Four singles. Two doubles. One Triple. Seven runs.
This offensive explosion during the top of the third inning propelled Indiana to an 8-4 victory to even the series against Ohio State.
Early on, however, there were signs that Ohio State might pull off the upset for a second night in a row. The main concern came in the bottom in the first where the Buckeyes would jump out to a 1-0 lead for the second night in a row.
But the Hoosiers were not spooked and responded in the third inning.
To begin the third, 2B Tony Butler and DH Matt Lloyd had each had a single to position themselves on the corners. Then, RF Logan Sowers blasted the third single of the inning to left center to tie the game 1-1 and to advance Lloyd over to third base. Following Sowers CF Craig Dedelow grounded out but was able to score Lloyd and advance Sowers to second base. This gave the Hoosiers their first lead of the game at 2-1.
Next, 3B Luke Miller saw that Sowers was on second and wanted to trade places with him. So, Miller doubled down the right field line to score Sowers, put himself on second and put IU up 3-1. Following the double, LF Alex Krupa singled to position runners on the corners with only one out in the inning.
That’s when Indiana really bust things open as 1B Matt Gorski stepped up to the plate and tripled to score both runners and give IU a 5-1 lead. After the triple, C Jake Matheny was walked to put runners on the corners for the third time in that inning alone. That’s when SS Jeremy Houston laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Matheny to second base and to score Gorski getting IU to a 6-1 lead.
The final run in the top of the third came after Matheny scored off of a Tony Butler double to put IU up 7-1 and to relieve OSU’s starting pitcher Jake Post (L, 2.2 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO) for the evening. However, the Buckeyes would not go down without a fight after this disastrous half inning.
After putting two runners on base with one out, OSU’s Brady Cherry was able to double and score both runners narrowing the gap to 7-3. Then OSU was able to score Cherry from second off of a single from Conner Pohl. But these were all the runs OSU could muster for the rest of the game as they only finished with four runs.
The final run of the game came in the following fourth inning for IU. After Tony Miller reached first base on a fielder’s choice with one out, Miller eventually reached home thanks to a pair of singles from Matt Gorski and Alex Krupa.
The batting wasn’t the only notable IU performance though. Starting pitcher Pauly Milto (W, 6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO) tossed a career high eight strikeouts to earn the win. Then, closer Tim Herrin (S, 3 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO) tossed a strong three innings to earn himself the save and secure the IU victory.
Indiana will face off against Ohio State tomorrow afternoon in the rubber match to try and take the series in Columbus. Both teams will face a quick turnaround, as tonight’s games started an hour late due to rain and tomorrow’s game being moved from a 3 p.m. start to a Noon start.