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May 8, 2013

Hoosiers fall in top 20 battle, 4-3

LOUISVILLE, Ky.- His right arm raised briefly in celebration before he stepped on first base, freshman Danny Rosenbaum knew he had won the game for No. 10 Louisville. Sophomore right fielder Tim O'Conner retreated and made the catch, but the out was irrelevant as the No. 16 Hoosiers (36-10, 11-4) suffered their fourth walk off loss of the season, 4-3 Wednesday night at Jim Patterson Stadium.

A few steps after Rosenbaum touched first, relief pitcher Joe Filomeno tackled him from behind to begin the celebration. The Cardinals salvaged a game in this season series, and moved to 32-5 when they score the game's first run. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers wasted a quality start from freshman Will Coursen-Carr, as defense cost them an opportunity to sweep the Cardinals.

"That's a game that you just give away right there," IU Coach Tracy Smith said. "That's been the case: when we lose baseball games, it's generally because we're having defensive lapses. You cannot make three errors against a good team like that."

UL captured a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when catcher Kyle Gibson collected his 12th RBI via a sacrifice fly hit to center fielder Justin Cureton. Designated hitter Jeff Gardner scored on the play because he advanced to third on a throwing error by Coursen-Carr. Gardner led off the inning with a walk, one of two free passes the Fort Wayne native issued. Cardinals' right fielder Cole Sturgeon, attempting to sacrifice himself, laid down an 0-1 offering, and Coursen-Carr's toss flew beyond the outstretched left arm of sophomore first baseman Sam Travis.

He stranded Sturgeon, and only gave up one run. He said that gave him a ton of confidence.

"I felt like whole-game long, I could throw any pitch, if it was being put in play, our defense would make a play because we've been really solid all year," he said.

With one swing of the bat, junior third baseman Dustin DeMuth erased IU's self-inflicted one-run deficit in the top of the fourth. He pulled to right field a fastball down the middle, and the baseball ricocheted off the scoreboard to give the Hoosiers a 2-1 lead.

Cureton added an RBI single in the inning to extend the Hoosiers' lead.

UL, who outscored opponents 95-34 in the seventh and eighth innings entering play tonight, tied the game in the seventh. Coursen-Carr retired the first two hitters he faced. Gibson singled. Rosenbaum reached on a fielding error by freshman second baseman Nick Ramos. Smith went out to talk to his pitcher. Coursen-Carr said the eighth-year head coach attempted to calm him down.

On the first pitch, a fastball, shortstop Sutton Whiting doubled to right field. Rosenbaum scored the tying run on an error by starting right fielder Casey Smith. Tracy Smith lifted Coursen-Carr, who pitched 6 2/3 innings. He allowed three unearned runs on six hits, walked two and struck out six, citing the emergence of his slider.

"I've been struggling with that all year," he said.

DeMuth said the difference was the Hoosiers' deficiencies defensively.

"We played well, we just didn't play well enough defensively," DeMuth said. "They swung it pretty decently. We pitched it well, they pitched it well. Our defense just let us down tonight."

DeMuth's inability to swing the bat in the top of the first also cost the Hoosiers. He struck out looking on three pitches to strand three base runners.

"It's huge," DeMuth said. "Coming up with the bases (loaded), you always just want to put the ball in play. I was up there, just couldn't pull the trigger and it cost us in the long run."


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