throughout. Had it not been for a three-error fifth inning from his infield, IU wouldn’t have been in the position to win. He utilized a mid-speed fast and deceptively cutting off-speed pitches.
Nittany Lion left fielder Mike Deese went three-for-five in accounting for seven runs. He batted in five, including a three-run home run in the fifth inning. He also scored two runs of his own.
Despite the numbers put up by Penn State, IU still had a chance to win in the end. They were helped by a decent performance from Matt Carr in relief of freshman Blake Monar, and a dominating close to the ninth inning by Chris Squires, who downed Penn State's first three batters.
Clutch hitting also came from several players in the game. However, the most crucial moment lacked any such heroics.
The most notable performances came from Jerrud Sabourin (2-for-5, 2RBI and 1 run) and Josh Phegley (2-4, 2 RBI). Evan Crawford also performed well, catching many nearly unplayable balls and forcing two walks. He was 1-of-2 and scored a run.
IU will play game two of its three-game conference series against Penn State at 1 p.m. Saturday.