Indiana’s 2017 season now has a pair of ties after a travel curfew ended an 11 inning 1-1 game today in a series finale with Nebraska.
The result leaves Indiana without a win in the three-game series and brings its overall record to 15-11-2 and 3-2-1 in the Big Ten.
“I don’t know if I have ever had a tie and then to have two in one year, it’s disappointing,” coach Chris Lemonis said.
Starting pitchers Pauly Milto of Indiana and Jake Meyers of Nebraska both threw a scoreless first five innings.
“Pauly was great, I thought that was the best he’s thrown in our program,” Lemonis said.
In the top of the sixth Ben Miller’s ground single to right field was the third straight two out hit by the Huskers and scored Meyers with the first run of the game.
In the bottom of the inning Luke Miller extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a one out line single to center. Matt Lloyd followed with a ground single to right and then Logan Sowers powered a double to straight center over Louis Alvarado, scoring Miller.
A chance to take the lead was squandered when Ryan Fineman popped out to short, and two batters later Colby Stratten grounded into a force out with the bases loaded.
Luke Roskam opened the seventh with a high fly to deep left that IU outfielder Alex Krupa lost in the sun, leading to a triple. After striking out Jake Schleppenbach, Hoosier coach Chris Lemonis pulled Milto for lefty Austin Foote on a 2-2 count to Brady Childs. Zac Repinski pinch hit for Childs and his grounder to third baseman Luke Miller was tossed to home for a tag out on Roskam. Foote then struck out Mojo Hagge to end the inning.
Matt Lloyd moved from DH to pitcher with one out in the eighth and immediately threw an inning ending double play ball to Scott Schreiber.
The teams remained tied at one in the bottom of the 9th when Stratten earned a one out walk. He then stole second but was doubled up when a Mojo Hagge made a sliding catch on a liner to left center by Alex Krupa.
“Colby is reacting, just thought the ball was going to hit,” Lemonis said. “The guy made a great play and Colby is going one way. Tough play, just probably being a little too aggressive.”
Husker second baseman Jake Schleppenbach opened extra innings with a single to left center off Matt Lloyd. Alex Raburn executed a two strike sacrifice bunt to advance Schleppenbach to second. Hagge’s ground out to first moved Schleppenbach to third and Lloyd ended the threat by striking out Angelo Altavilla on a 91 mph fastball.
Right-hander Chad Luensmann came on to start the bottom of the 10th for Nebraska. After striking out pinch-hitter Laren Eustace, Craig Dedelow ripped a single off him to right field. Luensmann then struck out Luke Miller on a 3-2 pitch with Dedelow stealing second on the swing and miss.
Lloyd was then intentionally walked and Sowers ended the threat with a grounder to third that led to a tag out of Dedelow.
The two teams went to the 11th inning, knowing a 3:20 p.m. travel curfew would probably make it the last of the game. That meant no new inning could begin after that time and the first pitch of the 11th came at 3:09 p.m.
After walking Meyers, Lloyd got Scott Schreiber to pop out to to first. With Meyers running, Ben Miller grounded out to first base, moving Meyers to second. Louis Alvarado then flew out to center to end the inning.
In the bottom of the 11th, Indiana went down in order against Luensmann. The Hoosiers almost went down fast enough for a 12th inning to start, missing the curfew cut by just a minute.
Over the three games with Nebraska, Indiana managed to score just five runs.
Sowers led the Hoosiers today with three hits including the two doubles. He came into the game batting just .211.
“They’ve been pitching me in a lot so I was just trying to get my foot down early, stay in rhythm and just put a good swing on the ball,” Sowers said.
“It was good to see him get going a little big,” Lemonis said. “We haven’t been real offensive this weekend, so nice spark there.”
Lloyd ended up with 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, giving up just one hit and one walk.
“He’s been good, I thought he just commanded the (strike) zone and pitched,” Lemonis said.
Indiana will host Ball State on Tuesday night before returning to conference action with a three game series at Purdue beginning on Friday night.
Sophomore left-hanger Tim Herrin (3-2, 4.97 ERA) is expected to get the start against Ball State.