Over their previous 15 games, the No. 13 Michigan Wolverines had scored 134 runs for a ridiculous 8.9 runs per game. Friday night, though, Jonathan Stiever and Tim Herrin combined to allow just six hits and held one of the nation’s best offenses in check to secure a 1-0 win in the series opener.
On the second pitch of the game, Tony Butler hit a solo shot to give the Hoosiers a 1-0 lead. From there, it was all about the Indiana battery.
Michigan threatened in the Bottom of the 1st with two hits, but Stiever induced a groundball against Wolverine power hitter Drew Lugbauer and the Hoosiers turned two to end the inning.
The Wolverines would threaten again in the Bottom of the 3rd with two hits and in the Bottom of the 4th by loading the bases on a hit, a walk, and an error, but Stiever escaped the 3rd by way of pop up and the 4th with a huge strikeout.
The Wolverines would only put one more man on base all night, as Stiever avoided any damage from a two-out single in the Bottom of the 5th before working two perfect innings in the 6th and 7th.
Stiever’s night ended there (7.0 IP, 6 H, 7 K, 1 BB, 0 ER) and Tim Herrin came in to do something that the Hoosiers have struggled with all season — closing out a ballgame.
But Herrin made it look easy against Michigan’s mashers, grabbing six quick outs on just 21 pitches to notch his second save of the season.
Indiana (20-15-2, 7-5-1) now has an opportunity, if it can split the rest of the weekend, to steal a road series from Michigan (30-8, 6-4) and catapult itself right into the middle of the NCAA Tournament picture and take a giant step toward locking up a spot in the Big Ten Tournament. The two clubs will battle again on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. ET.