Even as Indiana accomplished its goal of avoiding a sweep at the hands at Nebraska on Sunday, the Hoosiers still left Bart Kaufman Field with a salty taste in their mouthes after a 3:20 p.m. travel curfew forced a 1-1 tie with the Cornhuskers.
Througout the 11-inning affair, the Hoosiers had multiple chances to win the game, and win the game easily, without playing bonus baseball.
Indiana loaded the bases in the Bottom of the 5th after Logan Sowers, Tony Butler and Alex Krupa all reached base with two outs in a scoreless game before Matt Gorski struck out to end the threat. Nebraska rode that momentum into the Top of the 6th when Ben Miller continued his red hot series with a two-out RBI single off of Hoosier starter Pauly Milto to give the Huskers a 1-0 lead.
Indiana answered in the bottom half of the inning as Sowers smashed an RBI double to deep center field to tie the game at one and put runners on 2nd and 3rd with just one out. After Ryan Fineman popped out, Tony Butler got hit by a pitch to load the bases again, only to see Colby Stratton hit into a fielders choice to end the inning.
In the Top of the 7th, it was Nebraska’s turn to whiff on a golden scoring chance as Luke Roskam hit a fly ball into left field that Krupa lost in the sun. The result was a leadoff triple for the Huskers. However, Indiana tight roped its way out of the inning with the tie by getting pinch hitter Zac Repinski to hit a hard ground ball at Butler, who threw pinch runner Joe Acker out at home.
The Hoosiers had a runner at 2nd in both the 8th and 9th innings, but failed to plate a runner on either chance. The last real scoring chance for either team came in the Bottom of the 10th, when Indiana had two on and two outs before Sowers grounded into a fielders choice to end the threat.
The game was called after the end of the 11th inning, as Nebraska had a 3:20 pm travel curfew. It was the second time that an Indiana baseball game has ended in a tie due to a travel curfew this season. The first came on February 26, when the Hoosiers tied Florida Atlantic 6-6.
For Indiana, the Hoosiers missed a golden opportunity to take advantage of an extremely well pitched game. Pauly Milto was fantastic for the Hoosiers, giving up just one run on seven hits, and added five strikeouts, in 6.1 IP. The Hoosier bullpen, which has had more than its fair share of struggles this season, was even better on Sunday, as Austin Foote and Matt Lloyd combined to pitch 4.2 scoreless innings, only giving up two hits. For the Hoosiers to waste such a good pitching performance has to be dissatisfying.
The tie ends a disappointing weekend for Indiana (14-11-2, 3-2-1 Big Ten). Nebraska (14-10-1, 2-0-1 Big Ten) was able to limit the Hoosier bats all weekend, holding Indiana to just five runs over the three-game set. Indiana will look to bounce back at home against Ball State on Tuesday at 6:05 pm before traveling to West Lafayette to play a three-game series at Purdue next weekend.