IU Crushes Maryland 13-3 For Series Sweep; No. 5 Seed In Big Ten Tournament
Indiana ended the regular season with a resounding 13-3 victory over Maryland Saturday night at Bart Kaufman Field to sweep the Terrapins. The Hoosiers moved to 37-15 overall and 14-9 in Big Ten play with the win, clinching the No. 5 seed in the Big Ten tournament and matchup with No. 4 seed Illinois next Wednesday, while Maryland dropped to 21-27 overall and 9-13 in conference play.
Here's what stood out from Indiana's win:
A senior day to remember for Logan Sowers: The Lafayette, Ind., native went 4 for 5 with a 3-run home run, a solo home run and an RBI single. Arguably the most memorable moment, though, was when he struck out swinging in the bottom of the seventh but received a standing ovation from the near-sellout crowd as he was walking back to the dugout in appreciation for his performance on Saturday and across his four years. It will certainly be hard for Indiana seniors to top all of that on future senior days.
Tim Herrin holds it down on the mound: Indiana remained competitive and was put in position to blow this game wide open in large part because of the junior lefty's start. Herrin struck out four, allowing just three hits and one earned run in six innings. He threw strikes on 51 of his 80 pitches, also registering 10 groundouts and 4 flyouts.
Big lead opens up opportunities for other seniors: As Indiana built its 10-run advantage, it afforded chances for other seniors to get into the game. Right-hander Brian Hobbie pitched one scoreless inning of relief in the top of the seventh and outfielder Chris Lowe got an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth to give the Hoosiers their 12th run of the contest. Bloomington North product Colby Stratten made a pair of appearances at the plate, and infielder Laren Eustace drew a walk in his lone appearance.
Indiana's 3-4-5 hitters come up huge in the series: Sophomore outfielder Matt Gorski, IU's No. 3 hitter, Sowers, IU's No. 4 hitter, and junior infielder Luke Miller, IU's No. 5 hitter - hit a combined 16 of 34, scoring 13 runs, 16 RBI and 6 home runs along with a triple and a double in the Maryland series. It's a monstrous stat line for a group that's been critical in helping Indiana generate momentum heading into postseason play.
On the ovation after the strikeout:
"It was pretty awesome. I walked in the dugout and coach (Lemonis) said, ‘First time they’ve ever cheered for a strikeout.’ … I thought that was pretty funny. I mean, the fans are great. They’re awesome." -- Sowers
"I said in the dugout, 'Man, you've struck out a lot here. That was the first time you got an ovation for it. But what great fans we have to honor him in that way and know it's probably the last time he's hitting here. So it was pretty cool." -- IU head coach Chris Lemonis
On what he's going to miss most about the program:
“It’s the guys. That’s what I’ll miss the most. Still got a couple of weeks playing – hopefully a month longer – but it’s just the people you’re going to miss. The facility is awesome. It’s a great facility. But it’s the people." -- Sowers
On the senior class as a whole:
"I think it's huge. The way they go about their business, just on and off the field. They've just set the tone for our program. There's a lot of leadership in there. Then, you have some guys like Logan. For me, I came in with all these guys, so it was neat to do. They're very appreciative." -- Lemonis
On the seniors who got to get in:
"They were really good. Laren getting out there, Brian Hobbie had a great inning for us, which we could really use in the tourney. It was a really good day all around." -- Lemonis
On the keys to successful postseason play:
"Just doin’ what we’re doin’, being completely honest. This is the most confident I’ve ever felt, going into a post-season. I think we’ve got a really strong chance of going really far. And I’m really looking forward to it." -- Sowers
"Good starting pitching, play defense and get some timely hits. The pressure hits usually let guys play and relax a little bit so we're built for that. Hopefully that happens this week out in Omaha." -- Lemonis