IU beats Michigan 9-1

By Evan Hoopfer
Published Apr 26, 2013 10:42 pm

The score resembled a football game after the first quarter rather than a baseball game after the first inning, as the Hoosiers led 7-0 after the opening stanza over Michigan tonight.

The team was revved up due to Michigan's pregame antics, junior outfielder Casey Smith said.

"I don't know if you saw the pregame stuff, but they were kind of cocky, and we wanted to shut them up a little bit," Casey said. "Their little acts between innings, running around and stretching in our line, they were just in the way. It's a baseball etiquette, and I think they're abusing it."

Every couple innings, Michigan players would clear the bench and run out to the outfield to do what looked like team calisthenics. They were doing similar things before the game, Smith said.

"I don't really know what that was all about," junior pitcher Joey DeNato said. "I just thought it was something goofy they do, but I really didn't think anything of it."

No. 17 IU (32-8, 9-4) led 7-0 after the opening inning, and from then on cruised to the 9-1 victory over Michigan (22-18, 8-5).

"It was awesome," Casey said. "It was like, back on track. (Sophomore catcher Kyle) Schwarber's back in the lineup, it just felt like our old team you saw a couple weeks ago."

With the win, the Hoosiers equaled their win total from last year, in 20 less games. The 2012 Hoosier squad finished the year 32-28.

They also took sole possession of third place in the conference, as they were deadlocked with the Wolverines for third before Friday's contest.

DeNato recorded his sixth win of the year, his final line was - 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 7 K.

"We thought going into the game he would match up well with their lefties," IU Coach Tracy Smith said. "He did last year, as was the case this year ... The five walks was a little disturbing, he's better than that."

The first inning was vital for DeNato, he said. The junior recorded three of his seven strikeouts in the opening frame.

"That first inning definitely gave us a good start," DeNato said. "In the beginning of the game I was getting ahead of batters and throwing my slider for strikes. And I think that pitch is good to lefties, and they are a lefty-heavy lineup... I don't really know what was happening when I was walking people, just couldn't throw a strike, I don't know why."

Michigan starter Trent Szkutnik was knocked out of the game before the conclusion of the first inning. His final line was -- 0.2 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 1 K and only recorded two outs.

"He was challenging us with fastballs," Casey said, who hit a 3-run home run in the first inning. "Which we're not used to. I mean, you got big names in the lineup and they're going at it with fastball up in the zone? We're like 'Alright, we'll take it.'"

Szkutnik played right into the Hoosiers philosophy, senior outfielder Justin Cureton said.

"Our philosophy is hit fastballs and strikes," Cureton said. "And the pitcher threw a lot of fastball strikes. We just do what we have to do and put the ball in play, and good things happen."

The senior went 3-for-5 with two RBI's, scored two runs and also hit his first home run of the season. But he prides himself on being the leadoff hitter and getting runs.

"I take pride in that a lot because that's my role on the team," Cureton said. "I don't necessarily hit home runs or drive people in, I have to be scored."

Cureton was moved down in the lineup a few games ago against Butler because he was not getting on base enough to earn the leadoff role, IU Coach Tracy Smith said.

"Before he was swinging at a lot of stuff 0-1, putting himself in a very negative count," Smith said. "He's being much more selective and going up there with a better plan, getting hitters counts and doing something with it."

First pitch tomorrow is scheduled for 4:35 p.m. for game two of the series. The probable starters for are,

Indiana -- Kyle Hart (6-0 with a 2.15 ERA)

Michigan -- Evan Hill (7-1 with a 1.69 ERA)

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