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Nine-Run First Inning Advances Hoosiers to Regional Championship

Indiana utility man Matt Lloyd went 3-for-4 with a home run, double and three RBI’s in the Hoosiers 9-7 win over Texas A&M Sunday. Lloyd also came on and picked up the last four outs on the mound to earn the save for Indiana (Mark Timko/HN)

Texas A&M jumped all over Indiana baseball during the Austin Regional opener on Friday, by putting up seven runs in the fourth inning and sending the Hoosiers to the losers bracket.

Sunday, in an elimination game the Hoosiers and Aggies faced off again and Indiana made sure to return the favor. The Indiana offense sent 13 men to the plate in the first inning and scored nine runs on eight hits.

Those first inning runs was the only scoring Indiana did in the game, but it was enough to get past the Aggies, 9-7, and set up a date with Texas in the regional championship.

“Man, thank God for the first inning for us. We were able to score nine and hang on the rest of the way,” IU coach Chris Lemonis said. “A great effort by Texas A&M and it was tight all the way to the finish. But, sometimes we preach to our guys you can win it in the first inning and we were able to do that today.”

The first five Hoosier hitters reached safely in the game as they jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. Indiana’s first out of the game was a RBI sac fly from Ryan Fineman to push the fourth run across the plate for the Hoosiers.

Then the power kicked in for Indiana, Scotty Bradley’s 2-run home run made it a 6-0 game and forced a Texas A&M pitching change after 1/3 of an inning.

Four batters later, Matt Lloyd picked up his second hit of the inning, a 3-run home run, to push the lead to 9-0.

“The whole season we’ve had one word, and that’s just: respond,” starting pitcher Cameron Beauchamp said. “We’ve responded a lot through the season and that just shows. Us coming back from the loss on Friday and getting the one yesterday, and then getting the win today it just shows that we can respond in any situation.”

After the big first inning, Indiana had some flexibility with its starting pitching. Beauchamp took the mound with a nine-run cushion and was able to get through 4.2 innings, battling the Texas heat.

The Aggie offense continued to chip away after being down nine runs to open up the game and put up five runs on 10 hits against Beauchamp.

“I just went out there and it’s 100 degrees, but the thoughts that went through my head was just keep competing, keep making pitches,” Beauchamp said. “Being up It lets you settle down a little bit, but the nerves still got to me and they got to the first.”

Texas A&M tallied 17 hits and nine doubles throughout the game as the Indiana offense went scoreless in the final eight frames. But the Hoosier pitching staff did a decent job of limiting the damage as the Aggies left nine runners on base.

Once Beauchamp’s day was done, Lemonis turned the ball over to Tim Herrin who allowed just one run in three innings of work.

Lloyd came in with two outs in the eighth, the game-tying run at the plate, and locked down the Aggies. He did allow a run to score in the ninth, but picked up the game winning double play ball to give Indiana the win.

“Pretty good day by Matt Lloyd and I was worried with all the heat and everything,” Lemonis said. “We talked about bringing him in in the eighth and just bringing Timmy (Herrin) back out there and using him in the jam. He does a lot of great things for us.”

The Hoosiers will have a quick turnaround as first pitch against the Longhorns is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET tonight.

Indiana will have to beat No. 1 Texas twice in order to advance to the super regional. The Longhorns beat Texas Southern 10-0 in the opening round of the tournament, Texas A&M 8-3 last night and are one win away from a regional championship.

“It is hot, but we managed the championship arena,” Lemonis said. “We’ve prayed for it all year long. So, I think those guys will be ready, probably a little fatigued or whatever, but you just have to fight through it.”

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

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