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Four-run ninth inning completes Hoosier comeback victory

April 10, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University baseball team (20-11, 4-2 Big Ten) erased a six-run deficit on Sunday, culminating with a four-run bottom of the ninth, to top Ohio State (11-14, 3-3) in walk-off fashion, 10-9. The Hoosiers have now taken each of the first two conference series during the 2011 season.

T.C. Knipp's bases-clearing triple in the bottom of the ninth with two outs tied the score at 9-9 and extended the Hoosier comeback attempt. The drama quickly crescendoed on the next pitch as Michael Basil stung the first offering he saw up the middle for the game-winning RBI-single. It marks the ninth game this season in which the "Heart Attack" Hoosiers have won a game when either tied/trailing in the eighth inning or later.

Joey DeNato kept the ship afloat in a long relief appearance spanning six innings and earning his third 'W' of the year. The San Diego, Calif., native struck out four batters and allowed just three Buckeyes to reach base (three hits, one walk) in his 75-pitch outing. DeNato closed the door on OSU scoring, retiring nine of the last 10 batters he faced. The lone Buckeye to go unretired reached on an error.

All nine Hoosiers had a base hit while five of them stroked a pair as Indiana racked up 16 hits on the day.

Both teams pushed across two runs in the opening inning. In the bottom half, Indiana's Dustin DeMuth drew a walk to get things started. Two batters later, Alex Dickerson connected on a duck snort single that landed just past the infield dirt. DeMuth was on his horse, moving from first to third on the short swing. His hustle was awarded on the next pitch as a breaking ball landed in the dirt and got past the catcher for a wild pitch; which allowed DeMuth to come home. A second errant toss by Greg Greve found the backstop later in the inning, giving Dickerson the free pass to home.

Indiana returned the favor in the next half inning, handing Ohio State the lead back with two wild pitches resulting in a run and 3-2 edge for the Buckeyes.

Inning number four was a disaster for the Cream and Crimson, witnessing four OSU runs come across home plate. The nightmare frame started with bases loaded and no outs and ended with a five-run hole for the Hoosiers.

After Ohio State tacked on another run in the top of the sixth, Indiana's Josh Lyon cracked his third homerun of the season in the bottom half of the sixth. His two-run dinger sliced the lead down to 8-4. Brad Hutton countered for OSU though, hitting a solo shot in the next half inning to stretch it back to a five-run cushion.

Following the seventh inning stretch, three consecutive Hoosiers recorded hits to open the bottom of the seventh. The third came off the bat of Dickerson, good for a two-RBI single. Micah Johnson made it four straight Hoosier hits, blazing down the first base line for an impressive infield single to the right side of the infield. It went for naught, however, when the next two Hoosiers flew out and grounded into a double play to end the inning with IU trailing, 9-6.

A 1-2-3- inning by DeNato in the ninth set up the Hoosiers for one more late game push. To start the IU at-bat, Sabourin smoked a ball to the shortstop and got to first on a play that was ultimately scored an error. Subsequently, Dickerson and Wes Wilson tallied singles sandwiched around a strikeout to load the bases. Another Hoosier 'K' followed though, brining IU to their last out. Mr. Clutch himself, T.C. Knipp, stepped into the box and delivered yet another game-saving play, a rocket off the wall in deepest part of the field (missed the walk-off grand slam by inches). Basil then sent a first pitch fastball back up the middle and into center field to create bedlam at Sembower Field.

The Sycamores of Indiana State come to Bloomington on Wednesday for a 3:05 pm non-conference meeting with the Hoosiers.