Jordan Wells / TheHoosier.com
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – For the second time this season, a travel curfew resulted in a tie.
Indiana and Nebraska tied 1-1 after 11 innings Sunday afternoon in the third game of the series due to a travel 3:20 p.m. ET travel curfew for the Huskers. Indiana's own travel curfew resulted in a 6-6 tie in the series finale against Florida Atlantic in late February.
“First tie, it was like I don't know if I ever had a tie,” IU head coach Chris Lemonis said. “Then to have two in a year, disappointing.”
Sophomore right-hander Pauly Milto kept the game competitive for the Hoosiers (14-11-2, 3-2-1 Big Ten), tossing five strikeouts while allowing just one earned run off seven hits in 6.1 innings.
“Pauly was great,” Lemonis said. “I thought that was the best he had thrown in our program. I’m excited for that, to see him and see him pitch and command the zone. He just had good stuff all day.”
Combined with freshman lefty Austin Foote’s strikeout and one hit allowed in one inning of relief and junior right-hander Matt Lloyd’s two strikeouts and one hit allowed in 3.2 innings of closing work, it was a solid outing for Indiana’s pitching staff as a whole.
However, the staff couldn’t get backed up on the multiple opportunities it gave Hoosier hitters against Nebraska (15-10-1, 2-0-1).
Indiana loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth, but freshman infielder Matt Gorski struck out for the final out of the inning, Hoosiers unable to plate a run that inning which would’ve given them the lead as a result.
In the bottom of the sixth, senior outfielder Craig Dedelow flied out to the warning track at center, but sophomore third infielder Luke Miller hit a blooper to right to reach first. Lloyd followed with a single of his own to advance Miller to third and put runners on the corners. Indiana finally broke that inning off junior outfielder Logan Sowers’ RBI double to center which tied it at 1-1.
Defensively, Foote forced a groundout in the top of the seventh to get the runner at home and keep the score tied. Stratten scooped up the ground ball and fired it back to Fineman for the tag to prevent the run from scoring.
Offensively, Indiana loaded the bases twice but came away with zero runs each time. The Hoosiers left 11 runners on base overall.
“No one likes ties,” Sowers said. “We tied FAU earlier this year. It’s just disappointing, because you look back on the game and there’s plenty of times we could’ve scored the extra run. It’s just frustrating.”
Sowers’ performance at the plate was a bright spot for the Hoosiers. Entering the contest hitting .211, he hit 3 for 5 with an RBI Sunday afternoon.
“Wasn’t the start that I was hoping to have to the season, but the last couple of weeks I felt like I put some good swings on balls [and am] getting my confidence up,” Sowers said. “I feel really good about that.”
Although disappointed with the tie, Sowers, Lemonis and the rest of the Hoosiers have a chance to quickly move on from it with Tuesday’s 6:05 p.m. ET home contest against Ball State.
“Yeah, that’s the nice thing about baseball,” Sowers said. “We have the rest of the day off, we have tomorrow off, and then we get right back after it. We can get in the cages and get our swings right and get back out there.”
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