Gophers top Indiana, 5-2, in series finale
April 23, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University baseball team (25-15, 6-6 Big Ten) dropped a 5-2 decision Sunday afternoon to the Minnesota Golden Gophers (14-15, 6-6). Indiana tallied a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh to start a rally before stalling out in the loss.
Minnesota's first run of the game was a gift. After a two-out walk, Justin Gominsky took two bases on a wild pitch. He then ran the final 90 feet home after an errant throw by the IU catcher bounced past the third baseman for the E2 and unearned run.
A pitchers' duel ensued for the next four innings. Joey DeNato faced the minimum amount of batters from the second through fifth inning and retired the first Gopher in the sixth as well. He then walked the nine-hole hitter to end the streak. Hoosier nemesis all weekend long, AJ Pettersen, followed with a triple to push Minnesota ahead, 2-0. Three consecutive singles, including an infield hit, doubled the Gopher lead to 4-0.
The Hoosiers had little trouble getting runners on base, but struggled to bring them home. Indiana had at least one baserunner in each of the first seven innings. A Casey Smith double in the bottom of the seventh broke through the scoring draught, driving in Michael Basil from first after his lead-off single. Back-to-back groundballs moved Smith the final two stations for Indiana's second run of the day. The scoring would end there, however, as Indiana fell by the final score of 5-2.
T.C. Knipp's defense in center field over the weekend was a bright spot, highlighted by a diving snag in Sunday's contest. Knipp was a busy man, racking up 13 putouts in the final two games and 17 for the series.
DeNato picked off another runner on Sunday, his ninth of the season. As a team, the Hoosiers have a Big Ten-leading 26 pick offs. The next closest TEAM in the conference merely matches DeNato's total of nine.
The Cream and Crimson wrap up a five-game homestand on Tuesday, hosting the Miami (OH) RedHawks in a 4:05 first pitch. Next weekend presents Indiana with an in-state trip to West Lafayette for a series with the Boilermakers of Purdue University.