IU Baseball Notebook: Illinois

Indiana has won 10 Big Ten games in a row and now has a three-game lead over both Illinois and Nebraska in the Big Ten standings following Friday night's 9-3 IU victory at Illinois. Here are several notes on IU players coming out of that game.

Here are a couple of notes on Indiana baseball coming out of Friday night's 9-3 victory over Illinois in Game 1 of a crucial Big Ten weekend series.

Indiana is 12-1 in conference play with the victory and has won 10 conference games in a row. The Hoosiers have won 15 of the last 16 games overall heading into Saturday afternoon's second game of the series with the Illini.

DENATO REMAINS A RED HOT

Joey DeNato improved to 9-1 on the season with a 2.37 ERA. The win was his 32nd of his career which continues to re-write the IU record books in the career wins category. His five strikeouts give him 267 for his career which is also a school record. In addition, he is IU's career leader in innings pitched with 332. DeNato's 32 career victories leads all NCAA Division I active pitchers.

PITCHING STAFF CONTINUES ITS DOMINANCE

Coming into Friday night's game, the IU pitching staff as a whole had only allowed three runs in its last 50 innings pitched. That mark is now six runs in 59 innings pitched spanning IU's last seven games. But here's another tidbit there. In those 59 innings pitched in that span, opponents have only scored in four of those innings. The Hoosiers pitching, thus has blanked the opposition in 55 of the last 59 innings.

DEMUTH ON THE OFFENSIVE

Senior Dustin DeMuth had two more hits Friday night to up his batting average to .275. Beyond that, with 286 career hits, DeMuth leads all active NCAA hitters, regardless of division.

HARTONG ON A TEAR

Junior college transfer Brad Hartong has been hot of late and has become a mainstay in the No. 6 spot in the Indiana batting order.

With three RBI Friday against the Illini, Hartong now has eight RBI in two games this week. He had five on Wednesday against Ball State. In fact, all five of his RBI Wednesday came in the same inning as the Hoosiers plated nine runs in the bottom of the sixth.

In the last five games, Hartong is 6-for-19 with the 8 RBI. He has started 13 consecutive games for the Hoosiers.

PICK OFF SPECIALIST

DeNato picked off two more base runners Friday night which gives him nine for the season. That leads the Big Ten. DeNato came into Friday's game tied for first in that category with Michigan's Evan Hill, both with seven.

STANDINGS WATCH

Indiana went into Saturday's game 12-1 in the Big Ten with a three-game lead over both Illinois and Nebraska at 9-4.

The Hoosiers have two games left with Illinois but do not play Nebraska in the regular season this year.

Following this series, IU still has three-game sets with Purdue, Penn State and Minnesota. The Purdue and Minnesota series' will be at home.


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