BOZICH: Indiana Strikes First, Defeats Louisville, 2-0 - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH: Indiana Strikes First, Defeats Louisville, 2-0

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VIDEO: Post-game report with UofL & IU reaction -CLICK HERE

VIDEO: Steve Andress one-on-one with IU head coach Tracy Smith - CLICK HERE

OMAHA, Neb. (WDRB) – Baseball America magazine ranked all eight teams in the NCAA College World Series in seven categories. This is where the magazine ranked the Hoosiers in starting pitching – seventh, ahead of only Mississippi State.

This is what Indiana starter Joey DeNato did to the University of Louisville in the World Series opener between the Hoosiers and Cardinals at TD Ameritrade Stadium Saturday:

He limited the Cardinals to four hits, three singles, while throwing a complete game shutout – and 136 determined pitches.

"I guess no matter what I don't think we ever have to see him again because we're in the same bracket," U of L coach Dan McDonnell said. "So that's the bright spot."

It was a major bounce-back performance by the left-handed DeNato. He pitched only three innings during Indiana's Super Regional opener against Florida State, walking four while allowing only a single hit.

DeNato has now pitched 13 scoreless innings against Louisville this season. He pitched the first four when IU defeated the Cards in the season opener for both teams on Feb. 15. Not bad for 5-foot-10 junior who was not selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft last week.

IU has now won three of four against the Cardinals this season. Louisville will play Oregon State Monday at 3 p.m. (EDT) in an elimination game. Indiana faces Mississippi State Monday at 8 p.m.

HOW THEY SCORED: Indiana jumped ahead with a single run in the first and added another in the third. Scott Donley singled home Kyle Schwarber with two outs in the first. Michael Basil drove in Will Nolden when he singled to left with the bases loaded for the second run.

STRANGE BUT TRUE: Donley and Basil drove in the runs  for the Hoosiers in the season-opening 2-0 win over Louisville. "We were talking about that on the bench," IU catcher Kyle Schwarber said. "That's really different."

DON'T RUN ON ME: Both teams had outfielders who showed they can throw the ball hard and with accuracy.

Coco Johnson, U of L's left fielder, threw a strike to get Schwarber and kill the Indiana rally in the third. Indiana right fielder Will Nolden matched Johnson's peg when he retired Sutton Whiting at home after a single by Cole Sturgeon in the bottom of the third.

Whiting had no chance. He had barely reached third base when Nolden fielded the ball. But Whiting was not given the stop sign by U of L third base coach Chris Lemonis.

McDonnell said he was fine with the decision.

"No," McDonnell said. "It's two out and 99 percent of the time we're going to send the guy with two outs ... we're trying to be aggressive and just didn't get a lot of opportunities to score tonight."

HITTING MACHINE: Schwarber, Indiana's junior catcher, has played his way into the discussion for top 10 college players for the 2014 season. He's been a hitting machine for the Hoosiers, starting the College World Series with a .376 batting – and he lined singles in his first two at bats Saturday night.

Schwarber committed to Indiana during the summer before his junior year at Middletown (Ohio) High School. His only other scholarship offers were from Miami (Ohio) and Cincinnati. Schwarber was not drafted after high school.

The Cards silenced Schwarber after his first two at bats, striking him out swinging three straight times.

WILD THING: McDonnell calls his starting pitcher Chad Green his strike thrower. That's a major reason Green has been the Cardinals' top starter all season.

Green didn't start the game throwing strikes Saturday night. He walked Will Nolden, Indiana's leadoff hitter. He was behind in the count to two other IU hitters while allowing two singles and a run. Green needed 24 pitches to get through the inning – and 18 more to survive the second when he walked another IU hitter.

Control problems drove Green from the mound in the third. He walked Nolden again, allowed a single by Kyle Schwarber and then walked Sam Travis. McDonnell replaced him with Cody Ege, who got through the inning only allowing one more turn.

McDonnell said he told Green to forget about it. "I went out there early to take the ball from him and just said, 'Hey, we're going to need you. So get your rehab in and get right, and hopefully we'll be using him here in a few days."

HOMEGROWN HOOSIERS: Indiana coach Tracy Smith has worked Ohio, Illinois and California hard while building his program, but there's a solid Indiana presence on the Hoosiers. Five starters played high school baseball in Indiana:

Right-fielder Will Nolden (Lawrence North); designated hitter Scott Donley (Crown Point); third baseman Dustin DeMuth (LaPorte); left fielder Casey Smith (Bloomington North) and center fielder Justin Cureton (Indianapolis Cathedral).

DO IT AGAIN? – These two teams have now played four times – and they could play one or even two more if Louisville can make its way through the losers' bracket.

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