Coming into the contest on Wednesday, the Indiana Hoosiers knew they were playing an opponent in Cincinnati that could beat anybody in the country when they are playing at that their best. That was evident in the Bearcats’ upset victory of No. 1 Louisville on Tuesday night.
Nonetheless, Indiana used an all-around solid performance from their pitching staff as they pulled out a 3-2 victory to erase any momentum Cincinnati might have gained from their upset from the day before.
Both teams were hitless until Indiana turned it on in the Bottom of the 4th. After Matt Gorski and Craig Dedelow both got on with singles, Luke Miller doubled to left field to bring home Gorski and Jake Matheny’s single to center field on the 2-1 count brought home two more to give the Hoosiers a 3-0 advantage.
That was all the scoring Indiana would need.
Cincinnati tried to make up some ground in the 5th when Treg Haberkorn became only the second Bearcat base runner of the game and was brought home by sophomore Mason DeAnna who singled after Haberkorn had stolen second base. However, Indiana stopped them in their tracks when sophomore Tim Herrin threw DeAnna out on an attempted steal as the Hoosiers were able to finish out the inning still holding on to a 3-1 lead.
It soon became a pitcher’s duel as neither team could get anything going in the hitting department until the 8th. Then, Cincinnati made Indiana’s lead a bit tighter as junior Kyle Mottice’s sacrifice fly brought home Ryan Noda who had just doubled into center field. After the Hoosiers’ batters went down 1-2-3 to finish the inning, it seemed like the Bearcats might be making a comeback bid.
In the Top of the 9th, Indiana found themselves in even more trouble when Cincinnati’s R.J. Thompson and Jace Mercer both got on base with only one out, putting the tying run on second and the go-ahead run on first. However, Indiana’s junior pitcher Matt Lloyd was able to pitch his way out of the jam as he struck out Haberkorn and forced Cole Murphy to ground out to second basemen Tony Butler to secure the 3-2 Hoosier victory.
Lloyd’s late game heroics on the mound were fitting as the game was dominated by quality pitching as neither team could ever really get anything going at the plate. Besides the big 4th inning, Indiana struggled to get any runners on base while the Hoosiers’ pitching staff of Jonathan Stiever, Tim Herrin, Luke Stephenson, Luke Miller, B.J. Sabol and Lloyd combined to only give up five hits in the game for Cincinnati.
Indiana (10-8-1) will travel to Northwestern (5-14) for their Big Ten conference opener this weekend.