Indiana baseball shuts out Cincinnati behind stellar pitching, fifth-inning home runs

Two strokes, four pitches and two solo home runs over the left field wall into the pitch increased Indiana’s lead to 7-0 in the fifth inning against the University of Cincinnati on Tuesday night. The result remained the same until the end of the finals, giving Indiana its first win of the season.

The consecutive home runs of rookie Brock Tibbitts and Josh Pyne in the fifth inning were an exclamation point for Indiana’s fifth win of the season.

The home run was Pyne’s first of the season.

“It’s been a surreal moment I’ve been dreaming about since I decided to play baseball at Indiana University,” Pyne said after the game. “I’m really glad it was here in Bart (Kaufman Field).”

However, Pyne is no stranger to hitting consecutive home runs. Pyne said he achieved the same feat last year in high school high school.

Two home runs were two of the Hoosiers ’five goals of the game. However, the Hoosiers didn’t have to break through to win. They made five queries in the first inning, even after three Bearcat players didn’t give up a single goal.

By the time the Bearcats scored their first goal of the game, the Hoosiers had already taken a 5-0 lead, the fourth consecutive game where they were the first to place on the board and put pressure on opponents early.

“Coach Weatherford is making our scout report and preparing these guys perfectly for what’s coming up in this game,” head coach Jeff Mercer said.

Indiana rookie right-hander Luke Hayden kicked off his second career on Tuesday, throwing three baseball substitutions with one goal while hitting five shots and walking zero.

The expression of the five games in the first inning was a gift and a potential curse for Hayden. He had a pillow, but on a lively evening he also endured a 30-minute half-inning in a cold dugout.

Nonetheless, Hayden confidently stepped up the hill, hitting the side in the second inning and setting 1-2-3 in the third inning.

“Luke set the tone on top of the first one,” Mercer said. “Go out and practice the resins, quickly bring us back here (earth).”

Hoosiers followed Hayden’s lead and allowed only one goal after his exit. The pitchers who followed him also didn’t walk or hit the baserunner.

Younger right-hander Nathan Stahl almost matched Hayden’s exit, inserting three innings of relief and hitting four shots.

Stahl’s performance on his return was avenged for his two trips at the start of the season, when he allowed eight well-deserved runs in five assists.

“After the last few weeks, I felt great, (I was) just a little bit in trouble,” Stahl said. “It was good to go out and dominate some substitutions and give the team the best chance to win.”

Cincinnati finished with a 2-2 run on the board and hit Indiana players 14 times.

“We did a great job today,” Mercer said. “I was really excited about Luke, a really good start. Nate Stahl was exceptional (and did a really good job). These guys are getting a lot better (and performing a whole bunch of games).”

Indiana has now won three consecutive games with a win after the exclusion and is advancing to 5-6 this season. Indiana has also won two games in a row against Cincinnati, starting on March 11, 2020.

Indiana will return to action on Bart Kaufman Field on Wednesday and will face Purdue University in Fort Wayne. Second-grader Jack Walker is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. to match.

Comments are closed.