Indiana Baseball: Big Ninth Inning Finishes Off Ball State at Victory Field

After yielding 14 runs to Indiana last week, Ball State’s pitchers appeared to have done enough on Tuesday night in Indianapolis to give them a chance in the bottom of the ninth.

And then the top of the ninth happened on a crisp night at Victory Field in front of 2,441 fans.

Carrying a delicate 4-3 lead into the final inning, Indiana exploded for five runs, making the Cardinal bottom half of the final inning a mere formality.

It was a little bit of everything in that top half of the ninth, including hits, walks, hit batters and wild pitches for the Hoosiers.

IU got their first run in the ninth off of a wild pitch as Cole Barr scored on the Cardinal miscue with no outs.

Then with one out, Drew Ashley, Matt Gorski and Matt Lloyd put the game out of reach with back-to-back-to-back hits, all with the bases loaded, to extend a 5-3 lead to the final score of 9-3.

Seven different Hoosiers had at least one hit on the night, including five with two hits.

Ball State controlled things early and carried a 3-1 lead into the fifth inning.  An Elijah Dunham two-run homer tied the game in the fifth, and then a Grant Richardson RBI single gave IU the 4-3 lead that they carried into the ninth.

Starter Gabe Bierman had what head coach Jeff Mercer referred to as a quality start after the game, going five innings and giving up just two earned runs while striking out six.

Connor Manous, Matt Lloyd and Braden Scott managed to hold things down the rest of the way, as Ball State didn’t score after the third inning.

Indiana (28-13) has now won 11 of its last 12 games.  The Hoosiers will host last year’s Big Ten champion Minnesota for a weekend series starting on Friday.

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