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Friday, May 24
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

2nd inning powers Hoosiers to victory

OXFORD, Ohio ­— A six-run second inning gave Indiana all the runs necessary to support sophomore starting pitcher Ryan Halstead as the Hoosiers won 6-3 at McKie Field.

Seven of the eight Hoosier hitters Miami starter Alex Brown faced put the ball in play by the third pitch. Sophomore second baseman Dustin DeMuth said that was part of the game plan.

“We faced him last year, so we noticed that he liked to work his fastball early in the count,” DeMuth said. “All week long, Skip’s been preaching to us, ‘Get on top of the ball, drive the ball. Quit trying to pull the ball.’ We worked on that, and put some good swings on the ball.”

Junior shortstop Michael Basil began the second with a single on the first pitch from Miami starter Alex Brown. Two pitches later, freshman third baseman Chad Clark singled. Then, freshman right fielder Chris Sujka's sacrifice bunt advanced his teammates 90 feet.

Junior designated hitter Trace Knoblauch delivered a two-run single through the left side to give IU a lead it would not lose. A single by DeMuth scored Knoblauch from third. Brown’s day was done.

After junior center fielder Justin Cureton laced a sacrifice fly to left field, freshman catcher Kyle Schwarber came to the plate. His ground ball through the shortstop’s legs brought freshman first baseman Sam Travis to the plate. Travis clubbed a two-run double to left field, and the Hoosiers took a  6-0 lead.

Basil, batting for the second time in the inning, was retired to end the frame.

If Scott Slappey had retired Schwabrer, Travis wouldn’t have come to the plate in the inning. DeMuth said it was a significant play.

“It was big,” he said. “Getting Sam to bat in any inning is big for us. He’s a really good hitter. Any time we can get him to bat, that’s a plus for us.”

IU Coach Tracy Smith said his team’s at-bats were much better tonight.

Halstead gave the Hoosiers a great outing, Smith said.

“Halstead was the key tonight,” the seventh-year skipper said. “We didn’t bring a lot of pitchers over. It was a huge outing by him to give our bullpen a shot in the arm, to allow them some ample rest. I was really pleased and proud of Halstead’s outing today.”

Halstead threw 80 pitches through 6.2 innings. He said he was behind Smith’s decision to bring in sophomore southpaw Brian Korte to relieve him.

In the eighth, Korte ran into a jam. Basil committed two errors in the inning that loaded the bases. Korte induced pinch hitter Jacob Wolf to bounce out to DeMuth to end the threat.

“That inning was the turning point,” Halstead said. “They could’ve came back and made it close. We were able to shut it down. DeMuth made a huge play. That helped the momentum of the game in our favor.”

The victory gave Indiana a 3-3 record in their six non-conference games since the Michigan State series.

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