Indiana picked up its 17th win in its last 20 ballgames last night, winning in style after Laren Eustace singled home Austin Cangelosi in the Bottom of the 9th for a 3-2 walk-off win.
Here it is. The walkoff RBI single for Laren Eustace.https://t.co/JOQw09jyMD— Indiana Baseball (@HoosierBaseball) May 11, 2016
In what was a somewhat typical Tuesday night college baseball game that saw nine different pitchers touch the rubber, it was Chris Lemonis' staff that was able to keep it together long enough to secure a victory in what was a monstrous non-conference game for the Hoosiers.
Starter Jonathan Stiever shook off allowing three hits and walking one in the 21 IP he gave the club and limited the Wildcats to just one run. Luke Stephenson spelled him and was perfect in 2.2 IP.
Trailing 1-0 in the Bottom of the 3rd, Indiana manufactured a run when Alex Krupa singled on a slow-roller up the middle, Craig Dedelow moved him to third on a single to right, and Ryan Fineman drove him in with a single of his own.
Kentucky would regain the lead in the Top of the 6th after Zach Reks, the first batter to face B.J. Sabol, hit a rocket to right field to go up 2-1. But again, Indiana would strike back in the next half inning. Austin Cangelosi reached second on a fielder's choice and an error. Then Lemonis pulled some strings and pinch-hit freshman Scotty Bradley for the .209 hitting Isaiah Pasteur and Bradley rewarded his skipper with an RBI single.
Sabol turned in a scoreless 7th and then turned it over to Thomas Belcher. Belcher didn't have his best stuff, but was good enough, surviving two hits in the 8th and a hit and hit by pitch in the 9th, standing two Wildcats in each inning and keeping the game tied at two.
Cangelosi got it started for the Hoosiers in the 9th win a roped double down the left field line that almost hung up long enough to float into the Indiana bullpen but caromed just off the wall. Luke Miller grounded to second to advance the Scatman to third. With one out and the winning run 90-feet away, the managers began playing chess. Kentucky brought in a new pitcher, Lemonis put Laren Eustace in to pinch hit for Colby Stratten who had replaced Bradley after his pinch hitting duties a couple innings earlier, and then Kentucky pulled their left fielder into the infield to play five infielders for a potential throw home.
But that last move was moot and Laren Eustace hammered a ball to dead away centerfield for a game-winning single that scored Cangelosi from third.
As we noted Monday, the Hoosiers have an RPI problem despite leading the Big Ten. But Tuesday went further toward fixing that problem than expected. The win has the Hoosiers up seven spots to 94th in the RPI this morning. The college baseball experts at D1baseball took notice.
Those good looking gentlemen at Crimson Quarry took notice too.
indiana is now 7-0 against purdue & kentucky in the 2015-16 season in football, baseball, and basketball pic.twitter.com/atqA95HRBc— CRIMSON QUARRY (@crimsonquarry) May 11, 2016
We suspect Mitch Barnhart will be on the phone with Fred Glass any minute to discuss why Kentucky will only play Indiana in baseball at neutral sites from now on. I mean, did you see the way the players rushed the field? Someone could have been hurt.
Indiana is now 29-17 on the season and will be back in action this weekend against the Fighting Illini of Illinois in the final action of the season at Bart Kaufman Field.