Minnesota at Indiana, Game 1

Bottom 10th: Brad Hartong led off the 10th with a double but didn’t advance. Will Nolden lined to third, Austin Cangelosi and Casey Smith both struck out to end it. IU’s nine-game winning streak is snapped.


Top 10th: Scott Effross came in for IU in the 10th and retired the first two batters he faced, but Minnesota center fielder Dan Motl singled and shortstop Connor Schaefbauer doubled to score him to make it 2-1 Minnesota. IU left fielder Brad Hartong made a great effort to get to Schaefbauer’s fly ball but couldn’t grab it.


Bottom 9th: Kyle Schwarber led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk and Sam Travis reached when his hard liner to short was misplayed. However, Scott Donley struck out after two failed attempts to bunt and Dustin DeMuth grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. On to extras. Game tied 1-1.


Top 9th: Joey DeNato gave up a one-out single but retired the other three hitters he faced and recorded his seventh strikeout. He’s through nine on 118 pitches. Game still tied 1-1.

Bottom 8th: Crawford retired the Indiana side in order for the fifth time in eight innings. He’s given up just three hits and one walk through eight. Game still tied 1-1.


Top 8th: Joey DeNato retired the side on seven pitches. He’s at 104 pitches through eight. Game still tied 1-1.


Bottom 7th: Since giving up a run in the third, Alec Crawford has faced one batter over the minimum. He retired the Hoosiers in order in the seventh. He’s still thrown just 77 pitches.


Top 7th: DeNato has slowed his pitch count pace the last two innings.He got through a 1-2-3 seventh on eight pitches, picking up his fifth strikeout in the process. Game still tied 1-1.


Bottom 6th: Kyle Schwarber drew a lead-off walk in the sixth, but Sam Travis lined out and Scott Donley grounded into a 6-3 double play to end it. Game tied 1-1.


Top 6th: Dan Olinger singled to lead off the Minnesota 6th, but Austin Athmann grounded into a 4-6-3 double play and Joey DeNato struck out Mark Tatera to end the inning on nine pitches. He’s at 89 through six. Game still tied 1-1.


Bottom 5th: Alec Crawford retired the Indiana side in order. It’s still 1-1.


Top 5th: Joey DeNato walked the bases loaded with two outs in the fifth, but got Tony Skjefte to pop up to end it. Game still tied, 1-1. He threw 28 pitches in that inning and now has 80 for the game.


Bottom 4th: Scott Donley led off the fourth with a single and went to second when Dustin DeMuth’s grounder went off the leg of Minnesota pitcher Alec Crawford. Crawford still got to the ball to retire DeMuth and then got the next two hitters to fly out. Still 1-1 after four.


Top 4th: DeNato retired the side in order in his easiest inning so far. 1-1 headed into the bottom of the fourth.


Bottom 3rd: Will Nolden led off the third with a perfect bunt down the third base line for a bunt. Tim O’Conner was hit by a pitch and second baseman Casey Rodrigue reached on an infield single. IU only managed one run out of a bases loaded, one out situation, however. Kyle Schwarber grounded to second base to bring in Nolden, tying the game 1-1. Sam Travis grounded to shortstop to end the inning with runners on second and third, however.


Top 3rd: Minnesota center fielder Dan Motl reached on an infield single, then scored when Connor Schaefbauer doubled down the right field line and into the corner. Schaefbauer was thrown out trying for third and  DeNato got another baserunner out with his 12th pickoff of the season, but Minnesota is up 1-0.


Bottom 2nd: Alec Crawford retired the Indiana side in order again. Scoreless after two.


Top 2nd: DeNato walked a batter in the second but otherwise got through unscathed. Scoreless after 1 1/2.


Bottom 1st: Casey Rodrigue, Kyle Schwarber and Sam Travis all hit the ball hard, but they all hit it right at people and Minnesota’s Alec Crawford got three groundouts to get out of the first on five pitches. Scoreless after one.


