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Friday, June 14
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Hoosiers sweep Wolverines

spBaseball CAROUSEL

No. 17 IU defeated Michigan (22-20, 8-7) in extra innings 3-2 Sunday at Bart Kaufman Field.

Chris Sujka delivered an RBI single to left and Will Nolden, scored with a headfirst slide as the low, skipping throw from Wolverines’ left fielder Zack Zott pulled catcher Cole Martin to his left, away from the plate — the jubilation the Wolverines’ experienced a half-inning earlier dissipated.

Though Zott fielded the ball before Nolden touched third, IU Coach Tracy Smith did not hesitate to send him home, and Sujka earned the first walk-off hit of his career.

Sujka, who entered as a substitute left fielder to begin the 10th, got his opportunity when the Wolverines intentionally walked junior third baseman Dustin DeMuth, a left-handed hitter. Smith walked a couple steps toward the on-deck circle where Sujka stood and gave him some advice.

Sujka said he knew Michigan would ask their right-handed relief pitcher to retire him with breaking balls, that they would throw them exclusively.

“Skip told me that,” Sujka said. “The other coaches told me that, and I was just sitting on a breaking ball every single pitch. He hung one on that last pitch, and I was able to do something with it. It’s just extremely exciting for the team ... I was dying to get to the plate when I was sitting on deck.”

Sujka recapped the ensuing celebration.

“After I went up to (first base) coach Roger (Rodeheaver) and gave him a high five, I don’t remember much because I was getting pounded on my head, I was getting pushed around, and everybody was screaming. I was screaming ... In a Big Ten game like this, to get a sweep, I haven’t had anything like this in my life.”

Nolden, standing on second due to a throwing error from a pick-off move, said he planned on Smith sending him home.

“I knew there was only one out, I was pretty sure we were going to go ahead, so I was pretty much full speed all the way,” Nolden said. “I definitely thought there would be a closer play than there was, but I was just focusing on getting a good jump and pretty much knew he was going to send me. Once I hit third, I was just focusing in on the plate.”

Nolden’s run gave the Hoosiers their first walk-off win this season as well. They also improved to 2-5 in one-run games.

Sophomore designated hitter Kyle Schwarber’s 10th home run of the season evened the game a half-inning after Wolverines’ senior center fielder Patrick Biondi drove the first pitch he saw from junior relief pitcher Ryan Halstead in the top of the 10th over the right field fence. Halstead walked the next hitter he faced, shortstop Travis Maezes. A balk advanced him to second, but Halstead picked him off second base.

Biondi scaled the wall in an attempt to bring back the ball hit by Schwarber, the leadoff hitter, but his effort was in vain. Schwarber, his teammates said, exhibited a rare overt emotional reaction.

“It was unreal,” Schwarber said. “That’s the bad part: You just can’t tell whenever the ball is going to go out to center field. I was going to get as hyped as I could when I was going around the bases.”

Sophomore first baseman Sam Travis flied out to center and Nolden came to the plate for the second time. He delivered his second single, this time into left field under the dive of Maezes.

Aaron Slegers threw seven innings of one-run baseball, allowing five hits and only one for extra bases. He walked one and struck out three, thanks in part to a power slider he consistently threw at 83 or 84 miles per hour.

Though the Hoosiers earned their fourth Big Ten Conference series sweep, this game couldn’t have varied any more from the first two games of this series.

“It’s huge for us, especially after coming out and doing what we did the first two games,” Nolden said. “We knew today was going to be a tough one, and to be able to bounce back after what happened in the top of the 10th is huge for us, gives us a lot of momentum as we head to a tough series with Nebraska.”

IU powered past Michigan on Friday and Saturday nights, winning 9-1 and 9-3, respectively.

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