Jordan Fucci takes a swing

Hoosiers go up 2-0 in the pod in an 11-inning classic

Brown perfect through six, Hopkins, Houston, and Fucci produce the big hits for #24 Indiana

by Carl James •@jovian34 • May 8th, 2021

#24 Indiana’s McCade Brown and Rutgers lefty, Ben Wereski were absoultely unhittable to start this game. That is not a figure of speech. There were no hits in this game from either team in the first six innings which only took 75 minutes to play.

Paul Toetz was both the first base runner in the first inning and had the first hit of the game for either team in the top of seventh inning. Grant Richardson pulled a single to right to put runners on the corners with no outs. Richardson advanced to second on a wild pitch to Cole Barr who earned a walk to load the bases with no outs. Morgan Colopy worked the count full and fouled off two pitches before hitting a shallow fly ball that forced Toetz to stay at third. Hopkins immediately hit into an infield flyout. Kip Fougerousse struck out to end the Hoosier threat.

Brown was not only hitless, but perfect through sixth. That ended on solo home run by Mike Nyisztor. Brown then walked the bases loaded but then induced an inning ending double play.

Rutgers went to closer Nate McLain in the eighth who produced a quick 1-2-3 inning. Indiana turned to Grant Macciocchi in the bottom of the inning who allowed one base runner but ended the inning with great play on a swinging bunt.

Toetz and Richardson singled to lead off the ninth inning. After a pitching change the Hoosiers got two outs without advancing the runners. Collin Hopkins came through with an RBI single to tie the game.

Braden Scott pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to extend the game to the 10th inning. In the top of the tenth Jake Skrine pinch hit and got on via a walk. Tank Espalin bunted pinch runner Hunter Jesse over to second. Drew Ashley elevated a pitch to right field that dropped in for a double. Jesse had to hold up to be sure it got on the turf. Rutgers made another pitching change and Jeremy Houston came to the plate and golfed a pitch below the strike zone into centerfield to give the Hoosiers a 3-1 advantage.

Scott came back out for the 10th and walked Chris Brito. He then gave up a single to put two on with nobody out. Kevin Welsh popped up a bunt, but to the absolute perfect spot for a single to load the bases. Scott managed to strikeout the next two bringing up the potential final out in Nyisztor. Nyisztor came through for the Knights with a two RBI single tie the game. Scott ended the inning producing a flyout.

In the top of the 11th, Colopy legged out an infield single. Hopkins bunt fouled out with two strikes trying to move him over. That brought Jordan Fucci to the plate in a left on left matchup. Fucci fouled off five pitches and then hit a blast over the center field fence to give the lead right back to the Hoosiers.

Braydon Tucker got the call in the bottom of the 11th. Rutgers hitters competed tough. One got on via a full count walk, but Tucker was tough and ended the game on strikeout of Danny DiGeorgio. Scott earned the victory and Tucker the save.

#24 Indiana retains first place in the Big Ten. They play second place Nebraska around 3pm EDT on the same field in Piscataway.