Indiana shuts out Minnesota 8-0 on Senior Day

WHAT HAPPENED: With its most focused performance in an otherwise lethargic weekend, Indiana pounded Minnesota 8-0 in the Hoosiers’ regular season finale in front of 3,248 at Bart Kaufman Field.

The No. 9 Hoosiers finish the regular season 38-13 overall, 21-3 in the Big Ten. They have taken at least two of three in every Big Ten series this season, recording five sweeps. Minnesota finishes the regular season 27-22 overall, 13-11 in the Big Ten. The conference tournament begins Wednesday at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.

Indiana senior left-hander Brian Korte, sophomore right-hander Scott Effross and redshirt freshman right-hander Jake Kelzer combined on an eight-hit shutout. 

The Hoosiers scored a run in the first on a sacrifice fly by left fielder Brad Hartong to score Scott Donley after Donley had led off the inning with a double. In the sixth, second baseman Casey Rodrigue, catcher Kyle Schwarber and first baseman Sam Travis led off the inning with three straight doubles. Schwarber’s scored Rodrigue, Travis’s scored Schwarber and Travis later scored on an RBI single by third baseman Dustin DeMuth to make it 4-0.

In the eighth, Schwarber walked, Travis doubled, Donley singled to score Schwarber and DeMuth beat out an infield single to score Travis. Donley and DeMuth later scored on a two-run single by center fielder Tim O’Conner.

WHO MADE IT HAPPEN: Korte didn’t have his best breaking stuff, but he was locating his fastball and he worked quickly. He needed just 64 pitches to boar through five innings. He gave up four hits, but didn’t walk a batter, striking out two hitters. He allowed three Minnesota hitters to reach second base, but none got any further.

Effross has been hit around a few times lately and he gave up three hits on Saturday, but he still pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out one batter. Kelzer put a pair of runners on in the ninth, but got a big strikeout to end it.

DeMuth was 2-for-4 with a run scored and a pair of RBI. Travis was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Donley and Hartong each drove in runs and Schwarber was 1-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.

WHY DID IT HAPPEN: The IU pitching staff never allowed a runner past second base, walked a total of one batter and scatterd eight hits. Of the 128 pitches they threw on Saturday, 82 were strikes. After this combined shutout, Indiana now has a 1.53 team earned run average in Big Ten games. According to IU Sports Info, that’s the lowest by a Big Ten team in conference play since 1977.

The offense took time to find a groove, but obviously, it eventually did. Minnesota right-hander Neal Kunik allowed just three hits through five innings, but the Hoosiers got that many hits in the sixth before Kunik recorded an out. They also pounded our four hits in the eighth to finish with 12 in the game.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN: This was another notch on the resume for Indiana, and although they were expected to win this series, it helps their cause to the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee that no team won a series against them in Big Ten play. All three of their conference losses were by one run and they outscored opponents 161-48 on the season. Though the committee may not revere the Big Ten in the same way it does the SEC, ACC or Pac-12, demolishing a still reputable conference to that degree will help the Hoosiers’ cause significantly when the committee is deciding on the top eight seeds. At this point, it seems virtually impossible for the Hoosiers to lose the opportunity to at least host a regional, and a top-eight seed and a chance to host a super regional is becoming safer and safer.

28 comments

  1. I personally think Wilson made a fine choice with Knorr. I brûlée we will be pleasantly surprised.

  2. I would love to go to Omaha and run through that tourney without a loss … Those Nebraska fans are so damn full of themselves. … By the way, the tourney format sucks. You’re telling me a team that goes 21-3 in the conference with three one-run losses and only one one-run victory doesn’t get rewarded with a bye? Insane!

  3. Bubba J, there’s eight teams. What possible format would give someone a bye?

    YO, yes definitely. I also think Sherry Dunbar should’ve been coaching defensive backs and Ron Helmer should have been coaching the offensive line. And I can’t figure out a reason why Terry Stotts wasn’t contacted about coaching linebackers.

  4. Early life and college career

    Born in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Stotts grew up in Illinois, Wisconsin, Guam, and Indiana and graduated from Boone High School in Bloomington, Indiana in 1976.

    Is there a Boone High School in Bloomington? I understood the Dunbar and Helmer references in Dustin’s sarcastic reply…Wasn’t sure why Stotts popped into his head. Is Stotts a name that was once thrown around for the IU Basketball head coaching job? Would he consider a college job after the success at Portland?

  5. I don’t know what the Boone thing is about, but Stotts went to North. I don’t know if he was ever a candidate for any IU job or if he would have any interest in a college job at all. I doubt it, but I don’t know the man.

