Indiana sweeps Penn State, clinches share of Big Ten title

First baseman Sam Travis went 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI to lead No. 9 Indiana to a 9-2 win over Penn State and a series sweep Sunday at Lubrano Park in State College, Pa.

The Hoosiers clinched at least a share of the Big Ten title, holding on to a three-game lead at the top of the conference standings with three games left in Indiana’s regular season. They improve to 35-12 overall, 19-2 in the Big Ten, having won eight straight games and 23 of their last 25 games.

Third baseman Dustin DeMuth had three hits and an RBI, catcher Kyle Schwarber had two hits and scored three runs, and left fielder Brad Hartong had a pair of RBI in the win. The full release from IU follows.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – With a 9-2 victory at Penn State (17-29, 5-15) on Sunday afternoon, No. 8 Indiana (35-12, 19-2) clinched a share of the 2014 Big Ten regular season championship. It is IU’s second conference title in as many years. The 19 Big Ten regular season victories for the Hoosiers this year are the most in program history.

Sam Travis led the Indiana offense with his third home run of the series in the fifth inning. Travis was 2-for-5 in the game with three RBI and two runs scored. He now has 10 home runs on the year and 51 RBI to lead Indiana. Travis homered in every game of the PSU series.

Dustin DeMuth had three hits in the game, including a double with an RBI and scoring a run. He has had three hits in the three of the last four games. DeMuth now sits alone in third place at Indiana in career hits (301) and is tied for third in career doubles (59).

Junior Kyle Schwarber scored three times as he was 2-for-4 on the day with a pair of doubles. Brad Hartong also had a double as he finished the day with a pair of hits, two RBI and a run scored.

Scott Donley also drove in a run on two hits and scored twice. Will Nolden had a two RBI as he doubled in his only hit of the day.

Relief pitcher Scott Effross earned the win for Indiana as he pitched 2.0 innings, giving up just one hit with a strikeout.

In the top of the first, Schwarber reached base on a hard groundball double down the right field line and later moved to third on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt. Donley brought Schwarber home with a two-out RBI

 

Penn State put two runners on with one out in the bottom of the third with a walk and single. Taylor Skerpon then put the Nittany Lions on the board with an RBI single up the middle. With runners on second and third, a slow chopper to the shortstop led to an infield single for Greg Guers which led to PSU scoring their second run of the inning to tie the game at 2-2. The inning also came to close on that scoring play as the runner from second attempted to score on the infield single, but was thrown out at home for the third out.

DeMuth reached on a one-out double in the top of the fourth and then moved to third as Hartong reached base on an error. Nolden brought home DeMuth as he reached on a fielder’s choice. The fourth inning closed with Indiana in front, 3-2.

Indiana added a pair of runs in the top of fifth as Schwarber worked a two-out walk to bring Travis to the plate. Travis took an 0-1 pitch the opposite way for a two-RBI home run to right center, his third long ball of the series.

The Hoosiers had their most productive inning in the eighth by scoring four times. Schwarber started things with a double and Travis followed with a single up the middle to score Schwarber. Donley then made it three straight hits to start the inning. DeMuth then moved both runners up a base with a groundout to the first baseman. Hartong then drove in both runners with a double. IU scored its final run of the game on a Nolden double as Indiana collected four runs on five hits in the inning.

The Hoosiers will step away from Big Ten play to take on Louisville on the road on Tuesday, May 13. That game will start at 6 p.m. ET.

single up the middle. After Donley stole second, a DeMuth single to center brought Donley home to put IU in front 2-0.

8 comments

  1. Huge congrats to the hardball team. After some tough breaks in the early part of the season and a few injuries, these guys are on fire. Very resilient bunch and credit Coach Smith for holding things together and developing some guys early in the season who are breaking out now. 19 – 2 so far in the B1G. Wow. Clinching early will give some of our guys arms a rest so we’re fresh for the tourney.

    I didn’t realize that this year the B1G tournament will be in Omaha. Last year, I’m sure it was awesome playing in the Twins gorgeous new park, but getting a few reps in at Omaha prior to the College WS might be beneficial to really challenge for a title. That park plays like AT&T during the damp foggy summer in SF. The Hoosiers weren’t quite ready for it last year. A lot of long fly balls that fell for outs, which probably would have been out in a lot of other college parks.

    Another quick rant. They need to bring in the fences in Omaha. TD plays longer than 21 MLB stadiums and about even with the other 6. These are not major league hitters and since they changed the bats, it is boring watching kids crush a hanging curveball that ultimately falls on the warning track.

  2. DoubleDown, remember when they were building TD, there were still using the old bats and not the current bats that act more like wooden bats. By the time the NCAA made that change, it was too late to make any changes to TD as construction had already started. With the old bats, pop ups were home runs at Rosenblatt. If they were using the old bats, TD would be giving up a lot of home runs. It isn’t the ball park, but the change in bats.

  3. 1992 makes a good point. And the thing about TD as well isn’t the size of the park, it’s the wind. TD is bigger than Bart Kaufman across the board but by about 8-15 feet at each measure. It’s clearable in a vacuum. The issue is that when you get a ball up in the air at TD it more or less hits a wind-wall and falls straight down.

  4. 1992, DD, I realize that. Absolutely. The new bats, plus the wind conditions have made TD park unplayable for college players. I’m not saying they did a bad job in setting it up given the variables at the time. I’m saying that with all the new variables and changes that were made, the fences should be adjusted. The era of 21 -14 finals are gone, but watching Kyle Schwarber mash a hanging curveball that falls on the warning track in a game they lose 1 – 0 is overkill in the wrong direction.

    The Mets had to come to the realization with Citi Field. Setting up the fences is more art than science. It took them one offseason to adjust the fences in a way so that the home run ball was a factor again.

  5. We went to the last CWS at Rosenblatt and the bats had changed by then and the number of home runs were way down. The locals were actually complaining about not having football scores for some of the games.

  6. Heh. That must have been a fun trip, especially to experience Rosenblatt. Never been out to see the CWS and have that on my bucket list for sure. Crossing my fingers the Hoosiers find their way back so I can go this year.

  7. Double, I have been to final fours, both men and women, a couple of bowl games and other big NCAA events, but the atmosphere at the CWS is so different than any of those. Omaha clearly embraces that event and do such a great job hosting it. You truly feel welcome and inviting. The crowds at the games are mostly locals there just to enjoy the game. The left field and right field stands get chants going back and forth. One will start by yelling “Right Field Sucks!” and then the other side comes back and states “Left Field Sucks!”. It will go back and forth. Beach balls end up all over and on the field. It is an amazing experience. We are going back again this year. We are watching the opening ceremonies on Friday and sticking around until the fourteen year old boys going with us get bored later in the week.

Comments are closed.