In a late season rally that has seen Indiana baseball win 10 of its last 12 games, IU has come up with some clutch performances.
Scott Donley delivered another one Thursday morning that allowed Indiana to stay alive in the Big Ten Tournament at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Donley ripped a two-out, three-run double to left-center in the bottom of the eighth to break a 2-2 tie and lift Indiana to a 5-3 victory over Ohio State Thursday in an elimination game in the Big Ten Tournament.
The win over Ohio State was the fourth for IU in less than a week. Indiana swept the Buckeyes in a season-ending series last week at Bart Kaufman Field.
Indiana led 2-0 Thursday through six innings behind a solo home run by Brad Hartong and an RBI ground out by Brian Wilhite. Ohio State tied the game in the seventh with two runs off of reliever Scott Effross.
That set up Donley’s eighth inning heroics. With two outs, Casey Rodrigue singled and stole second. Nick Ramos and Hartong both walked to load the bases. Donley then drilled the clutch hit to put the Hoosiers ahead 5-2.
Ryan Halstead, IU’s all-time career saves leader, got another one in the ninth after giving up a solo home run to start the inning.
The win over Ohio State would appear to solidify Indiana’s hopes to earn an NCAA Tournament berth. IU went into the game ranked No. 39 in the RPI and Ohio State was No. 32. The Hoosiers now own an 11-8 record against top 50 teams in the RPI.
The NCAA Tournament field will be announced on Monday. The Big Ten Tournament concludes on Sunday.
Kyle Hart pitched six scoreless innings for IU but finished with a no-decision. Despite giving up the two runs in the seventh, Effross pitched a scoreless eighth and was eventually credited with the victory.
IU is now 1-1 in the Big Ten Tournament. The Hoosiers lost to Michigan 4-1 to open play on Wednesday.