Top 1st: Joey DeNato gave up a one-out single to Minnesota’s Connor Schaefbauer, but retired the next two batters and got Dan Olinger swinging on an 80 mph slider to end it. Scoreless after a half.


IU and Minnesota getting ready for Game 1 of the final regular season series of the year. Lineups follow.

Minnesota (26-20 overall, 12-9 in the Big Ten)

1. Dan Motl cf (.294, 11 runs, 8 RBI)

2. Connor Schaefbauer, ss (.286, 30 runs, 17 RBI)

3. Tony Skjefte, 2b (.274, 20 runs, 2 HR, 30 RBI)

4. Dan Olinger, 1b (.261, 20 RBI)

5. Austin Athmann, dh (.288, 1 HR, 7 RBI)

6. Mark Tatera, c (.258, 2 HR, 25 RBI)

7. Troy Traxler, lf (.360, 11 runs, 6 RBI)

8. Matt Stempler, rf (.324, 8 RBI)

9. Matt Fiedler, 3b (.282, 2 RBI)

P-Alex Crawford, rhp (4-1, 4.01 ERA, 62 K’s in 83 IP)

Indiana (36-12 overall, 19-2 in the Big Ten)

1. Casey Rodrigue, 2b (.282, 40 runs, 17 RBI)

2. Kyle Schwarber, c (.347, 54 runs, 10 HR, 34 RBI)

3. Sam Travis 1b (.368, 47 runs, 10 HR, 52 RBI)

4. Scott Donley, dh (.318, 5 HR, 41 RBI)

5. Dustin DeMuth, 3b (.389, 5 HR, 31 RBI)

6. Brad Hartong, lf (.341, 3 HR, 33 RBI)

7. Will Nolden, rf (.316, 24 runs, 18 RBI)

8. Nick Ramos ss (.233, 2 HR, 18 RBI)

9. Tim O’Conner cf (.181, 14 RBI)

P-Joey DeNato (11-1, 1.91 ERA, 61 K’s in 84 2/3 IP)



  1. I feel bad that Casey Smith hasn’t been able to play this season because of his health issues, but why on earth do you pinch hit him in the bottom of the 10th with the winning run on second base? And even before that, why don’t you try to bunt Hartong over? With nobody out and a runner on second, that seems like a no-brainer!

  2. Bummer, man. First time I got to watch them play live all year. This after going to Busch earlier today and watching my Cubbies lose again.

    From what I’ve seen, Coach Smith usually pushes the right buttons. But today he made some decisions that probably cost us the game. Bottom nine w/runners on 1st and 2nd, tie game, no outs, would typically seem like a great time to bunt. Except with your DH up. Donley’s one of the best hitters in the conferences– if not the nation– and I can almost guarantee he doesn’t spend a whole lot of time in the cage bunting. It was pretty obvious by his first two attempts. Let him swing away in that situation. (Of course it didn’t help that the league’s top hitter decided to ground into his first double play of the year the next at bat. )

    Then compound that by not bunting the next inning with a far less accomplished hitter.

    I guess it’s easy to second-guess when I’m not the one making the calls.

    I actually liked the fact that he stuck Casey in there that last at bat. Pinch-hitting late in the game for a guy who hadn’t done anything at the plate is nothing new. What a storybook moment that could’ve been if Casey had been able to deliver. Kirk Gibsonesque. But alas, that didn’t work out either. He looked anxious and rusty.

    Oh well. You knew the streak had to end sometime. Breaks didn’t go our way tonight, but they will again. Go Hoosiers.

  3. CalCheaney,
    You’d be using a .316 hitter to bunt over Hartong for a .233 hitter in Ramos, which ended up being a pinch-hitter in Cangelosi who struck out anyway. If it’s 1-1, Smith calls for the the bunt down. At 2-1, if you bunt, you’re playing for the tie, and I think he was playing for the win. Baseball’s a great hindsight is 20-20 sport, and if you lose, you can always make the case for the course of action you didn’t try. For instance, some people on my Twitter mentions criticized Smith for bunting Donley with runners on first and second and no one out because he’s the cleanup hitter and doesn’t bunt that much. Obviously, if he gets the bunt down and DeMuth flies to right, and scores the runner from third, it’s an obvious move that he doesn’t even get credit for. But that’s how the game works.

