Mike Pegram, Peegs.com

Hoosiers humbled by Gophers in series opener

Indiana got a taste of why Minnesota leads the Big Ten baseball standings as the Gophers put an 11-0 beat down on the Hoosiers tonight to open a three-game series at Bart Kaufman Field.

Indiana pitchers gave up a season high 20 hits tonight against Big Ten leader Minnesota, falling 11-0.

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The loss puts Indiana under .500 in league play at 4-5-1. The Hoosiers are 17-14-2 overall. 

Minnesota is now 7-0 in the Big Ten and 21-8 overall. All seven Gopher league wins have come on the road.

“I don’t even give a big speech after a game like this,” said Indiana coach Chris Lemonis. “Sometimes I get on them but in our game you have to jump back and be able to play the next day.”

Gopher starting pitcher Lucas Gilbreath had little trouble with the Hoosier bats. He was pulled with one out in the eight after giving up just a pair of hits and one walk.

Matt Gorski and Jeremy Houston had the only Hoosier hits off Gilbreath. The Minnesota lefty goes to 4-0 with the win.

“One of the best pitchers in our league but the key to beating him was to lay off some pitches out of the zone and we were just too aggressive early,” said Lemonis.

The Gophers didn’t waste any time jumping on the Indiana and starting pitcher Jonathan Stiever. Leadoff batter Alex Powell began the first with a long fly to left that the wind helped carry out for a homer over a leaping Alex Krupa. Terrin Vavra then followed with double to the wall in left center and later scored when Matt Stemper smacked a liner off the top of the glove of the IU third baseman.

It was still a 2-0 game when Minnesota blew it open with a five-run fifth inning that featured seven hits and a pair of home runs by Vavra and Stemper. 

Stemper’s homer was a three-run shot and part of a five RBI night for the senior outfielder. 

Micah Coffey batted in a pair of runs with a single in the seventh, his third hit of the night. 

The first six batters in the Minnesota lineup finished with at least two hits and hitters 2-5 all had three hits.

Stiever was pulled by Chris Lemonis with one out in the fifth. He took the loss to fall to 1-2, giving up seven runs on 13 hits.

“I felt like he was missing up all day long and they’re a good offensive team and they took advantage of it,” Lemonis said. 

Three Hoosier relievers saw action after Stiever including Andrew Saalfrank, Brad Littleton and Kade Kryzsko. All were tagged for runs except Kryzsko who was player of the game on the night for Indiana, striking out five and giving up just one hit in the final 2 1/3 innings.

“I thought Kade was good at the end, that was the bright spot,” Lemonis said. “I told our guys that it showed that if you make pitches, you can get them out.”

The 20 hits for Minnesota was the most for the Gopher program since 2010. The 11 runs given up by Indiana also tied an opponent high for the season.

The two teams will meet for the second time in the three-game series tomorrow at 2:05 p.m. ET. Indiana will go with right hander Brian Hobbie (2-3, 4.86) and the Gophers are likely to throw out lefty Brett Schulze (3-2, 4.25).

“It shows a lot about your character about how you come out and play the next day,” Lemonis said. 

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