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Saturday, April 20
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Offense-led team beats Cincinnati, Pittsburgh during first weekend

Sophomore shortstop Dustin DeMuth sprained his ankle against the University of Cincinnati Bearcats on Saturday, but he was on the field for all eight innings of Sunday’s 12-7 win against the University of Pittsburgh Panthers.

A seven-run second inning allowed IU to recapture the lead, and the Hoosiers never looked back.

IU Coach Tracy Smith said his team was a little shorthanded this weekend, and DeMuth “knew we were shorthanded and sucked it up.”

Junior designated hitter Micah Johnson led the game with a solo shot. Later that inning, junior first baseman Trace Knoblauch flied out to center with the bases loaded.

The Hoosiers capitalized on their opportunities the following inning. Freshman left fielder Chris Sujka struck out. Junior center fielder Justin Cureton drew a walk. Johnson drew a walk as well.

A two-base throwing error by Pittsburgh catcher Elvin Soto allowed Cureton to score from second.

After sophomore shortstop Dustin DeMuth flew out to left field, freshman third baseman Sam Travis doubled, scoring Johnson.

Freshman catcher Kyle Schwarber notched his first career RBI with a double.

Pittsburgh starter Luke Curtis then ceded two consecutive walks to load the bases. Knoblauch stepped to the plate and was hit by a pitch to force in a run.

Sujka made his second plate appearance of the inning, and he laced a single to center to drive in two. Subsequently, Knoblauch scored on a fielding error.

Before Cureton grounded out to end the frame, IU sent 11 batters to the plate, and IU’s bullpen kept the Panthers at bay.

On Saturday, Sujka’s first collegiate hit — a three-run home run — sparked the Hoosiers to their first win of the 2012 season, 7-4, as sophomore starter Joey DeNato earned the victory.

“Getting any hit is an accomplishment at the college level,” Sujka said. “The first hit being a home run is definitely something special, especially when it could give us a 3-0 lead and a little momentum to our side.”

IU held a 3-0 lead through six innings despite just two hits off University of Cincinnati starter Andrew Strenge.

One mistake cost him as he hung a fastball to Sujka, who hit it over the left-field fence.

To begin the seventh, the Bearcats brought in Brad Mergen. Junior second baseman Michael Basil led with a single. Redshirt freshman right fielder Tim O’Conner sacrificed him into scoring position.

Knoblauch delivered a single to center, and Basil scored to extend IU’s lead to 4-0.
That run allowed DeNato to stay in line for the win, as Cincinnati scored three in the bottom of the seventh.

In IU’s two victories, O’Conner hit 3-8 with two RBIs, three walks and a sacrifice.

“I thought he had a great weekend,” Coach Smith said. “He has gotten better and better. He had the opportunity to start and showed this weekend that he can help us win baseball games.”

IU scored three insurance runs in the ninth, and DeNato earned the win.

On Friday, IU managed four hits against University of Connecticut sophomore Southpaw Brian Ward, who held the Hoosiers scoreless in 7 1/3 innings of work, earning an 8-0 victory against IU.

DeNato told his teammates that they shouldn’t let one result affect them too much.

“Keep a level-headed mindset,” DeNato said. “Stay calm. When you start doing poorly is when you start overthinking and getting out of your game. Stay within
yourself.”

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