Indiana knocks off Austin Peay for second time to win first regional title
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Catcher Kyle Schwarber homered, Justin Cureton made a critical leaping catch and Indiana earned its first regional title by beating Austin Peay for the second consecutive night, winning 6-1 in the championship of the Bloomington Regional on Sunday.
The Hoosiers (46-14) will play Florida State in next week's Super Regional in Tallahassee.
"With every step we take, it seems like we're making history with Indiana baseball," Hoosiers coach Tracy Smith said. "It's fun. That was certainly a memorable evening for us."
Indiana got three runs in the first inning on Schwarber's solo shot to right field and RBI singles by Michael Basil and Casey Smith.
That run support proved to be plenty for the Indiana pitching staff, which allowed only six hits and struck out eight. The pitchers got plenty of help from their defense, especially from Cureton, who robbed P.J. Torres of a three-run homer with a difficult catch over the wall in the second.
Both coaches said afterward that Cureton's catch won the game for Indiana.
"I've been watching a lot of baseball on TV," Smith said. "I don't know that I've seen a catch like that. It was a great catch because he got over the wall, it's an even greater catch because it was just a fearless effort. At that point, he was selling himself out."
Austin Peay coach Gary McClure also praised Cureton's grab.
"He saved the game for them," McClure said. "It ripped our hearts out and was a huge plus for them."
The Governors (47-15) threatened briefly in the sixth inning when they loaded the bases with one out. Michael Davis walked against Luke Harrison to score Austin Peay's only run and then Torres struck out.
That prompted Smith to make an early call for closer Ryan Halstead, who struck out Matt Wollenzin to end the inning. Halstead worked the final 3 1-3 scoreless frames.
"We felt like the game at that point was going to be decided in that inning," Smith said. "So rather than make the close decision in the ninth, we felt it was there."
Six Indiana players made the All-Tournament team, including Sam Travis, who was named the regional's most outstanding player. Travis went 2-for-4 with a double on Sunday.