Indiana baseball continues to roll and the Big Ten's best pitching staff just keeps getting better.
Joey DeNato had another masterful performance as he threw eight scoreless innings and helped No. 18 Indiana blanked Michigan State 7-0 Friday night at Bart Kaufman Field.
The Hoosiers are now 9-1 in Big Ten play and have won seven conference games in a row. Overall, the Hoosiers have won 11 of their last 12. Indiana and Michigan State resume the three-game series Saturday at 2:05 p.m. and then wrap up the series Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
DeNato improved to 8-1 on the season and recorded his 32nd victory of his Indiana career. Every time DeNato picks up a win it extends his school record for wins in a career.
Here is a report from Indiana media relations on Friday night's Indiana victory.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Joey DeNato threw eight scoreless innings as the Indiana baseball team (23-11, 9-1 Big Ten) rolled to its seventh straight conference victory and its 11th win in 12 games, 7-0, over Michigan State (20-15, 5-5 Big Ten) at Bart Kaufman Field on Friday evening. The Hoosier pitching staff has not allowed a run in its last 20 innings.
Redshirt freshman Thomas Belcher worked the ninth to close out IU's second straight shutout and third of the season. DeNato has started two of them (season opener vs. Texas Tech).
Will Nolden drove in four runs, scored once and recorded a pair of hits in three at-bats. Sophomore shortstop Nick Ramos added three RBI, including a two-run homer, and added one run.
Another start, another record for DeNato (8-1, 2.12 ERA), who limited the Spartans to five hits to go along with five punchouts and three walks. The senior southpaw became the program's all-time innings king (324.0), adding to his record wins (32) and strikeouts (262) totals to go along with his 32-9 record and 2.69 ERA.
DeNato has won his last five decisions, including each of his four league starts. In Big Ten play, he is 4-0 with a 2.39 ERA in 26.1 innings of work.
Nolden gave DeNato all the support he needed in the second. Junior designated hitter Scott Donley and junior left fielder Brad Hartong reached with singles and the junior right fielder brought them home with his first triple of the season. Ramos followed with his first RBI of the evening on a groundout.
In the fourth, Ramos connected for his first long ball of the season and the sixth of his young career to push Indiana's advantage to 5-0. A Nolden sacrifice fly in the sixth and single in the eighth accounted for the Hoosiers final tallies.
Michigan State put together a couple of threats, loading the bases with one out in the first, and advancing a runner to third with two outs in the eighth. DeNato shut the door both times.
Donley (2-for-3) and Hartong (1-for-3) each scored a pair of runs.
IU continues to dominate at Bart Kaufman Field, improving to 10-2 this season and 29-5 since the ballpark opened last year.
The two teams return to action tomorrow afternoon at 2:05 p.m. followed by Sunday's series finale at 1:05 p.m.