  4. No one out and your cleanup hitter coming to the plate with runners on first and second? Definite swing away situation. If he gets the ball on the ground, or hits a relatively deep fly, you push the go-ahead runner up to third. Does Donley possess any speed whatsoever to beat out a double play? First and third with one out(assuming Donley hit into a force or flied out) might be an interesting opportunity to bunt in an attempt to score the go-ahead.

  5. Amazing, coach Smith has taken a non-existent program and made it nationally acclaimed two years in a row… in a year when anything in IU sports that is 50-50 is considered a heroic accomplishment…
    …and the voices of shoulda’, coulda’, woulda’…there’s a reason people out there laugh…

    Fawn!!!! I don’t know if Smith ….fawn!!!! …

    And…(since I’m a Cub fan), I especially will have the sense to keep my mouth shut with anything having to do with offering baseball advice to a guy who is like 300-20 or something over the last two years and took the first BiG team since 1789 (before Omaha was a part of a State that was a part of a Union that wasn’t a civil union) to the College World Series!


  6. Harvard,
    Or you get the bunt down, it’s second and third with one out, the double play is out the window and you have an All-American at the plate in DeMuth who only needs a sac fly to win the game. Donley might be the clean-up man, but he’s also the team’s fourth-best hitter after Schwarber, Travis and DeMuth. He’s not a guy that you absolutely can’t bunt. It’s only a bad idea if you don’t get the bunt down.

  7. Couldn’t Minnesota throw an intentional pass to DeMuth and still put the double play possibility on the table? Heck, your team is on a roll…I’d prefer more aggressive baseball rather than take the bats out of my cleanup hitter(bunting rather than swinging away) and All-American(leaving first open to receive the intentional pass).

  8. I’d love to continue the debate, but someone is freezing my posts again.

  9. And let’s be honest…Is Big 10 baseball the level of competition found in the SEC or other college baseball played in the South? Is baseball north of Kentucky comparable to the quality level of basketball played in the Big 10?

    What Smith is achieving with the baseball team is a marvelous thing, but without a successful basketball program defined by more than occasional high draft picks and Sweet 16’s(primarily the result of landing Zeller), the money will begin to dry up. Bloomington is a ghost town without a basketball program legitimized by a coach with enough b-ball IQ to be respected and taken seriously. We have that respect in football and baseball. But, unfortunately, football and baseball won’t sustain the vibrancy in town in dire need of a fully respected and competent basketball coach.

  10. Harvard,
    If they walk DeMuth, then they load the bases for Hartong. So, yes, the double play is still on the table, but so is a bases loaded walk. When you can put yourself in position to win a game without needing a hit, it’s usually a good idea.

  11. And quickly on post No. 10
    Yes, southern and western baseball as a whole are better than the quality of play in the Big Ten, but last year when Indiana swept Florida State in Tallahassee at the Super Regional — and also took two out of three from a shaky Florida team in Gainesville earlier in the year — the Hoosiers proved they’re at least capable of hanging with teams of that caliber. Big Ten baseball is nowhere near the equivalent of Big Ten basketball, but it’s not horrible either. I’d say if you’re looking for a basketball equivalent, it’s probably the Missouri Valley when it still had Creighton.
    And, of course, the last paragraph is over-dramatic on so many levels I don’t know where to start. It’s going to take a lot of basketball losing for the money to dry up or Bloomington to turn into a ghost town. You can argue that Bloomington would never be as big as it is if not for the basketball success, but I don’t know that you can argue that the athletic department will shrivel and the Bloomington population will do the same if Crean gets two more years and doesn’t make the tournament.

