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Friday March 8, 2013Indiana Takes Series Opener Over Florida Baseball, 4-1

Gainesville, Fla.

Indiana junior left-hander Joey DeNato (2-1) allowed one run over 7.1 innings, redshirt sophomore Scott Donley (2-for-5) drove in two runs and sophomore Kyle Schwarber went 4-for-4 to lead the Hoosiers (7-2) to a series-opening 4-1 win over Florida (7-8) on Friday night at McKethan Stadium. IU claimed the first meeting between the programs on the diamond since 1956 to increase their winning streak to five games and also ended the Gators’ streak of four victories.


“The starting pitcher for Indiana [Joey DeNato] did a really nice job; he kept us off-balance,” Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “We had a nice opportunity there in the [third inning] with the bases loaded and with one out, and at that time it was a 1-1 ballgame, and we struck out; we need to put the ball in play. That’s been a thing that’s been hurting us all year long; we have to do a better job.”


“He [DeNato] made some big pitches, he pitched with a fastball; after that at-bat to [Justin] Shafer, he went to his fastball and located it and did a nice job and it probably saved them an inning or two. He did a really nice job; we knew going in that Indiana had a really good team; we knew their two and three-hole hitters were really good; obviously tonight you saw that, they got over half of their hits. They earned it tonight; they played really well.”


Indiana grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning against junior Jonathon Crawford (Okeechobee, Fla.) (0-2) on an RBI single by Donley. Schwarber and sophomore Sam Travis (3-for-5) had consecutive one-out singles and Donley followed with a base-hit into left field to open the scoring.


After Crawford retired the Hoosiers in order in the second and had a pair of strikeouts, senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) (2-for-4) tied the game with a leadoff homer to left field just inside of the foul pole. It was his second round-tripper of the year, first since Feb. 19 at UCF, and extended his hitting streak to six games.


"He (Indiana’s Joey DeNato) pitched well,” Ramjit said. “He threw everything for strikes. We swung at some pitches that we probably shouldn't have. We attacked, but didn't execute like we needed to.”


The Gators loaded the bases in the third on back-to-back singles by senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) and sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (2-for-4) and a walk on a 12-pitch at bat to sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.). DeNato kept the contest deadlocked by striking out Ramjit and having sophomore Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) fly out to right field.


IU used four-straight singles in the fifth to build a 3-1 advantage. Redshirt sophomore Will Nolden (2-for-4) had a one-out single into left center, senior Justin Cureton (1-for-3, two runs) singled into left field and Schwarber moved the Hoosiers back in front with a base-knock up the middle that scored Nolden and advanced Cureton to third base on a bobble by freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.). Soon after, a bouncing single to third by Travis drove in Cureton. Crawford worked out of further trouble by having Donley and senior Michael Basil ground out.


Cureton drew a one-out walk in the seventh, ending the night for Crawford. Over a season-high 6.1 innings, the righty yielded nine hits and four runs, with a season-best six strikeouts. Schwarber greeted sophomore reliever Corey Stump (Lakeland, Fla.) with his fourth hit of the game, a single through the right side, and redshirt freshman Aaron Rhodes (Venice, Fla.) was summoned from the bullpen. Travis stroked a single into right field to load the bases and Donley provided the Hoosiers with a 4-1 lead with an RBI single that brought across Cureton. Rhodes had Basil hit into an inning-ending 6-3 double play.


After a one-out single by Ramjit in the eighth, freshman Scott Effross replaced DeNato, who scattered eight hits over 7.1 innings and totaled five strikeouts. The righty had a fielder’s choice by Gushue erase Ramjit at second base and struck out freshman pinch hitter Christian Dicks (Jacksonville, Fla.). Effross pitched a perfect ninth to collect his first collegiate save. The Hoosiers had a 13-8 advantage in hits and each squad committed one error.


Game two of the series at 4 p.m. tomorrow will be available on GatorVision and can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Larry Vettel. In a matchup of right-handers, freshman Tucker Simpson (Oxford, Ala.) (0-1, 4.15) will oppose Hoosier redshirt sophomore Aaron Slegers (1-0, 0.00).


Game Notes

·         Indiana’s win was its first over the Gators in three meetings.

·         Tonight’s loss snapped UF’s four-game winning streak, the team’s longest of the season.

·         Tonight’s game marked the first meeting between the two schools since the 1956 season, when the Orange and Blue swept the Hoosiers in a two-game series in Gainesville. In addition, this was the first time since Feb. 25, 2006, that Florida had faced a team from the Big Ten Conference.

·         Junior Jonathon Crawford fanned six Hoosiers on the night, his most on the 2013 season. It also marked his most strikeouts since he fanned nine Auburn Tigers on May 22, 2012. Crawford pitched a season-high 6.1 innings, as well.

·         Redshirt freshman Aaron Rhodes pitched 2.1 innings, did not surrender a run and struck out a career-best two batters.

·         Sophomore Casey Turgeon went 2-for-4 at the plate against Indiana, his fourth multiple-hit effort of the season.

·         Senior Vickash Ramjit tallied two hits on the night, his sixth-straight game with at least one hit.

·         Freshman Brady Roberson collected a hit for the fourth game in a row, while sophomore Josh Tobias had a hit in his third straight game.


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