Input your search keywords and press Enter.

Milto’s Complete Game Keeps IU Baseball Alive in NCAA Tournament

Indiana starting pitcher Pauly Milo tossed a complete game shutout Saturday afternoon against Texas Southern in the Austin Regional. IU stayed alive in the NCAA Tournament with the win. (Mark Timko/HN)

With its backs against the wall in the NCAA Tournament, Indiana baseball turned to its most consistent starting pitcher this season, Pauly Milto. And he did not disappoint.

The junior right-hander took care of Texas Southern with ease on Saturday, tossing a complete game shutout and tied his career-high with 10 strikeouts.

The Hoosiers 6-0 win over the Tigers keeps them alive in the Austin Regional and advances them to Sunday.

“It was just a great effort, controlled the lineup and then really helped us out being able to go a complete game shutout at regionals,” IU coach Chris Lemonis said. “I told him that was the best start I’ve seen in four years.”

Milto got better as the game went on. Of his 10 strikeouts, nine of them came in the fourth inning or later and although it was a scorching 100-degrees in Austin Saturday, Milto said the heat helped him stay loose later on in the matchup.

This bounce back starting pitching performance on the mound is exactly what Indiana needed.

After Hoosier ace Jonathan Stiever allowed seven runs and failed to get out of the fourth inning on Friday, Indiana was forced to burn four bullpen arms.

The Hoosier staff gave up 10 runs on 14 hits against the Aggies, but Milto controlled Texas Southern Saturday allowing just four hits all afternoon and giving the bullpen a day off.

With potentially two more elimination games tomorrow against the potent offenses of Texas A&M and Texas, it was important for Milto to toss a complete game and Lemonis said it was huge that he kept the relievers fresh.

“We didn’t even have to crank anyone up. He was that dominant,” Lemonis said. “It was nice to hopefully be able to prepare for tomorrow. And even though everyone is on call when you’re in this situation, but it was nice today to not be able to crank anybody up.”

Indiana’s offense was kept off the board in the first three innings behind Milto, but in the fourth they broke out.

Three straight RBI extra base hits from Ryan Fineman, Justin Walker and Jeremy Houston put Indiana out to 3-0 lead and that’s all Milto would need.

Indiana added two more runs in the fifth via RBI’s from Logan Sowers and Scotty Bradley and in the eighth; Fineman punctuated the scoring with a solo home run.

The Hoosier offense that was held to just three runs on five hits against A&M Friday put up six runs on 11 hits Saturday.

“I thought we had some big two out hits,” Lemonis said. “We were a victim of it the day before and today we were able to get some to spread the game out for us.”

Indiana was expected to win against Texas Southern Saturday and they did exactly that, now the real test restarts again Sunday.

The Hoosiers will play Texas A&M for the second time in the tournament who brought the hammer down on Indiana Friday.

IU will most-likely send junior left-hander Tim Herrin to the mound against the Aggies to see if he can contain the powerful Aggie bats in the elimination game at 3 p.m.

If they win, they’ll play top-seeded Texas at 9 p.m. Sunday night.

Lemonis will have to rely on his fresh bullpen and strong bats to get two wins Sunday and force a championship game Monday against the Longhorns.

Zain Pyarali

I am a junior from Edwardsville, Illinois majoring in Sports Media. I formerly worked for the Indiana Daily Student for two years serving as the Sports Editor and beat reporters for Men’s Basketball, Men’s Soccer, Baseball and Field Hockey during my time with the student newspaper. Currently I am the Men’s Basketball beat reporter for IU Student Television while I also broadcast games for BTN Student U. Email me: zpyarali@thehoosiernetwork.com and follow me on Twitter: @ZainPyarali

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: