But Indiana State’s Landon Curry had other ideas.
Curry ripped a two-run home run off of IU closer Ryan Halstead to tie the game and force extra innings and force extra innings. The Sycamores then plated one more in the top of the 10th and held on for the 6-5 victory Wednesday night at Bart Kaufman Field.
It was the second time the two teams had meet in a span of a little over two weeks and the second time Indiana State came away with a victory. The Sycamores also bested the Hoosiers in Terre Haute 6-2.
Now the Hoosiers, 6-10 and in ninth place in the Big Ten, face one of the conference’s best teams in Maryland this weekend for a three game set. In order to get back into the race to finish in the top eight and earn a Big Ten Tournament berth, the Hoosiers are going to need a quick reversal of fortune.
“The ball just hasn’t been bouncing our way lately,’’ said IU shortstop Nick Ramos. “We know we’re a good team and what we’re capable of doing so we just have to keep preparing like we always do and the tide will turn around for us.’’
It looked like the tide was turning in IU’s favor on Wednesday as the Hoosiers rallied from trailing 3-0 in the top of the first to lead 5-3 with two outs in the ninth.
But Halstead, with a runner on second, threw a breaking ball and Curry guessed right, crushing it to right field to tie the game.
“I threw him a curve ball that just hung up inside and he was able to put a good swing on it,’’ Halstead said. “Giving up home runs is part of the job and I’ve just got to forget about that one and look ahead to my next time on the mound.
IU starter Brian Hobbie got rocked early and didn’t make it out of the first before giving up three runs. Relievers Luke Harrison and Scott Effross got the job done, setting the table for Halstead to finish the Sycamores off. But it didn’t happen and IU was saddled with another frustrating loss.
Scott Donley and Ramos each tallied three hits to lead Indiana, while Logan Sowers recorded two and Casey Rodrigue posted one. Sowers also made an impressive play in left field, hitting Ramos on a relay throw and gunning down a Indiana State runner at the plate.