  12. This is where we disagree. Only time will tell, but even with two more substandard seasons, I honestly don’t believe Crean goes anywhere. I believe Crean is the reason Glass was hired. As long as Glass is the AD, it would take far more than two disastrous seasons to get rid of Crean.

    The irreparable damage to the longstanding image of Indiana, an institution once regarded as a top liberal, secular, model for free-thinking inclusion, will extend long beyond the Christian compound years brought by the inseparable team of Glass and Crean. Crean goes absolutely nowhere as long as Glass remains at the helm as AD.

    Have you been to Crean’s twitter page lately….? Images of IU Basketball(a shot of McCracken with the IU logo prominently displayed at center court has returned to go along with the onslaught of Bible and Joyce Meyer quotes/references. Two years? Seriously, Dustin? This charlatan has more job security than the Pope.

    I still swing away with a hot team and no outs….Why play conservative baseball? Keep having fun. Keep believing in your bats. Cubs started playing conservative baseball in August of ’69. Mets played no holds barred.

  13. Good job getting rid of the Google garbage…Kinda figured Price was behind it. You gotta keep that fella under a more watchful eye.

  14. Here’s the current Hoosier lead-off hitter for Tom Crean’s twitter comments lineup:

    Joyce Meyer ‏@JoyceMeyer 9h

    One of the things that God does expect is for us to care about other people enough to reach out to them.

    Batting a cleanup:

    Tom Crean @TomCrean · May 15

    “God forgives sin immediately upon repentance, but it takes longer to build character. It is character, not forgiveness, that determines…blah..blah…blah…blah…Write me some more checks, Fred.

  15. Dustin-

    Who are you picking in the ‘Battle of the Decades?’

    My heart is with Ken, but I fear Brad will take it.

  16. Harvard,
    Yeah, I still differ with you there. I know these guys and I talk to other people in the department. The concept that Glass and Crean are eternally attached at the hip and that Glass owes Crean his job is laughable. I get it. Crean was on the Glass hiring committee and someone was on both Crean and Glass’s hiring committee. I’m sure you think that’s a really big deal and it means Crean is pulling all the strings or someone is pulling the strings for both men. It doesn’t. You’re a man who likes his conspiracy theories and I understand that and if you connect names, you think you’ve solved the great mystery. You haven’t. For one thing, Glass has a lot of allies in a lot of high places, and Crean isn’t anywhere near close to the most powerful man he knows. The man was Evan Bayh’s chief of staff when he was governor. The idea that his existence in this position is entirely based on Crean’s recommendation — if Crean even made one which is a substantial presumption — is comical.
    Don’t get me wrong, Glass wants it to work out for Crean. He doesn’t want to fire him. As I’ve said in live chats, there are a lot of things he likes about what Crean is done and he’s not nearly as critical of him as the fanbase. If it’s even reasonable to keep him beyond next year, he will. But he’s also not stupid. He gets that this is the franchise and if it takes a sustained downhill turn, he can’t wait forever to pull the trigger.

  17. Also, the only thing similar about Glass’s and Crean’s approach to religion is that they are both Christian.
    As far as Indiana being liberal, Glass has a lengthy political background and it was all spent working for Democrats. He’s at least as far left on the political spectrum as you are and probably more so.
    This comes off like I’m defending him too much, I understand, and you could certainly find several flaws with his tenure as AD. But the notion that he and Crean are trying to turn IU into a “religious compound,” is hilarious. Crean might. Not Glass.

  18. You can parade around as a liberal democrat and be a culturally backward misfit……in Indiana.

    Glass has already shown far too much of an allegiance to Crean by throwing meticulous amounts of money and contract extensions. The only justification for doing so would be the belief that the man is a hot commodity. He is not a hot commodity and would not get hired by any other Big 10 program(even with the overblown success of Sweet 16’s that had far more to do with one recruit than coaching acumen). Yes, I truly believe there is an unwritten arrangement. You don’t extend contracts for Sweet 16’s. I also think it’s shameful that IU allows the man to put their basketball logo on his twitter site. His agenda makes me want to vomit and the only reason he can get away with such agendas is because the AD is of the same mold(a very stale and stagnant mold).

