Indiana sophomore left-hander Kyle Hart (2-0) carried a shutout into the eighth inning and sophomore Kyle Schwarber went 4-for-5 with two RBI to power the Hoosiers (8-3) to a 7-4 victory over Florida (8-9) to claim the rubber match of the teams’ series on Sunday afternoon at McKethan Stadium.
Junior Dustin DeMuth (3-for-4) and redshirt sophomore Scott Donley (3-for-4, two RBI) each had three hits as part of IU’s 14-hit offensive attack. The Gators battled back with four runs with two down in the eighth and were led at the plate by senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.), who went 3-for-4.
“Credit Indiana, they played really well,” Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “They jumped out to an early lead again. Their pitcher did a nice job; kept the ball down in the strike zone and didn’t walk many. We hit into three double plays and that indicates he kept the ball down. But, credit them [Indiana], they deserved to win the series, they played really well today.”
“I thought Eric [Hanhold] threw the ball well. Sometimes the line doesn’t always say how a guy threw. I liked his demeanor, his aggressiveness, and the ball was coming out of his hand well. They are a good hitting team and we knew that going in. They’re [Indiana] going to give a lot of people trouble this year; I’ve been around this league for six years and I know what a good hitting club looks like.”
Schwarber provided the Hoosiers with a quick lead in the first inning against freshman Eric Hanhold (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (0-1) with a one-out homer over the right-field fence. It was the third round-tripper of the year for Schwarber and marked the third day in a row that Indiana plated a run in the opening frame.
DeMuth began the second with a Texas Leaguer into center field and was sacrificed into scoring position by sophomore Chris Sujka. Sophomore Chad Clark roped a two-out single into left field but DeMuth was gunned down at the plate on a relay from sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) to sophomore catcher Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) to keep the score at 1-0.
Indiana extended its margin to 3-0 in the third inning on an RBI triple by sophomore Sam Travis (1-for-2, two runs) and a run-scoring single by Donley. Schwarber had singled with one down and Travis notched his first triple into the left-field corner to score his teammate. Donley followed with a base-knock up the middle to drive in Travis for the three-run cushion. Senior Michael Basil advanced Donley to second with a ground ball and Hanhold retired DeMuth on a grounder to complete the stanza.
Florida put a pair of runners aboard in the third with two down, as senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) was hit by a pitch and sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) drew a walk. Hart induced a grounder by freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) that forced Dent at third base for the final out.
The Hoosiers added two more runs in the fifth to take a 5-0 lead. Senior Justin Cureton (1-for-4, two runs) led off with a walk, ending the afternoon for Hanhold (4.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R). Freshman Parker Danciu (Delray Beach, Fla.) had Schwarber pop-up to Ramjit for the first out and Cureton swiped second base. After an intentional walk to Travis, Donley roped a double to left field to score Cureton for a 4-0 lead. After Basil was walked intentionally to re-load the bags, DeMuth lofted a sacrifice fly into center field to plate Travis with the fifth run.
Redshirt freshman Aaron Rhodes (Venice, Fla.) took over for Danciu (1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R) with one down in the sixth and plunked Clark. After having Cureton fly out to center field, Rhodes (0.1 IP) was replaced by sophomoreBobby Poyner (Wellington, Fla.). Schwarber greeted the reliever with a single and went to second on the relay throw, with Clark taking third. An intentional walk to Travis filled the bags with two down and Poyner had Donley fly out to center field.
Redshirt sophomore Will Nolden expanded Indiana’s lead to 6-0 with a two-out RBI single up the middle in the seventh off freshman Mike Vinson (Miami, Fla.) that plated DeMuth. Vinson had replaced Poyner (0.1 IP, 1 H) at the outset of the inning and DeMuth had a one-out single before stealing second and going to third on a grounder by sophomore pinch hitter Ricky Alfonso.
A one-out double in the eighth by Cureton, prompted a pitching change, with sophomore Corey Stump(Lakeland, Fla.) replacing Vinson (1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R). Schwarber collected his fourth hit with an RBI double to score Cureton for a 7-0 margin.
In the bottom of the inning, Florida answered with two-out RBI singles by Bader, Shafer and Ramjit to narrow the gap to 7-4. With one down, sophomore Mike Fahrman (Tampa, Fla.) reached on an error in his first career at bat and Turgeon delivered a two-out single for two Gators aboard. Bader sliced a base-hit down the left-field line to score Fahrman and Shafer followed with a single into right field to score Turgeon. Freshman Scott Effross came in for Hart (7.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 0 ER) and uncorked a wild pitch that enabled Bader to score. After Gushue drew a walk, Ramjit stroked an RBI single into center field that plated Shafer for a 7-4 count. Effross had freshman pinch hitter Christian Dicks (Jacksonville, Fla.) pop up to second base to strand the runners.
The Gators will host No. 5 Florida State (15-0) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the first of three regular-season meetings.