  6. Yes Dustin,

    I realize with eight teams, there’s no way to give someone a bye. I’m not that stupid. What I meant was that this year’s tourney set-up sucks in more ways than one. Why not wait until Maryland and Rutgers are on board before expanding — and go more than eight? Make it a number so that the top two teams can get a bye — there should be a reward for a top finish in the regular season. Another thing that sucks — the “championship game” could have an unbeaten team vs. a one-loss team; that’s hardly double-elimination. … And why Omaha? Nebraska is the last one in the conference, and yet it’s getting a huge advantage. I’m still a believer that a conference tournament should be as centrally located as possible. Why not a minor league park in Indy or Illinois or Michigan? Or — if they’re determined to have it out that way, why not Des Moines, where the Iowa Cubs play?

  7. Not sure if it’s a hologram, but there’s been a sighting(cue the Partridge Family theme for the last 2 posts on this IBJ thread).

    Wow…What a difference in tone and opinions from IBJ’s commenting crowd. I remember a similar suggestion made a couple months ago by a contributor on Scoop(an implication that overly critical, too quick to push the panic button, IU basketball fans could hurt recruiting)not receiving near the backlash that Anthony Schoettle met from his readers. Always knew this site had a strange “compound” gathering of apologists that blindly revolt against any fair criticisms of their appointed and anointed Joyce voice.

    Crean is not a “great recruiter”

    _***** May 7, 2014 5:57 PM
    It’s a complete myth Crean is a great recruiter. This year we had no shooters….that’s on him. The ’14 Class in Indiana is loaded and he got one guy from it…and that was at the last nano-second as Blackmon said he had decided on Kentucky and only picked IU after he sat down. I bet that had more to do with playing time than Crean being a “great recruiter.” And for next year, we have THE prefect opportunity for a great big guy: awesome back court and a ton of playing time. And Crean whiffed on all of them. Instead, he got a 7 footer nobody heard of and a 6’9″ guy who lives on the 3 point line and has zero inside game (another guy no one heard of). So, please, stop slobbering all over Crean on what a “great recruiter” he is.

    ____________________________

    No men on the floor?

    ***** May 7, 2014 6:02 PM
    How about no shooters….which is Crean’s fault.

  8. Bubba,

    To address the park issue, the B1G will likely play the tourney in mlb parks going forward. Last year, they played in Minnesota’s gorgeous new park, and my understanding is that it was very successful financially. While Omaha doesn’t have an mlb team, the park was built in hopes that just maybe they could get one. Nevertheless, it’s the face of college baseball and holds 25k with all the luxury suites every other mlb team but the sorry Cubs enjoy.

    I’d bet on future B1G Tournaments following suit.

  9. Double Down,

    How could the park in Omaha be built with hopes of landing a MLB team and have only 25,000 seats? … If the B1G tourney last year was a financial success, that would be shocking to me. There were only a couple thousand fans in a 39,000-seat stadium. It looked ridiculous on TV. Why not have it at minor league parks, like in Columbus the previous year? Sure, Omaha has a 25,000-seat park, but I bet there won’t be more than 6,000 or 7,000 fans (at the most) attend at one time. That’s one-third full — at best. They should be playing it at places like Huntington Park in Columbus, Victory Field in Indy, Principal Park in Des Moines — places like that. Heck, even Fifth-Third Field in Toledo. Those places all seat 10,000 to 11,000 fans — probably even a bit more than you’d need for the Big Ten tourney.

  10. Bubba,

    They made TD park with the thought that if they ever could land a MLB Team (in which I clearly stated above was a long shot) that it could be expanded by another 6 – 7k seats, putting it at the low-end of MLB stadium capacity. It has modern facilities and lots of luxury boxes.

    Last year, paid attendance was higher, but actual attendance and walk-ups (which are important in college baseball) was lower because it was FREEZING in Minny. The luxury boxes were full. Had nothing to do with the park. I wouldn’t bet on 6k to show up to Omaha this year. MVC tourney in 2011 brought over 15k.

    The B1G is expanding the tournament, so that means more teams and more fans. I bet this year in Omaha they’ll shatter attendance records.

    Also, if I’m a player, I would much rather play to empty seats in a MLB stadium than some podunk minor league field. That game last year was the closest that 99% of those players would have to playing on a major league field.

  11. Ain’t much to do in Nebraska. If it ain’t going to a baseball game, it’s likely visiting some Cold War missile silos, exploring a cornfield maze carved out by aliens. or hosing off the dusty porch screens again.

    If there ain’t no classic auto auctions conflicting with this here baseball tournment and the internets cable company ain’t still yets ready to bring 70000 miles of high speed cable to brings blogging to my towns 200 residunts, then we’s got no reason nots to go watch baseball.

