Taylor, Cardinal Rally Past
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. –
Indiana sat four outs away from a claiming the Bloomington
Regional, set to host a Super Regional.
a furious Stanford rally, the No. 4 national seed now faces a
decisive winner-take-all championship game. With six runs over
the final two innings, the Cardinal knocked off the Hoosiers
10-7, setting the stage for a championship game Monday evening
at 5:35 p.m. ET.
came back and we got some big hits,” Stanford coach Mark
Marquess said following the elimination-saving win. “It was just
a great college baseball game, great atmosphere, and we are
fortunate to win.”
Indiana opened the game with three consecutive singles off
Stanford starter Logan James. En route to scoring three runs in
the inning, senior third baseman Dustin DeMuth provided a
Hoosiers (44-14) had little time to enjoy their comfortable
fielder Zach Hoffpauir and catcher Brant Whiting led off the
second with back-to-back home runs for the Cardinal (33-24). The
two blasts were the second time Sunday Stanford hit consecutive
home runs: First baseman Danny Diekroeger and third baseman Alex
Blandino went back-to-back in their 12-4 elimination win over
Youngstown State to advance to take on Indiana.
second ground-rule double in as many innings allowed IU to
expand its lead. Center fielder Tim O’Conner opened the Indiana
second with a one-hopper over the left-field wall. After James
recorded a ground out that advanced O’Conner to third, Indiana
catcher Kyle Schwarber went down on strikes. With Big Ten Player
of the Year Sam Travis at the plate, Marquess called on his
closer AJ Vanegas to keep it a closer game.
told him we were going to go to him early, and there was no
tomorrow and we needed to win today and to keep playing,”
a hot bat into the championship round, two homers in the first
two Regional games, Travis singled up the middle to make it a
Indiana tacked on another run in the fourth. Schwarber picked up
an RBI-single through the left side, scoring O’Conner. The
Hoosiers’ center fielder drew a four-pitch walk with one out,
moving into scoring position on a wild pitch by Venegas before
Schwarber drove in him from third.
another three-run deficit, Stanford repeated what it did the
last time it faced such a hole, scored two runs.
of one-out singles chased Indiana starter Christian Morris,
bringing freshman right-hander Thomas Belcher into the contest.
A sacrifice fly by Blandino scored shortstop Tommy Edman.
Diekroeger scored the second run of the inning on a single to
right field by Austin Slater with the aid of a throwing error
from IU right fielder Will Nolden. With Slater at third
representing the tying run, Indiana called on first-team all-Big
Ten reliever Luke Harrison. The junior right-hander induced a
6-3 putout from Hoffpauir to end the threat.
score held 5-4 in Indiana’s favor until the seventh.
Vanegas’ second four-pitch walk of the
inning, the first erased on a Schwarber 6-4-3 double play, put
Travis on base with two down. Indiana designated hitter Scott
Donley doubled to right center, extending Indiana’s cushion to
would be the last time Indiana would lead, an eighth inning
coming when Stanford grabbed its first lead against the Hoosiers
in 16 innings.
Harrison, still in the game after entering in the fifth, saw
Hoffpauir turn the first pitch back up the middle for a one-out
single. With two outs designated hitter Dominic Jose’s single
put runners on the corners, and IU coach Tracy Smith called on
reliever Jake Kelzer, a sophomore right-hander who closed
Indiana’s Saturday win over Stanford with 1.2 innings.
would be no relief provided in his second outing against the
Pac-12 club. Pinch-hitter Wayne Taylor smashed the second pitch
he saw over the left-center fence, a three-run home run putting
the Cardinal in front 7-6.
actually saw that guy last night in a pinch‑hit situation,”
Taylor said about his ground-rule double off Kelzer. “So I think
Coach just thought it was a good match up. I ended up getting
the barrel on it and driving it pretty well.”
done a great job for us all year,” Smith said of calling on
Kelzer. “The guy hadn't given up a run in a long time, a long
time. So I would do it again.”
Stanford continued racking up extra-base hits in the ninth on
its way to a second three-run inning.
doubled down the left-field line to lead off the inning. After
Blandino singled through the left side to score Edman, Slater
doubled to left-center to score Blandino. With Kelzer unable to
get outs, Indiana turned to sophomore left-hander Will Coursen-Carr.
The southpaw was greeted with a triple to right-center by
Hoffpauir scoring Blandino for a 10-6 edge.
Cardinal encountered a rocky ninth in trying to put away the
Brakeman loaded the bases on three consecutive walks to open to
ninth. Freshman Chris Castellanos was called upon and exchanged
an out for a run on a fielder’s choice by Scott Donley. The
tying run at the plate, Castellanos was able to get DeMuth to
line out to Doran, the second baseman tagging first for a
game-ending double play to close the 10-7 win for the Cardinal.
Pounding out 14 hits, Stanford was led by Slater and Hoffpauir
going 3 for 5 as the four- and five-hole hitters. Indiana’s
2-3-4 hitters, Schwarber, Travis and Donley combined to go 6 for
12. Vanegas held Indiana to two runs and four hits over 5.1
innings, earning a win in his longest outing of the season.
Kelzer surrendered four runs off five hits in two-thirds of an
inning to suffer the loss.
around the game a long time, and there's good wins and there's
tough losses,” Smith said. “This, it's a loss. We're going to go
take a shower, go eat, sleep, get up and come ready to play
baseball. It's pretty simple.”