Michigan State at Indiana, Game 1

FINAL: Indiana 7, Michigan State 0. Joey DeNato earns his 8th win. Nolden goes 2-for-3 with 4 RBIs. Ramos hit a 2-run homer and finished with 3 RBIs.

Top 9th: Thomas Belcher allows a two-out infield hit, followed by a walk. But he gets out of it with a liner to DeMuth to end it.

Bottom 8: An RBI single from Will Nolden boosts Indiana lead to 7-0. That’s four RBIs for Nolden. Yes, all seven IU RBIs have come between Nolden and Ramos. Thomas Belcher will relieve DeNato in the ninth.

Top 8: DeNato strands a runner on third base after another strong inning. He’s through eight complete after throwing 113 pitches, 75 for strikes.

Bottom 7th: Quick inning for Indiana, which sees O’Conner, Rodrigue and Schwarber go down in order.

Top 7th: Joey DeNato gets out of the seventh with a 5-4-3 double play. With the first out in the inning, DeNato became Indiana’s all-time innings leader with 322 1/3. He has thrown 88 pitches, 61 for strikes. He may be done. Thomas Belcher is warming in the bullpen.

Bottom 6th: Indiana chases Mick VanVossen and adds another run in the bottom half. VanVossen walked Donley and DeMuth to lead off the frame before Hartong moved them both into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt to the right side. Nolden followed with a sac-fly to center that brought home Donley for IU’s sixth run. Hoosiers lead, 6-0, entering the seveht. DeNato back on the hill.

Top 6th: DeNato yields a one-out single, but it doesn’t amount to much. The senior southpaw is through six complete. He’s thrown 81 pitches, 56 strikes. Hoosiers still lead, 5-0.

Bottom 5th: A strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play ends the inning for Indiana. Sam Travis with the swing and the miss before Kyle Schwarber gets caught going for second. Indiana leads, 5-0, heading into the sixth.

Top 5th: DeNato yielded a pair of singles in the inning, but didn’t get burned. After Joel Fisher led off the inning with a base hit, DeNato picked him off first for his seventh pickoff of the season. Justin Hovis followed with a two-out single before DeNato induced Anthony Cheky into a groundout to second to end the inning. Hoosiers lead, 5-0.

Bottom 4th: Nick Ramos went opposite field for a two-run home to right field to extend Indiana’s lead to 5-0. That was Ramos’ first home run of the season and sixth of his career.

Top 4th: After a shaky start, Joey DeNato has retired nine in a row for Indiana. Really settling in now. His pitch count sits at 52 pitches, 34 strikes. Hoosiers lead 3-0.

Bottom 3rd: Kyle Schwarber smacked a one-out double down the right field line and stole third. But a line out by Sam Travis and a fly out by Scott Donley strand Schwarber at third base. After three innings, Indiana leads 3-0.

Top 3rd: Quick and easy top of the third inning for DeNato, who needed only nine pitches to sit down the Spartans 3 up, 3 down.

Bottom 2nd: Hoosiers put three on the board against VanVossen thanks to a two-run triple that rolled to the wall in right centerfield. Nick Ramos brought Nolden in moments later on a groundout to the right side. It all came after Scott Donely and Brad Hartong opened the inning with singles. Hoosiers up, 3-0.

Top 2nd: Cam Gibson leads off the inning with a single before stealing second. But DeNato gets a fly out and back-to-back strikeouts to escape the inning unscather. 0-0.

Bottom 1st: Three up, three down in a quick bottom half for Indiana. 0-0.

Top 1st: Bit of a hairy start for Joey DeNato, who struggled to hit his spots for most of the inning. But also credit the Spartans for putting together a couple quality at-bats. DeNato loaded the bases with one out before getting out No. 2 on a strikeout. Kyle Schwarber bailed him out moments later by picking off Blaise Salter, who came to far off the bag at third on a squeeze attempt. 25 pitches for DeNato, 12 strikes. 0-0.

PREGAME: It’s back to Big Ten play for No. 18 Indiana, which hosts Michigan State at Bart Kaufman Field at 7:05 tonight. The Hoosiers have won 10 of their last 11 on the heels of a walk-off win Wednesday vs. Western Kentucky. Left-hander Joey DeNato will take the mound tonight for IU, sitting only six innings shy of tying Indiana’s career record for innings pitched. He set program records for career strikeouts (257) and wins (31) last Friday against Morehead State.

Also of note, Kyle Schwarber enters the weekend with a 14-game hitting streak. Dustin DeMuth has reached base safely in each of his last 30 games.

Follow along here and on Twitter, where you can find me at @BowieMike.

LINEUPS
Michigan State (20-14, 5-4)
1. Anthony Cheky cf .303
2. Blaise Salter dh .346
3. Jimmy Pickens rf .339
4. Ryan Richardson ss .276
5. Ryan Krill 1b .250
6. Cam Gibson lf .287
7. Joel Fisher c .236
8. Johnny Nate 2b .229
9. Justin Hovis 3b .111

P Mick VanVossen 5-1, 2.55 ERA

Indiana 22-11, 8-1
1. Casey Rodrigue 2b .302
2. Kyle Schwarber c .356
3. Sam Travis 1b .368
4. Scott Donley dh .281
5. Dustin DeMuth 3b .389
6. Brad Hartong lf .257
7. Will Nolden rf .267
8. Nick Ramos ss .211
9. Tim O’Conner cf .179

P Joey DeNato 701, 2.43 ERA