  12. We have a winner!!!!!!!!!!!

    This argument between Bubba J and Double Down will go down in the annals of sports history as a Classic. Sort of the Chico, Harpo, Groucho and Zeppo of B1G performances.

    Look Gummo (Bubba J)personally, why are we missing the chance to make some real money and play it a Maracana Stadium which sat 201,000 (of course, until they remodeled it to accommodate the big spenders in luxury suites and make regular fans sit down- they stood before that; it was kind of uncomfortable when one slipped and carried 14,000 or so down with him but hey!, we could just say ‘It’s Indiana!). Look Bubba, it would still seats 90,000 or so (ok, so we count those U. of Wisconsin fans who sneak in from Madison.) And, Bubba J, I will concede the drive top and through the Ipanema neighborhood and being bitten by parrots like Jose Carioca is inconvenient… And Double Down,(truthfully, even though you try hard, your arguments don’t come close to matching the level of Bubba J) we at least won’t have to put up with the ‘freezing weather’ but despite an occasional ‘yacare’ and those cute piranha fish crossing the creek outside the stadium, you’ll find solid arguments that the ‘beaches are an added attraction…”

    That only leaves us with the problem of an ‘odd’ number to pair after we’ve added Maryland and Rutgers. Right Bubba? (hint contained earlier within this post). And, if we are still concerned about the weather, if we change all the sites to Celsius readings fewer would complain about playing it in Minneapolis. Right DD (you deserve this one…you answered Bubba and started it).

    (By the way…whose ‘flowing’ idea was it to play the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska anyway? Right Bubba.)

    I admit Dustin, I’ve become feistier and feistier lately, but Dustin…if you answer either of these two paragons of Higher Education in the United States of America it is on you. We Scoop readers take a lot of pride in being stupid and dumb in a simple and cute enough kind of way as is, but with these two leading the Honorary Know-Nothings Drum and Bugle Corps and Ben periodically bringing up his Marching Majorette occasional solo act…what can I say Dustin…it becomes a comedy act worthy of burning the collection of Three Stooges comedies we so zealously try to emulate with our daily contributions.

    Please warn us next time.

  13. Now I’m still at Starbucks enjoying a cappuccinni and I’m been checking the internets…It looks like theres this big concert goings on with Three Dog Nights, The Guess Whom, and Loverboy. My cousin Bubba Smith use to call me loverboy but I think he paused between lover and boy. He wents to college so thats why he new there was a pause there. I ain’t saying I ain’t going to most the baseball games. I thinks I probably goes to most of the college games. I might not go on Sunday so I can see Loverboy.

    And heres whats I do if I got men on first and second with nobody out.

  14. Hey TsaoTsuG,

    Next time you’re kissing Dustin’s ass, be careful — he can turn around pretty quickly.

    Seriously, why the vitriol? That’s my only guess. Apparently, this forum is only for elite, uppity know-it-alls like yourself.

    Guess I’ll take my subscription money elsewhere.

  15. Bubba- The College World Series stadium in Omaha averaged some 22,000+ paying customers for its 14 sessions in 2012 and 24,000+ in 2013. The present stadium already seats 25,000 and could be easily expanded to 35,000. The B1G tournament will do very well, especially if Nebraska manages to go through to the finals (hopefully against IU).

    Last year Nebraska (in their field in Lincoln) averaged around 2500 (about the same as Indiana). But, in high profile events (i.e. the Nebraska-state rival Creighton) has had crowds of 10,000+. Meanwhile, back in Toledo, or in Columbus (O) (one of the places you want to take it) attendance is dipping.

    The College World Series has been played in Omaha, Nebraska since 1950 (don’t take off your shoes to count, that’s 64 years this summer). The new 25,000 seat stadium was built some 2-3 years ago (I believe) on the basis of those numbers.

    P.s. You don’t need a subscription to make an ‘arse’ out of yourself. You do it just fine for free on the internet. But, I have to give you credit; the best part was your comment (about smooching DD ‘arse’); you should pay a subscription for comments like that. They are priceless.

  16. Victory Field would be sorta fun. And there’s a lot of activity in Indy with the 500 right around the corner…

    I’m sorta with Bubba…There’s nothing wrong with change. Rotating the BIG tournament to other cities seems only fair.

    And I also like the idea of full stadiums. And as far as the experience of playing on a field/ballpark with similar aura an MLB stadium? There’s gotta be no more euphoric feeling than when a minor league ballplayer steps onto a MLB ballpark for the first time knowing he’s made it to the big show. Maybe that feeling should be reserved and treasured rather than pretending someone has reached the pinnacle in the backdrop of a half full ballpark.

