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Tuesday, Nov. 28
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Hoosiers defeat Wildcats in weekend series

The Hoosiers’ baseball team entered a weekend series with the Northwestern University Wildcats sitting in second place in the Big Ten Conference standings. After the weekend series, the team remains in that second place spot.

Despite a ninth-inning rally, the Hoosiers fell 4-3 in Friday’s game. Northwestern prevailed with early consistent offence and good pitching. IU sophomore Matt Dearden would come in to relieve sophomore starter Joey DeNato in the fifth inning, pitching lights-out for the final four innings. Dearden gave up just one hit and did not allow any Wildcats to cross home plate.

“It was huge for Matt to come in, really just shut it down and gave our offense a chance to fight back in it," IU Head Coach Tracy Smith said. “Without him we would not have had a chance in the ninth.”

Bats would come alive on Saturday, however. The Hoosiers had the bases loaded in the second, third and fourth innings but could only dent the plate in the fourth. With timely two-out hitting, the team scored three runs.

The Wildcats would score two in the fifth inning. Junior IU pitcher Jonny Hoffman came in for freshman starter Kyle Hart and pitched extremely well to close out the game. Hoffman tossed almost four full innings of shutout pitching, giving up only two hits.
The Hoosiers would score two insurance runs in the ninth, taking game two with a score of 5-2 and forcing a rubber match.

Sunday turned into a pitching duel between IU senior Chad Martin and NU junior Zach Morton. Indiana would score two early runs in the second inning before being shut down by Morton. The Hoosiers would get base runners, but they were unable to generate anymore runs.

Martin would dominate on the mound for the Hoosiers. After allowing a runner on in the third, Martin retired 17 in a row until giving up a two-out walk in the eighth inning.

Northwestern put some pressure on Indiana in the ninth, scoring one run off relief pitcher Hoffman. IU Head Coach Tracy Smith went to the bullpen again in the ninth to bring in sophomore pitcher Ryan Halstead to close out the game. The Hoosiers took the final game of the series 2-1.

“We won two out of three but it was more of grinding it out “ Smith said. “This weekend we did not play great baseball especially offensively.”

Winning two out of three games helped IU maintain its position in the Big Ten. Purdue has already locked up the No. 1 seed in the tournament, guaranteeing them a first-round bye.

Indiana will next play in-state foe Evansville at 3 p.m. Tuesday at IU’s Sembower Field.

“We have some quality arms to throw at them midweek,” Martin said. “Our hitters want to make a statement going into the weekend."

— Jason Haddix

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