Once again, the potent combination of dominant hitting and outstanding pitching proved to be the difference Friday night for Indiana baseball.
The Hoosiers came into the weekend series with Penn State with the best batting average in the Big Ten and the top earned run average, too.
And then the Hoosiers went out Friday and showed once again why that's the case.
Indiana pounded out 14 hits and two IU pitchers combined for a complete game shutout as the No. 8 Hoosiers beat host Penn State 10-0 at Medlar Field.
Game 2 of the series is at 2 p.m. ET Saturday.
One week after tossing seven scoreless innings in a 6-0 victory over Purdue last Friday and earning Big Ten pitcher of the week honors, IU staff ace Joey DeNato was at it again for Indiana. This time, DeNato gave up four hits and struck out three in six scoreless innings against the Nittany Lions.
DeNato improved to 11-1 on the season and 7-0 in Big Ten play. He becomes just the third pitcher in IU history to win at least 11 games in a season. The school record is 12.
Thomas Belcher went three innings to get the save for Indiana (33-12, 17-2 Big Ten). Penn State dropped to 17-27 and 5-13 in conference play.
Indiana came into the weekend series with a three game lead on Illinois and Nebraska with six conference games to play. Illinois beat Iowa 4-1 on Friday to keep within three games while Nebraska was idle. The Cornhuskers begin a three-game series with Michigan State on Saturday.
Once again though, Indiana had plenty of offense to match its pitching success. Brad Hartong went 3-for-4 with an RBI, Scott Donley was 2-for-4 with three RBI, and Sam Travis hit his eighth home run of the season. Kyle Schwarber, Dustin DeMuth and Will Nolden all had two hits for IU.
Donley got IU on the board in the top of the first with a two-out RBI single. Kyle Schwarber, who had tripled, scored from third.
The Hoosiers scored four more runs in the third to take a 5-0 lead. Again Donley got it started with a two RBI double to left center. Hartong followed that up with his first triple of the season. Nolden plated a runner with a sacrifice fly.
The Travis home run, a solo shot to center, came in the fourth.