LONG BEACH, Calif. – A Sunday rubber match will decide the series between No. 16 Indiana (9-7) and Long Beach State (9-8) Sunday. IU came through with a hard fought victory that went into the 11th inning, and saw the Hoosiers standing tall with a 2-1 victory after being beat with a walk-off passed ball on Friday. A sacrifice fly by senior third baseman Dustin DeMuth gave IU the extra inning win.
Errors and mishaps were the leading cause of runs as each team’s score was aided by poor fielding and unearned. Two Dirtbag errors in the fourth frame, and Hoosiers blunders in the sixth with a bad throw from the outfield that scored the lone Dirtbag run.
The story of this contest was Luke Harrison; the junior relief pitcher came into the contest just two outs in and saved the day for IU. Harrison appeared from the bullpen and supplied over six innings of relief, permitting only four hits, no walks and striking out four while being wronged by the one unearned score.
Six different Hoosier pitchers made their way into this game, counting Jake Kelzer’s two scoreless innings. Scott Effross notched the win, registering the final four outs of the contest.
The 11th inning started with two base-on-balls for Indiana, and then Chris Sujka laid down a bunt single to pack the sacks. DeMuth, falling behind in the count 0-2 fought back to launch the sac fly that would decide the game.
A double roped by Long Beach State’s Ino Patron to lead off the home half of the 11th, put Patron in a position to score later in the inning when he moved up to third. Nevertheless, Effross in the end retired the next three batters to end the contest.
Sunday’s rubber match is set for 4 pm ET/1 pm PT.