Indiana Baseball: Hoosiers, Sam Travis Knock Off No.7 Louisville

Indiana Baseball

Photo - IU Athletics

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Indiana Hoosiers baseball team led by junior first baseman Sam Travis, broke out the whooping stick and defeated the No. 7 ranked Louisville Cardinals 9-3 Wednesday night at Bart Kaufman Field. Sophomore LHP Sullivan Stadler recorded his first start and correspondingly his first win only giving up three runs on five hits. Thomas Belcher, a redshirt freshman, held the Cards to just three hits during the final four frames to convert his first career save as well.

“We’ve been struggling with the bats all year,” Travis admitted. “But we always knew our hitters would come around because we have some of the best hitters in the country. We just go in there with confidence, because we know if you lose confidence you just get yourself in a hole.”

Travis showed plenty of confidence this night going 4-for-5 with three doubles, two RBIs and a run scored.

The Hoosiers caught the hit bug, as basically, the whole line up got into the action. Junior DH Scott Donley went 1-for-3 with three RBIs, whereas leadoff hitter Casey Rodrigue unruffled two hits and two runs.

“Our guys put together some good at bats,” head coach Tracy Smith said. “These are proven hitters, and we have just not strung hits together. So it was nice to finally see that. We swung the bats well and they fell, and hopefully that’s a good thing as we roll into conference play this weekend.”

The Hoosiers took the lead in the bottom of the first frame after Rodrigue led off with a base hit that found a hole in the right side, and then promptly stole second. Kyle Schwarber pushed Rodrigue to third when he grounded out, then Travis ripped a majestic shot to left field that bounced over the wall for a ground rule double, sending Rodrigue home for the score.

In the second inning it looked like the Cards were going to take control when they countered with a run, and then in the fourth frame plated two additional runs to take a 3-1 lead decisively.

The fifth inning turned into a bombing campaign as the IU bats detonated for six runs. A base hit from junior right fielder Will Nolden — to the left side of the infield — started the bleeding, and a walk to Tim O’Connor followed by a Nick Ramos sac bunt, put the runners in scoring position for Rodrigue to smack an RBI base hit to left, closing IU to within one of Louisville.

More trouble ensued in the frame when a wild pitch scored O’Connor and knotted the game. Travis took advantage of the loss of composure by the Cardinal pitcher and knocked in another run with a double to center field. This brought Cardinal LHP Robert Strader to the mound to face Donley, who proceeded to smoke a shot to center field and plate two RBIs pushing the lead to 6-3.

Things reached nightmare status after senior third baseman Dustin DeMuth added an RBI single to stop the shelling – for the time being – leaving the Hoosiers with a 7-3 lead at the end of the frame.

“Once we got down three to one, we were looking to capitalize on the guy they brought in,” DeMuth added. “We knew he didn’t have the best control, and we knew we could get to him, and we got to him.”

The sixth inning saw more IU lumber skills as sophomore shortstop Nick Ramos unlocked the frame with a double down the right field line. Rodrigue squared around for a sac bunt to push Ramos to third and Schwarber got him in with a base hit to center.

“I didn’t have a great day at the plate today at all,” Schwarber pointed out. “It’s great to have the guys pick you up, because hits are contagious. Once a guy smokes a double you start thinking if he can do it I can do it. We are really sticking with our approaches and we’re trying to get some barrels on the ball and drive them.”

The final score came when Travis hit a line drive back up the middle that moved Schwarber to third. Donley reached on an error and it permitted Schwarber to score with no trouble for the concluding 9-3 score.

Indiana Baseball

Photo - IU Athletics

About the Author

Matthew Gray
Matthew Gray is a national writer for College Baseball Central and a member of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, granting him an official vote annually on which coaches and players will be inducted. Matthew is also a member of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, which gives him official votes in the Dick Howser Trophy (Player of the Year), Regional Players of the Year and NCBWA All-America voting. Matthew is college baseball's go to source for exclusive player, coach, scout and executive interview based articles. He is at the forefront of prospect knowledge in the nation, and owns a strong managerial and professional background which includes over 25 years of experience as an author, scout, coach and athlete. Matthew has two daughters, Shelby, and Michelle. Follow Matthew on Twitter @CBCBaseball95