IU baseball had all the right pieces in place Sunday to avoid being swept for the first time this season.
After an insurance home run from sophomore outfielder Matt Gorski in the top half of the eighth inning, IU had a 6-3 lead against Minnesota with six outs to go.
The Hoosiers had sophomore relief pitcher Cal Krueger, the team’s third-best pitcher in terms of earned run average, on the mound.
Then things took a turn.
With Krueger on the mound, Minnesota sophomore catcher Eli Wilson started the bottom half of the inning by hitting his third home run of the season.
After retiring the next batter, Krueger saw another Minnesota hit fly over the wall as junior utility player Cole McDevitt cut the lead to one run.
Krueger was then replaced by senior B.J. Sabol as IU Coach Chris Lemonis made a pitching change.
Sabol had not given up an earned run all season, and started his outing by striking out the first batter he faced.
However, the next batter tied the game for the Golden Gophers as sophomore utility player Jordan Kozicky hit his fifth home run of the year.
All the good fortune for IU had now disappeared as the Hoosiers were one run away from being swept in a crucial conference series.
The teams exchanged scoreless ninth innings, before junior utility player Matt Lloyd ran into trouble while pitching for IU in the 10th.
With two runners on base and one out for Minnesota, senior infielder Luke Pettersen sent a single through the right side of the infield to bring in the winning run.
IU (31-13, 9-8) went from six outs away from victory to seventh place in the Big Ten Conference standings.
Meanwhile, Minnesota (32-12, 14-3) kept its place in second in the conference standings.
It was déjà vu for the teams after IU also blew a four-run lead in the eighth inning against Minnesota during last season’s conference tournament in Bloomington.
The Hoosiers have now lost six straight games on the road, with five being conference games.
IU starting pitcher junior Tim Herrin matched his second-longest outing of the season by throwing six innings while giving up three runs on six hits in the loss.
The team will have a quick turnaround as Kentucky visits Bart Kaufman Field on Tuesday for a midweek nonconference game.