ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Just when another great outing by McCade Brown looked like it was going to go to waste, Indiana rallied late with a six-run eighth inning to beat Michigan 13-8 on Saturday at Ray Fisher Field.
It was a much-needed victory for the Hoosiers after they fell out of first place in the Big Ten on Friday after a seven-run loss to Michigan in the series opener.
But they jumped back ahead of the Wolverines thanks to another terrific outing from Brown and a bunch of runs late with Michigan's bullpen collapsed.
After Friday's seven-run beatdown, it was important for Indiana to get off to a good start against Michigan pitcher Cameron Weston, who threw a one-hit complete game last week at Michigan State. They did just t hat, with the rally starting in the third inning when Drew Ashley hit a triple high off the right-field wall.
He scored when Paul Toetz reached on a throwing error by Michigan third baseman Christian Molfetta. Cole Barr then had an RBI single and Kip Fougerousse tripled high off the left-field will to drive in Barr and Morgan Colopy, who had singled.
Grant Richardson broke the game open in the seventh with a towering three-run home run to right field, making it 7-0.
Last weekend, Brown threw six perfect innings against Rutgers, but got knicked up a bit in the seventh and left the game without getting a win. He was great through six innings again here against Michigan, allowing just a walk, a hit batsman and a double.
But Michigan made it interesting in the bottom of the seventh, scoring five runs. They chased Brown after he allowed a single, walk and double to start the inning. John Modugno came out of the bullpen, but he allowed a walk and three singles to make it 7-5.
Indiana immediately answered in the top of the eighth, though, as the Michigan bullpen imploded. The Hoosiers scored six runs in the inning, with Wolverines relievers walking four batters and hitting another. All five of them scored to blow the game open.
Cole Barr had an RBI single, and Kip Fougerousse drove in two runs with a single of his own. Fougerousse, who came into the game hitting just .195, was 3-for-5 on the day, and had a career-high four RBIs.
Braydon Tucker came in to pitch the ninth and gave up about a thousand feet of fly balls, but retired the side in order to end the game. Center fielder Grant Richardson made a spectacular diving catch for the first out.
Brown is now 5-2 on the season, with a 3.22 ERA. He had seven strikeouts on the day, and 84 for the season, which is fourth in the Big Ten.
Indiana will attempt to win the series on Sunday, with Gabe Bierman taking the mound. Bierman is 5-2 on the season with a league-leading 2.26 ERA. He has been a Sunday stud for the Hoosiers. He's 4-0 in his last five starts, allowing just five runs in 35 2/3 innings, good for a 1.26 ERA. Michigan will counter with left-hander Jacob Denner (3-3, 4.22 ERA)
Related stories on Indiana baseball
- TOM BREW COLUMN: Can the Hoosiers bounce back from the worst blowout loss of the season. CLICK HERE
- MICHIGAN WINS SERIES OPENER (Friday): Michigan puts up a couple of crooked numbers and blows out Indiana 10-3, the Hoosiers worst loss of the season. CLICK HERE
- ASHLEY THE SPARK: Indiana's offense has been in high gear lately, and it starts at the top with leadoff man Drew Ashley, who's having another exceptional season. CLICK HERE
- PITCHERS GOOD TO GO: Despite some high pitch counts last weekend, Indiana coach Jeff Mercer says his three starters – Tommy Sommer, McCade Brow and Gabe Bierman — are all fresh and ready to go this weekend against Michigan. CLICK HERE
- BIG TEN STANDINGS, SCHEDULE: Indiana took a half-game lead in the Big Ten, barely ahead of Nebraska and Michigan. Here's the latest, plus this weekend's critical schedule. CLICK HERE
- INDIANA SCHEDULE: Here is Indiana's complete schedule for the season, including links to game stories from Tom Brew for every game this season. CLICK HERE