    It’s already too late to reverse the “compound” image Glass has allowed and encouraged. No legit AD allows a coach to have a ‘cutting down the nets’ ceremony after a loss. These clowns are self-promoters and they never stop propping up what would otherwise be considered baby steps at “elite” programs.

    I’m hardly startled to know that you would defend the propping up of hollow salesmanship, villain-chasing, and baby steps rewarded. The Establishment loves the hokey-pokey they put in the ice cream and stamp of backwardness tattooed with pious tongue upon the image of IU. You have no reason to not love the circus acts, the excessive self-indulgences, and highfalutin preaching that makes Indiana more blow than substance. You can walk away. You’re merely an objective observer intrigued by the dysfunction of it all. You can have your going home party and rejoin the mocking crowd. Some of us want more for Indiana. Some of us believe in Indiana beyond a rest stop toilet.

  19. Don’t know how “meticulous” got in there…That was supposed to read “ridiculous.”

  20. Best you don’t engage me too much. They’ll disfranchise you…Maybe make you answer some dumb-ass questions before you can open your office door. This certainly won’t help you get locker room interviews. Jeremy will spread the news that you are conspiring with Harvard. They’ll freeze your access and start going through your underwear drawer…ask you why you’re wearing boxers when you said you wore briefs. And where’s that Bible that was supposed to be in your nightstand drawer?

  21. Tsau, I’m sure you know as well as anyone that fair criticism and endictment are not necessarily the same thing. I think coach Smith has done a phenomenal job and– as I pointed out– usually makes the right moves. (In general, I don’t think we praise him enough.) In this case, though, I thought he made some questionable calls. I thought so in real time. And they happened to not work out. Doesn’t mean he’s a bad coach. It just means that, in my amateur opinion, those particular moves were not his best option. But coach didn’t call me and ask what I thought he should do. In the long run there’s a reason he makes the big bucks and I’m armchair quarterbacking from home.

    The Hoosiers regrouped. And now they’re champions. Again. Proud of our boys.

  22. Forgive me for being negative Punjab, but I think it disrespects both Coach Smith and the accomplishment. Given that hardly any of the posts on this thread came from anyone who was actually posting about baseball until the clinching game and then posters came on to do their ‘commentary’ on the Coach’s decision on the day they won the B1G for the second time going back to the 19th century with a team so dominant they actually meet expectations… it seems to me that the critics on the thread are 1. picking fly doo-doo in a mound of pepper; 2. are bored with winning (eliminate that one this particularly historical 2014 athletic year) 3. or are simply writing, not for Coach Smith’s edification, but for each other; sort of like when peacocks spread their plumage. (…in some countries in this continent the women dress in dresses and sweaters one or two sizes smaller and shorter than their measurements and particularly low and tight for their chest…I used to wonder why and someone finally told me that they weren’t dressing to impress the men; they were dressing that way to impress each other. Then,… it made sense.
    (By the way, I think you meant indictment not endictment and, as I’ve pointed out before, the screen name I use is Tsao not Tsau. Tsao is in honor of Tsao Tsu, the great chines philosopher of war; and Tsau sounds too much like the south american ‘chau’, a variation of the italian ‘ciao’ which is used to say ‘I’m gone, see you later’.)

    So Punjab, since I’ve always been impressed by your analysis and the tone of your comments and are merely pointing out that this particular comment was kind of out-of-character for you, what can I say…I enjoy your analysis as such; your anecdotes about family and the thrill of raising a baby/small child, the wonderment of a young father )having four grandchildren, all 6 or under I’m reliving the fun of having innocence and laughter around a lot…; this one…not so much. I may even believe a couple of points you make may be valid,…but two three days after Coach Smith wins the second B1G championship. The same day, it’s spreading feathers.

    One more little question. I asked before, but didn’t get an answer; are you still in the service? I assume so since I don’t remember you saying anything different. Good man! Thanks!