  17. TsaoTsuG — Did I ever write anything about the CWS? I know it’s in Omaha; I never made any mention that it shouldn’t be.

    And you do fine making an ‘arse’ of yourself as well. Don’t fall when you climb down from your ivory tower.

  18. Bubba, don’t respond to the over-inflated, self-important, priggish, bundle of self-righteousness. He’s a bastion of moral outrage for no reason and his pop culture reference to the Marx brothers should be all the evidence you need to see what decade he retrieves his point of reference from.

    I just ignore his posts entirely. The only reason I read it this time is because in our discussion, I see that you responded to him. I figured that he may have had something interesting to say. Keep hope alive, I guess.

    Tsao, I hope you enjoy your vacation.

  19. Harvey,

    Ideally, you want to find a place where there is no competition for things to do. B1G baseball isn’t exactly the Broadway Show for the locals to come out to yet. When big events are in town, you won’t get any walk-ups.

    I just find it unfortunate that the B1G would throw the baby out with the bathwater with some bad circumstances (weather). I’d love to see what a town like Detroit, Cleveland or Pittsburgh could do with the tournament before we call it a failed experiment.

  20. Double Down- so we just ignore the B1G cities? We take it (the tournament) to a large metropolitan/urban center instead of a ‘town’ like Bloomington, Lincoln, Lafayette.

    There was a time when it was inconceivable that an Indiana city like Indianapolis would be a major sports venue. Thanks God for the ABA which first ‘proved’ the Pacers could challenge the Detroits, Clevelands…; and, by the way, led to the movement that ‘stole’ the Indianapolis Colts from Baltimore for us ‘country bumpkins’ (while Baltimore almost disappeared in the shadow of DC). MLB still refuses to recognize Indianapolis is a major league city. Hate to say it DoubleD, but in your ignorance you play right into that ‘anti-farmboy’ mentality. And you’d have the nerve to shove it right into the face of what you think are the ‘country bumpkins’ of Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska (Omaha) has proved for 64 years they can support the College World Series and Lincoln, the B1G.

    I give up on ignorance like Bubba’s; but for you to write, “I just find it unfortunate that the B1G would throw the baby out with the bathwater with some bad circumstances (weather). I’d love to see what a town like Detroit or Cleveland could do with the tournament before we call it a failed experiment”, disrespects everything we are in a state like Indiana and goes beyond ignorance. You may take no pride in being a Hoosier, but I do. Don’t get mad at me when you insult the heart of what this country and its people is are. You show strong intellect DoubleD…yeah…give it to Detroit or Cleveland and see who pays after they declare bankruptcy.

    Don’t get mad at me when you write idiotic arguments. Think! Then go stand in front of the mirror and apologize for your ignorance to the guy you see glaring back at you.

  21. Tsao,

    Was it Double-Fudge Brownie Night at the Shady Acres Old Folks home that got you all hopped up and delusional?

    For someone who has now twice called me an idiot, you’re inability to understand simple reading comprehension is staggering. I’m going to chalk it up to the brownies.

    How am I disrespecting Indiana by saying that I’d love to watch the B1G tournament played in a MLB stadium? The motives you ascribe to me about how I feel about people in Indiana without a SINGLE shred of evidence that you ascribe to me is bovine fecal matter.

    On to the substance of your post, which was hard because it is filled with the normal melodrama and lack of self-awareness as always, the last time I checked, the football and basketball B1G championships haven’t been held in B1G towns either. Chicago is the closest thing with Evanston. Because I’d love to see B1G baseball grow and get to the point where it can compete with the likes of the south and west, I think that is the exact opposite of hating on Indiana.

    Neutral sites have been the standard for tournaments in college sports in the modern era, so you don’t need to judge my motives as hating Indiana. The country bumpkins epithet is your responsibility since you’re the only one that uttered it. Do go on, Tsau, keep telling me what I’m implicitly saying without actually saying it. You’re on fire today.

    Parting shot, I must admit that my arguments are defenseless against your onslaught of slippery slope, blatant, baseless misrepresentations, and classless associations. I refuse to honor your oddly regionalist monologue with anything beyond a chuckle.

  22. If you look back in the past BIG baseball tournaments, they were almost always hosted by the schools. Mostly OSU because they had one of the bigger stadiums in the BIG. The moving to bigger stadiums has been a recent development. Actually, if they want to play in Omaha it would be better at Werner Park. That is home of the Omaha Storm Chasers, the triple A affiliate of the Royals. They used to play in Rosenblatt.

