It took nearly the length of four full games, but the IU baseball team finally capitalized on hitting Sunday.
The Hoosiers (1-2) benefited from freshman third baseman Dustin DeMuth’s RBI in the top of the 16th inning to down No. 18 Coastal Carolina 2-1 after suffering two straight losses at the Caravelle Resort Invitational in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
“It was awesome because it’s one of those things where you’ve already lost two on the trip and you haven’t played that badly; you actually have played OK and have nothing to show for it,” IU coach Tracy Smith said. “To be in that game, it’s like, ‘OK, we’re (in) extra innings.’
“I would just worry a little bit about the psyche of our team if we had stayed there that long and played really, really well and come away empty-handed again.”
With the game knotted at 1-1 for the previous 11 innings, sophomore second baseman Micah Johnson got on base with a single in the top of the 16th.
Two at-bats later, DeMuth hit a single and was able to advance to second on a wild throw from center field, allowing the speedy Johnson to reach home for the go-ahead and, ultimately, the winning run.
“We knew he was a good player, or we wouldn’t give him the nod,” Smith said of DeMuth. “He’s just a very mature kid and very comfortable, but I thought he made a big impression with everybody, including teammates and fans, and I’m sure opposition, with what he did this weekend.”
Freshman relief pitcher Ryan Halstead picked up the win in his first collegiate game, cementing a stellar effort from IU’s bullpen. Senior Matt Carr pitched 3 2/3 innings in relief, and junior Matt Igel saw 4 1/3 frames of action. Each of the three allowed no runs.
Junior outfielder Alex Dickerson struggled at the plate, going just one-for-six, but he excelled defensively late in the game, throwing a dart to force a game-saving out at home in the bottom of the 12th.
Downer debut for Denato
Freshman pitcher Joey DeNato’s collegiate debut Saturday didn’t quite work out the way IU might have hoped.
DeNato lasted just 3 1/3 innings after allowing two earned runs in the second in the Hoosiers’ 6-1 loss to Boston College in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Leading 1-0 after the first inning, IU struggled in the field in the top of the second, allowing two rundowns to slip from its grasp. The Eagles knocked in two runners and also recorded an unearned run en route to a 3-1 advantage early.
Junior Chad Martin relieved DeNato, allowing two earned runs in 4 1/3 innings of work.
Boston College proceeded to score again in the fourth, fifth and eighth innings to put the game out of reach and hand the Hoosiers their second-straight loss to begin the 2010 season.
Senior first baseman Jerrud Sabourin scored on a wild pitch by Eagles starter Nate Bayuk in the bottom of the first, registering IU’s only run of the afternoon.
Missed chances early on in opener
A solid batting effort wasn’t enough for IU on Friday in its season opener.
Despite owning an advantage in hits, the Hoosiers allowed Virginia Tech just enough on defense to suffer a 4-2 loss in IU’s first game of the Caravelle Resort Invitational in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
IU finished with nine hits to Virginia Tech’s six, but the Hokies managed to capitalize on early Hoosier mistakes to jump to a lead.
The wheels started to come off in the bottom of the third inning for IU junior pitcher Drew Leininger, with his team leading 1-0. Leininger allowed an RBI single and then a run scored on a wild pitch.
A two-run home run in the fifth by Virginia Tech outfielder Andrew Rash dug the Hoosiers into a hole from which they couldn’t re-emerge.
IU gained its only lead in the top of the second inning when DeMuth successfully executed a bunt down the third-base line and advanced on-base each of the Hoosiers’ next three at-bats. He scored on the third, a single to center field by Johnson.
DeMuth finished his collegiate debut 2-for-4 with the run. Dickerson also recorded two hits in his four at-bats.
Dickerson and Sabourin registered hits in the top of the first inning and helped IU load the bases, but the Hoosiers came away empty-handed with stranded runners on each base.