After not scoring a run in the first 12 innings of its baseball season, the highly touted Indiana offense erupted in the final six innings to pull away from Gonzaga 12-3.
After not recording a hit in the first three innings against the Zags, Laren Eustace and Matt Lloyd broke the ice with a pair of singles, and Logan Sowers got Indiana on the board with a RBI single off of an 0-2 breaking ball. Ryan Fineman doubled Indiana’s lead with a RBI single of his own to score Lloyd.
Lloyd would come up big for the Hoosiers again in the Top of the 5th, when he drove home two on a two-out single to score Eustace and Tony Butler.
Meanwhile, Hoosier starter Timmy Herrin was shutting down Gonzaga. Through the first four innings, Herrin had only given up three hits, and also recorded a pair of strikeouts. However, Herrin ran into a little bit of trouble in the Bottom of the 5th when he was faced a jam with runners on first and second with two outs. Matters only looked worse for the Hoosiers when Herrin gave up a single to Sam Brown; but, left fielder Craig Dedelow gunned down Bulldog shortstop Gunner Schubert at home to end the inning with no damage done.
Indiana would ride that momentum into the 6th inning, when, after Fineman beat out an infield single, Jake Matheny blasted a two run homerun. The round tripper was Matheny’s first as a Hoosier, and gave Indiana a commanding 6-0 lead.
Matheny’s bomb also signaled the end of the start for Gonzaga’s Eli Morgan. After keeping the Hoosiers hitless the first trip through the lineup, Morgan labored his way through six tough innings, and gave up six runs, all earned, on eight hits, but did have seven strikeouts.
Gonzaga was able to chase Herrin in the bottom of the 6th, after Jeff Bohling led off with a ground rule double, then advanced to third on a passed ball, and Tyler Frost got hit by a pitch. Cameron Beauchamp replaced Herrin and immediately forced Justin Jacobs into a 4-6-3 double play. Beauchamp retired the side to limit Gonzaga to just one run. Herrin’s final stat line was 5+ innings pitched, one unearned run, seven hits, no walks and three strikeouts.
Indiana stole any momentum Gonzaga gained from the Bottom of the 6th quickly in the Top of the 7th, as Eustace plated Jeremey Houston with an RBI triple. Eustace would score later in the inning on a RBI single from Dedelow. Colby Stratton added a two RBI single to give the Hoosiers a 10-1 lead.
Matheny provided the exclamation point for the Hoosiers in the Top of the 9th with his second two run home run of the afternoon as Indiana cruised to its 12-3 victory.
Matheny’s two dingers, were good for four RBIs, but he was not the only Hoosier with a big game. Eustace paced Indiana with a pair of hits, a walk, an RBI and three runs. Lloyd also added two hits and a pair of RBIs.
After Beauchamp relieved Herrin, he pitched two scoreless innings for the Hoosiers. Austin Foote also added a scoreless inning out of the bullpen, and Cal Krueger gave up two runs in his one inning pitched.
After splitting its first two games in the Sanderson Ford Baseball Classic, Indiana (1-1) will get a rematch with Gonzaga on Sunday at 3:30 pm.