Free Mother Bear's snack packs for all in attendance! That's right! If the Hoosier pitchers combine to strike out 12 or more batters, everyone in attendance gets a free snack pack. Today was one of those days. As we've come to expect from Eric Arnett, he shut down the Penn State bats while striking out 7 through 6.2 innings of work. Joey O'Gara relieved Arnett in the 7th and struck out 3 in 1.1 innings pitched, giving up just a single in the 7th that proved to be the Nittany Lions' final hit of the game. With an inning to play, the Hoosiers needed to strike out 2 for everyone to go home with free Mother Bear's snack packs. With the 15-1 victory, Arnett moved to 8-1 on the year and lowered his ERA to 1.94.
Coach Tracy Smith went to freshman left-hander Drew Leininger in the 9th. After striking out the first batter, Leininger hit the #9 hitter to bring speedy leadoff hitter Blake Lynd to the plate. Leininger proceeded to induce what looked to be a game ending double play ball, but Lynd beat the throw at first as the Hoosier faithful cheered with approval (because they wanted their snack packs), giving Leininger and the Hoosiers another shot to record that elusive 12th strikeout. With the Nittany Lions' #2 hitter at the plate with a full count, the crowd was as loud as you could ever hope for in a 15-1 game. Leininger threw a perfect change-up to get him swinging as the crowd erupted behind him.
While it was an impressive offensive performance all the way around for IU, Jake Dunning and Evan Crawford definitely led the way. Dunning went 3 for 4 with 2 homeruns and 4 RBIs while Crawford went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles and 5 RBIs as well as his 17th and 18th stolen bases of the season.
This was a key win for the Hoosiers as it set the stage for the team to take the series with a win in Game 3. Although Arnett was unable to keep his impressive complete game streak going, it was great to see O'Gara and Leininger come in and throw 2.1 innings of solid scoreless relief. IU will definitely need to continue to get this type of performance from the bullpen as they simply cannot rely on Monar, Arnett and Bashore to throw complete games or near complete games every weekend.