Bullpen fails IU in 10-7 loss to Stanford

Indiana was 39-0 this season when leading after 7 innings. That streak came to an end Sunday night. Stanford rallied for six runs in the final two innings to beat Indiana 10-7 and force one more game for Regional championship Monday night.

The first 39 times this season that Indiana had held a lead going into the eighth inning, the Hoosiers were a perfect 39-0.

IU picked a bad time to see that streak come to an end Sunday night.

Leading by two entering the eighth, Jake Kelzer surrendered a two-out, three-run home run to pinch hitter Wayne Taylor and then two IU pitchers gave up three more runs in the top of the ninth. When it was over Stanford had posted a 10-7 victory over the Hoosiers before a crowd of 3,524 at Bart Kaufman Field.

The win sets up one more game Monday night in the Bloomington Regional between the Hoosiers and the Cardinal. This will be the third meeting in as many days between the two teams. The winner will advance to next weekend's Super Regional.

If it's Indiana, the Super Regional will be held in Bloomington.

Tracy Smith said in the postgame that he had yet to decide who would start Monday's game. It could be obvious choices like Brian Korte or Sullivan Stadler. Or it could be just about anyone else. Smith made it clear that it will be all hands on deck in an elimination game.

Smith was asked if anyone was not available to pitch on Monday.

"Well, I mean, I would say DeNato I don't know,'' Smith said. "You're at your tournament life. So you kind of take a head count at the end and say: Who can give me an out, who can give me an inning, and go from there.

" We still have some quality guys, Brian Korte, No. 3 starter on the Big Ten season still available. Sully Stadler, who started some very important games for us in the middle of the week. So we feel like we're in pretty good shape. ‘'

Stanford will be the home team for Monday night's game.

Indiana saw its five-game win streak in NCAA Regional play at Bart Kaufman Field come to an end. The Hoosiers also gave more than five runs in a game to an opponent for the first time since April 13.

All of a sudden it's a one-game season for both Indiana (44-14) and Stanford (33-24). The Cardinal has been in this position two times before, surviving a pair of elimination games on Sunday. Just to get to the evening game against Indiana, Stanford had to defeat Youngstown State 12-4 earlier in the day.

Smith said he doesn't anticipate having to say much to his team for motivation.

"I don't have to say too much to these guys,'' Smith said. "One of our things is we're pretty even keel on that stuff. So I hope that you don't see too much back slapping and crazy stuff when we win, and you're not going to see too much head hanging and kicking dirt when we lose. We're going to go take a shower, go eat, sleep, get up and come ready to play baseball. It's pretty simple.''

It was an interesting evening Sunday with a threat of rain and thunderstorms in the area. Both teams entered the evening expecting a long weather delay at some point. Instead, there was a steady drizzle early in the game but nothing else ever materialized.

Indiana jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first, opening the game with consecutive singles by Casey Rodrigue, Kyle Schwarber and Sam Travis. Dustin DeMuth would get an RBI double in the first and Will Nolden a sacrifice fly for a run. Stanford starter didn't make it out of the second inning.

Stanford hit a pair of solo home runs by Zach Hoffpauir and Brant Whiting in the second to close the lead to 3-2.

IU picked up a solo run of its own in the second when Tim O'Conner led off with a double and eventually scored on a wild pitch.

Schwarber knocked in a run in the bottom of the fourth with an RBI single to extend the IU lead to 5-2.

After Stanford took advantage of a Nolden throwing error to get two runs in the top of the fifth, IU got an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh off an RBI double by Scott Donley.

At that point, the Hoosiers were sailing along with a 6-4 lead heading to the eighth. It was still a manageable situation after Luke Harrison was able to strike out Whiting for the second out of the eighth with only one runner on. But Stanford picked up a two out single that ended Harrison's day, and IU coach Tracy Smith confidently brought in closer Jake Kelzer.

Kelzer had been effective in that situation before but Sunday, Taylor crushed the second pitch he saw deep to left center for a home run. Suddenly, IU trailed for the first time in the NCAA Regional, 7-6.

Schwarber, IU's catcher, said Kelzer didn't throw a bad pitch in that situation.

"It wasn't a bad pitch, actually,'' Schwarber said. "The guy did a really good job of getting the barrel to the ball. You know, he kind of just made us pay for it. It's baseball. I mean, you'll see like you've seen me and Sam hit some pretty good pitches out. It happens. It's baseball.

"You know, Jake's going to bounce back and we are all going to bounce back tomorrow. We're going to be ready.''

Stanford broke it open with three more in the top of the ninth.

In the bottom half of the ninth, IU appeared to be ready to rally. Rodrigue, Schwarber and Travis all walked to load the bases with no one out and bring up Donley who represented the tying run. He grounded it to third and ended up with a fielder's choice that knocked in a run.

With runners at first and third, DeMuth then hit a line shot to the second baseman on a play where Donley was running on the pitch. It was an easy double play and Stanford had advanced to the championship game.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch


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