No. 10 Louisville at No. 19 Indiana baseball

“You guys are starting to make me think you’re good.”
That’s what Indiana baseball coach Tracy Smith told his Hoosiers after Wednesday evening’s 6-2 homefield win over No. 10-ranked Louisville.
Wednesday’s win certainly seemed convincing enough and, combined with the 2-0 victory over Louisville that opened IU’s campaign Feb. 15, meant the No. 19-ranked Hoosiers have taken the season series with the Cardinals that will conclude with a single contest May 8 in Louisville.
“It’s huge,” Smith said of the result from the first-ever meeting of ranked clubs at Bart Kaufman Field. “It’s one of those things that we identified, the series win (against Louisville), that the guys really wanted to do.”
They did it with dominant pitching, timely hitting — especially from the bottom half of the order — and clutch defense. Four of the Hoosier runs were scored after two were out with no runners on base.
Dustin DeMuth and Chris Sujka had two hits apiece in spurring IU’s seven-hit attack, with DeMuth and Will Nolden both supplying triples. Ty Young was the lone player with two hits for the Cardinals (19-5). Hoosier starter Will Coursen-Carr went 4ª innings allowing just one earned run, and Scott Effross (4-0) got the pitching win.
IU has won 12 straight games, the longest current streak in Division I, heading back into the Big Ten fray with this weekend’s series at Iowa.

The full game blog is below the fold

 

FINAL: INDIANA 6, LOUISVILLE 2. IU’s Ryan Halstead came on in the ninth to shut the door as the Hoosiers concluded a pretty convincing win over the No. 10-ranked Cardinals. The No. 19 Hoosiers play a single game at Louisville later this season, but have already won the season series, having also posted a 2-0 win over U of L in the season opener. IU has now won 12 straight games and is 19-3. Louisville fell to 19-5.

END EIGHTH: Indiana 6, Louisville 2. Indiana gets the run back it allowed in the top of the inning with Justin Cureton’s sac fly.

TOP EIGHTH: Indiana 5, Louisville 2. Cards get a run back, but could’ve gotten much more. Louisville got back-to-back singles from Nick Ratajczak and Ty Young to lead off the inning, and then IU pitcher Scott Effross had a slow roller off the bat of Danny Rosenbaum roll through his legs to load the bases. Effron had a play at third had he fielded the ball, which is probably what caused him to come up too early on the ball. But then he showed real toughness by inducing No. 5 hitter Cole Sturgeon to hit into a run-scoring 4-6-3 double-play and then retired Kyle Gibson on a soft fly to center.

END SEVENTH: Still Indiana 5, Louisville 1. Scott Effross remains on the hill for the Hoosiers, having relieved starter Will Coursen-Carr, who went 4 and a third and allowed just two hits and one run. Effross has pitched hitless relief to this point.

END SIXTH: Still Indiana, 5-1. Web gem by Indiana second-baseman Chad Clark, a sliding backhand play in the hole, to rob Louisville’s Kyle Gibson, ends the top of the sixth.

END FIFTH: Indiana 5, Louisville 1. Hoosiers broke through again with two outs and nobody on. IU loaded the bases with two outs on two walks and a hit-by-pitch before Louisville first baseman Danny Rosenbaum booted Dustin DeMuth’s ground ball. Louisville also threatened in the frame. IU third baseman DeMuth made a nice back-hand snag of a Nick Ratajczak grounder to throw out Adam Engel at home to help keep the Cardinals from scoring.

END FOURTH: Indiana 4, Louisville 1. Hoosiers rally for three runs, all with two outs. Michael Basil got things started by doubling up the left-center gap and scoring as Dustin DeMuth delivered a ringing triple off the fence in right-center. DeMuth scored on a looping single to center by Chris Sujka, who stole second and scored on Will Nolden’s double past diving right fielder Cole Sturgeon.

END THIRD: Indiana 1, Louisville 1. Indiana got a leadoff bunt single from Chris Sujka (in for the injured Casey Smith) and a walk to Will Nolden. Chad Clark couldn’t get a bunt down and fanned, but the runners then advanced anyhow on a balk by Louisville starter Kyle Funkhouser. Sujka then scored on Justin Cureton’s groundout to second.

TOP THIRD:  Louisville 1, Indiana 0. Adam Engle grounded a leadoff single to left, stole second, took third on a groundout to the right side and then scored on Ty Young’s lined sacrifice fly to right.

END SECOND: Still scoreless end of 2. Indiana’s Dustin DeMuth was thrown out by at 2b trying to stretch a single to end the inning.

TOP SECOND: Still scoreless. Cards got a couple of guys on via a hit-batsman and a walk, but Coursen-Carr whiffed Sutton Whiting swinging to end the threat.

END FIRST: Louisville 0, Indiana 0: IU’s Kyle Schwarber drew a 1-out walk but was promptly picked off first by Cardinal starter Kyle Funkhouser.

TOP FIRST, Louisville 0, Indiana 0: IU rightfelder Casey Smith, son of Hoosier coach Tracy Smith, was hurt after hitting the rightfield wall trying to catch Ty Smith’s 2-out triple off the fence. He made a great effort, diving face-first into the fence, and the impact really bowed his back. He was down for three or four minutes, but then got up, and continued in the game. Hoosier starter Will Coursen-Carr then induced a groundout to second from Cardinal cleanup hitter Danny Rosenbaum to complete a scoreless frame

PREGAME: Ready for Top 20 matchup with Louisville’s Cardinals visiting Kaufman Field, where conditions are at least vaguely spring-like, and certainly less arctic than last week’s Kaufman debut opener against Miami. IU wouldn’t mind a similar result (a 15-1 win). We’ll have updates here and via Twitter at htograham.