IU captures Big Ten Tourney title

Indiana baseball defeated Nebraska 8-4 Sunday to win the Big Ten Tournament title for the second year in a row. Kyle Schwarber was named the tournament's most outstanding player. Jake Kelzer recorded the final four outs for the save and Luke Harrison got the win for IU.

The Indiana baseball team is headed to NCAA Tournament play with a full head of steam.

A four-game sweep of the Big Ten Baseball Tournament in Omaha will do that for you.

Kyle Schwarber homered and was named the tournament's most outstanding player and Jake Kelzer came on to get the final four outs Sunday as the Hoosiers defeated Nebraska 8-4 to win the Big Ten Tournament title at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb.

Indiana had to survive a Nebraska late inning rally and a 42-minute rain delay with two outs in the top of the eighth. The Hoosiers handled both with the look of a champion.

All that is left now is for confirmation that Indiana will not only host a Regional this week in Bloomington but that the Hoosiers have secured one of the eight national seeds. If IU does that, it could potentially host both a Regional and a Super Regional in the next two weeks.

IU's 8-4 win on Sunday was even more impressive considering the hostile environment under which the Hoosiers played. The game was played before a partisan Nebraska home crowd of 19,965. That's the largest crowd to witness a conference championship baseball game in NCAA history.

Another impressive statistic is that in 24 regular season conference games and four Big Ten Tournament games Indiana has not surrendered more than four runs in a game.

Indiana jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a two-RBI double by Dustin DeMuth.

The score was 3-0 after two when Will Nolden was able to score from third on a wild pitch. Nolden, batting in the No. 7 position Sunday, had three hits in four plate appearances.

Nebraska evened the score in the top of the fifth when Casey Rodrigue couldn't field a ground ball to second with the bases loaded off the bat of Pat Kelly that scored two. The third run scored on a double play ball to Sam Travis.

IU wasted little time to regain the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Schwarber hit a home run to right field. It was his second home run of the tournament and the Hoosiers were back up 4-3.

The lead increased to 7-3 after six. With one out, Brad Hartong walked, and both Nolden and Nick Ramos delivered singles to load the bases. Hartong scored on a ground out by Tim O'Conner, Nolden scored when Rodrigue reached on an error and Ramos came home on an RBI single by Schwarber.

Nebraska got one back in the seventh to close to within 7-4 and then had two on with two out and red hot hitter Ryan Boldt at the plate in the top of the eighth when the weather delay occurred. The count was actually 0-2 on Boldt when lightening was spotted in the area.

When Kelzer returned, his first pitch was a passed ball that moved the runners to second and third. But his next pitch resulted in a comeback ground ball that he fielded and threw Boldt out.

IU tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth after Nolden singled, went to second on a sacrifice bunt and to third on a ground out. Rodrigue then slapped a single to right for the RBI and it was 8-4.

In the top of the ninth, Kelzer retired the heart of the Nebraska order 1-2-3 to earn the save.

Luke Harrison came on in relief of starter Sullivan Stadler in the third and eventually got the win for the Hoosiers.

This story will be updated later with quotes.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch


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