An elimination game is when you expect your stars to shine the brightest, and on Saturday that’s exactly what happened for Indiana. Logan Sowers was a man among boys against the Ohio Bobcats, going 4-for-5 with three home runs and five RBIs and scoring four runs on his own. Jonathan Stiever was also key for the Hoosiers, throwing Indiana’s third complete game this season and allowing two runs on seven hits. Stiever also struck out four.
Ohio’s offense got to Stiever early, with back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the 1st. Stiever then walked back-to-back batters to load the bases and bring the first run of the game across the plate. The next batter hit a sac fly to left field to add another run to the Bobcat lead. After another walk, the Hoosiers turned a double play to get out of the inning down just 2-0.
Sowers started off the second inning with a bang, muscling a line drive over the fence in right center to get the Hoosiers on the board. Matt Gorski followed that up with a single and a stolen base, but he was stranded at second base.
The Hoosiers’ fireworks show continued in the top of the 4th, when Craig Dedelow mashed one over the right field fence to tie the score at two runs apiece. Sowers followed up the homer with a single to left. Gorski then drew a walk, Austin Cangelosi laid down a sac bunt to move the runners to 2nd and 3rd, and Jake Matheny topped it off with a two-RBI double to left field to make the score 4-2. Jeremy Houston singled to put runners on first and second and Matt Lloyd drew a walk to load the bases, but Luke Miller failed to capitalize on the opportunity, bouncing out to the pitcher to end the inning.
Dedelow led off the top of the 5th by getting hit. He took his free base in a very un-Bryce Harper manner and came around to score on a RBI double to left field by Matt Gorski to make the score 5-2. Alex Krupa then entered the game, pinch-hitting for Cangelosi, and hit a sac fly to left to move Gorski to third base. With another run just 90 feet away, Matheny couldn’t bring him in, striking out to end the inning.
In the top of the 6th, Butler singled to left center. Lloyd then moved Butler over to second base on a ground out. Miller drove in the run on a hot shot that the third baseman couldn’t handle to make the score 6-2.
Sowers led off the top of the 7th with yet another homer to make the score 7-2. IU couldn’t’ stretch the lead any further in that half inning, as they went down in order following Sowers’ bomb.
The Hoosiers’ hit parade continued in the 8th when Butler singled up the middle. He then stole second base and scored on an RBI single by Miller. Miller stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Dedelow drew a walk and stole second. With two runners in scoring position, Sowers blasted his third homer of the day to give Indiana an 11-2 lead.
Indiana showed off all of their tools at the plate utilizing the long ball, small ball, and everything in between to win this game. The big win advances Indiana in this regional tournament, and thanks to Stiever’s complete game effort, the Hoosiers should have plenty of arms available for a potential doubleheader on Sunday. They’ll play the loser of tonight’s game between North Carolina State and Kentucky tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. If they can pick up a victory in that contest, they would play the winner of tonight’s game at 7 p.m. tomorrow night.