It was nearly 3 of a kind for IU's trio of starters this weekend. After both Blake Monar and Eric Arnett turned in complete game performances in the first 2 games of the series, Matt Bashore nearly followed suit with one of his own. The left-hander threw 8.1 innings and struck out 10, giving up 4 runs (only 2 were earned) on 6 hits and 2 walks. Bashore tamed the Hawkeyes for much of the afternoon but was lifted in favor of Chris Squires in the bottom half of the 9th after he surrendered a run on 3 consecutive hits and a walk to load the bases. Fortunately for Bashore and the rest of the Hoosiers, Squires got the first batter he faced to ground into a game-ending double play to secure an 8-4 victory for the Hoosiers.
Four different Hoosiers (Chris Hervey, Alex Dickerson, Kipp Schutz, and Vince Gonzalez) tallied 2 hits apiece, led by Schutz with a double and 2 RBIs. IU only had 8 hits for the game but took advantage of 9 walks (including 3 intentional walks for Alex Dickerson) and 4 stolen bases (led by Evan Crawford's 2) to plate 8 runs against the Hawkeyes.
Bashore struck out a Hawkeye batter in every inning and limited Iowa to only 3 hits prior to the 9th inning to overcome 3 Hoosier errors. After struggling for much of the non-conference season, Bashore has put together 2 strong outings in a row in Big Ten play. If IU can continue to get these kind of performances from its starters, the sky is the limit for this team. It was great to see Bashore put forth another solid effort, and we can only hope this will continue moving forward.
Once again, check out the highlights courtesy of the Big Ten Network.
If you weren't able to catch the game on the Big Ten Network, one of the most entertaining moments actually came from inside the dugout rather than on the field. Someone (another pitcher, but I'll let you all speculate as to who) blew a bubble and put it on the top of Eric Arnett's hat. Arnett didn't know for a couple innings, and he was continually shown on tv. You could see all the other pitchers and nonstarters smiling and laughing behind him as he had no idea the bubble was there. It's great to see the guys having a fun because I think they play better when they are loose.
The win improved IU's record to 6-2 in Big Ten play and 16-17 overall. With a home match-up against Penn State looming ahead next weekend, the Hoosiers will look to move their overall record to .500 and avenge a 5-4 loss that ended with a walk off homer earlier in the year (see box score here) with a midweek game on Wednesday at Ball State. Great weekend for the Hoosiers!