  23. 92, my point was that basketball and football, admittedly much bigger sports, play at neutral sites. It was brought up in response to accusations of nefarious motives not do to the history of Big Ten baseball.

    College baseball suffers from two challenges: 1) little student support because school is out, and 2) the best young up and coming players aren’t there. The Big Ten has the added challenge of cold weather.

    Personally, if the Big Ten decides to go back, it would matter little to me. However, the Big Ten is progressive in taking their tournament to a major league stadium. The ACC and SEC haven’t done that (although, the SEC went bananas and held it in the Superdome in New Orleans in the early 90s). The Pac 12 doesn’t even have a tourney.

    I applaud the Big Ten for trying to do something to gain an advantage versus rival conferences, which have the advantage of weather, attendance and attracting the best talent. A cold week in Minneapolis is just not enough to convince me that it wouldn’t work…yet.

  24. For the record, I think Indy would be a tremendous town for a new baseball team. I think the knock against them being that there are so many teams within driving distance is understandable, but not unprecedented given that MLB had no issue moving the Expos to DC a mere 45 min from Baltimore.

    I don’t know the legal hurdles with TV rights, etc. The A’s have been trying to move an hour down south to San Jose and MLB TV contracts prohibit the A’s from doing that.

    Just curious, how many of you Hoosiers who are Cubs fans would switch your support to the new team in Indy if they got one?

    People still talk about how well Indy pulled off the Superbowl (especially Bill Simmons). Would love to see MLB get a little Hoosier flair.

  25. IDoubleD- I don’t think it will happen. Chicago has two teams (one of them,the White Sox in the south side already struggles mightily attendance wise. Cincy, St. Louis, Cleveland, Milwaukee are all sharing one market.

    You are right that B1G baseball is hurt by the season’s time factor. And, I suppose that hurts quite a bit although summer school population is not insignificant. I do believe strongly that the playing of B1G sports should (generally) be on the campus facilities. (The very reason IU gave in rejecting Calipari’s siren’s song to move to a bigger venue).

    Louisville used the same issue to its advantage. It simply ignored being ignored by MLB, the NBA(remember the Colonels), the NFL and came up with a master stroke of a plan; it focused its finances and its energy into making itself a major-major player in NCAA major sports, basketball and football. All that money that would have gone into financing a pro-franchise is now money that goes into UofL’s coffers. In many ways the Cardinals are a truly ‘community franchise’, and the reason why we can not (at present catch them). That IS their ‘pro-team’, in many ways, not unlike the GB Packers.

    We should have the foresight to do the same thing, but with Bloomington as the center of gravity.

  26. Interesting thought. How do we make Bloomington a center of gravity? I have a crazy idea. What do you think?

    I love Bloomington a lot. I think it is THE best college town anywhere. I wouldn’t trade Bloomington for anything. However, in terms of competing in dollar and number of fans with Louisville, Bloomington suffers from just being a much smaller metro area.

    There are number of small cities that have made their local school their “pro team.” Louisville, Lexington, Columbus, Tucson and Austin to name a few. Don’t despair, Indiana’s strength seems to be in it’s ability, as you say, to have Bloomington be the center of gravity; tapping it’s alumni network and national brand and getting others to come back or to Bloomington for the first time.

    The strategy is to make coming to Bloomington a unique experience in of itself (which it totally is). As an athletic director charged with getting butts in seats, apart from the product on the court/field is the most important, should realize that it isn’t just selling IU Basketball and Football, it is selling Bloomington as a place to come and spend your time.

    I’m not kidding about this, but I’d put Harvard in charge of putting together a program of the history of Indiana basketball. Then turn that into an actionable trip where people can view the sites, the history and experience what it is like to imbibe in Indiana basketball in various locations throughout the state.

    The goal is get people to come to Indiana as a basketball pilgrimage that ends in a great weekend stay in Bloomington. The crescendo is sitting in the stands in Assembly Hall staring at the 5 banners and watching the most passionate and amazing fans on earth cheer on the Hoosiers. Hopefully we’ll be able to tie that into Kevin Wilson’s Big Ten ready football team lighting it up in Memorial Stadium, or the NCAA’s all time winningest soccer program.

    Yes Bloomington doesn’t have the population of many of our Big Ten or regional brethren, but we have something far greater than the number of people in its metro area: we are inextricably intertwined with the history of one the greatest American sports.

  27. DoubleD- Completely agree with every idea you’ve written here. I’ve been all over the world, and my memory always comes back to Bloomington. IU needs to think about tailoring what Louisville is doing to Bloomington as a permanent part of us.

    (And Harvey is perfect for the script).

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