  23. So we can’t have a little fun by simply second guessing a coach’s decision? And why do you get privileges to mock those simply partaking in what nearly every fan inevitably enjoys in the “what ifs” of sports. I don’t remember Tsao commenting on baseball anymore than any other poster when the team wasn’t getting much attention. So now your highfalutin admiration means anymore than some digressions about different ways to approach getting some winning runs across the plate?

    Come on, Gonzalez. Get off your damn throne.

    We second guess Crean all the time…You’ve criticized the cutting down of nets after a loss. Truth the matter is that none of us are likely qualified enough to second guess any coach at Indiana. Simply because a team is winning shouldn’t have anything to do with who gets to critique and must shut the hell up. This is a damn blog. It’s supposed to be are unshackled thoughts and diversions…There is absolutely nothing wrong with exploring options no different than a coach likely explores them himself/herself in the aftermath. Sometimes there’s no right answer and things just play out beyond the norm or typical “playing it by the book” mentality.

    The only foolishness here is by someone that actually thinks those having a little fun at armchair quarterbacking take themselves so seriously as to believe they know better than someone that has played and coached the game for years. If you remove the fan from having such fantasies(whether it’s the fantasy that they actually understand the level of talent to play intercollegiate/pro sports at this level or the fantasy to teach them at this level), then you’re removing much of the escape and the audience.

    I enjoyed the back-and-forth with Dustin. It allows for a growth in understanding and, unlike you, explains a scenario with no need for condescension(as if someone, or some intricacy in strategy of a game, is untouchable the “common” fan of the game).

    Hell, Geoff describing our basketball team as having one of the worst halfcourt offenses in all of college basketball. Aren’t those forms of generalizations far more dangerous than merely playing a little armchair QB with one inning of baseball.

    It’s human nature to be more critical than ‘glass half full’ and generally supportive of better times. Don’t you watch Fox News?

  24. Thanks for pointing out more errant spelling, Tsau. And my apologies for not understanding the guidelines of posting– I didn’t realize we couldn’t post something at the end if the season if we hadn’t been commenting all along. I’ll try and do better next time.

    Two points, both of which I’ve addressed before. You have already corrected me on the Tsau Tsu vs Tsau issue before, and my response was something along the lines of pretending “Tsau” was an intentional conjunction of sorts. In truth, it was previously a mistake on my part. Now I purposefully misspell as a teasing gesture of endearment. I’ve explained this before, and you didn’t respond. If it bothers you, then I will stop.

    You’ve also asked me twice about my service. I answered in depth the first time (sometime during the early basketball season, I believe.) I don’t believe I answered again the second time, so I’ll answer now. I’m still in the Air Force, stationed at Scott AFB, IL– just outside of St Louis. Living in Cardinals country, I proudly wear my Cubs apparel as often as possible. It almost always leads to some good-natured ribbing by the yokels, but it’s all in fun. I don’t know where or when I’ll be stationed next, but since I’ve for 8 1/2 years before I can hit the retirement button, I’ll almost undoubtedly have to move my family a few more times before we can settle down. Having lived around the world, I’ve enjoyed my time close to home and immediate family. Vincennes is only a three hour drive. Bloomington is four.

    My boss just returned from a seven-month deployment, which means I no longer have to do the job of two people every day. It’s been a very stressful, busy few months, and I haven’t had the time or energy to post on here as often as I’d like. (Time, as you know, is precious. I choose to spend what little free time I have with my wife and little ones.)

    As far as post #2, I identified that it was the first time I’ve gotten to watch our baseball Hoosiers live. I posted after the game, but before we had clinched the outright title. They just so happened to suffer a rare loss, and I gave my observations. There was both criticism and praise of Coach Smith, even though none of the coaching decisions he made late in the game worked out that given night. I’m sorry you chose to focus on the negative rather than the entirety of the post.

    I enjoy the back and forth, and I trust you understand that I mean no ill will. And with that, it’s time to go tuck in the rug rats. Cheers, my friend.

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