Credit: Rebecca Mehling/Indiana Athletics

Hoosier Baseball Report: Indiana Alone on Top of Big Ten

Another week, and Indiana claims another series in the Big Ten.

A cold and rainy weekend in East Lansing gave way to a nice Sunday afternoon and the Hoosiers left with two of three games against Michigan State as they ran their record to 27-13 overall and 9-3 in league play.

The series win was the fourth in four tries in the Big Ten for IU.  The Hoosiers still have a long way to go in the regular season conference race — but for now they stand alone at the top, percentage points in front of Nebraska.

Indiana will face four of the better teams in the Big Ten in the final four weeks of the season in Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan and Rutgers.  If Indiana wins the regular season league crown, they will have certainly earned it.

With a dominant pitching staff and a number of explosive bats at the plate, the Hoosiers have put themselves in position to be strong contenders for the title down the stretch.

(Update:  Indiana entered the D1 Baseball Top 25 on Monday morning.)

WEEK IN REVIEW

Indiana 14  Ball State 3

IU wasted no time adding to its best in the nation home run total.  By the time the evening was over the Hoosiers had hit five bombs as they jumped all over Ball State and extended their win streak to eight games.

Each of Matt Gorski, Matt Lloyd, Scotty Bradley, Cole Barr and Sam Crail homered on the night for IU.  Gorski’s blast was a grand slam.  Lloyd and Barr each hit their team leading 13th long ball on the night.  Bradley had three hits and drove in three while scoring twice.

That Gorski grand slam was a no-doubter.  Watch the left fielder:

Tommy Sommer continued his strong return from injury with a second consecutive quality appearance.  Sommer started and went six innings, allowing four hits and two runs while striking out ten.

Indiana 13  Michigan State 4

IU made it nine in a row on the road against Michigan State.  A chilly 41 degree night in East Lansing couldn’t slow down Indiana’s hot bats.  The Hoosiers produced 15 hits and drew nine walks on their way to a dominating win that was broken open with eight total runs in the fifth and sixth innings.

Six different Hoosier hitters had at least two hits on the night, led by Gorski who went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.  Drew Ashley reached base four times and drove in four runs.  Elijah Dunham and Wyatt Cross each reached base three times and scored every time.  Cross homered.  Grant Richardson reached base three times and scored twice.

IU starter Pauly Milto battled the cold and gave up eight hits and four earned runs in seven innings of work.  He struck out seven on the night while walking none and picked up his sixth win of the season.

Michigan State 5  Indiana 3

After Saturday’s contest was rained out, the Spartans picked up a win in the first game of a Sunday double header.  IU took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh before a five run inning catapulted MSU to its lone win of the series.

Matt Lloyd continued his torrid pace with two hits, a run, and an RBI.  Justin Walker hit a solo home run, his first of the season.  Matt Gorski reached twice and scored a run.

Starter Tanner Gordon was dominant through five innings, giving up just two hits and striking out seven.  Gordon was hit hard by a line drive off his arm in the fifth, and although he closed out the inning, he did not return.  Indiana went back to Sommer and the left-hander got tagged for four earned runs in the seventh.

Indiana 11  Michigan 2

IU capped off the series with another outburst at the plate, and another dominating pitching performance by Andrew Saalfrank left no doubt.

Matt Gorski finished off a huge week with a 3-for-6 day with four RBIs and two runs scored.  His day included a home run, his tenth of the season.  Justin Walker and Wyatt Cross also added long balls on the day.  Lloyd had three more hits and reached base four times.  Scotty Bradley reached base three times.  Cross and Elijah Dunham each drove in two runs.

Saalfrank continued his incredible run, giving up just two hits and a run in seven innings of work while striking out 11 and walking just one.  The lefty has double digit strikeouts in five of his last six starts.  He has averaged more than 12 strikeouts per start over his last four.

SEASON TO DATE STATISTICAL LEADERS

Here are Indiana’s year to date leaders through 40 games:

WHAT’S ON DECK

IU will make their annual trip to Indianapolis to play at Victory Field this week before returning home for a weekend Big Ten series.

  • Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. vs. Ball State at Indianapolis (Victory Field)
  • Friday, 6:05 p.m. vs. Minnesota
  • Saturday, 2:05 p.m. vs. Minnesota
  • Sunday, 12:05 p.m. vs. Minnesota

You can follow us on Twitter:  @daily_hoosier

Find us on Facebook:  thedailyhoosier

The Daily Hoosier –“Where Indiana fans assemble when they’re not at Assembly”

Want to receive all of our content via one e-mail in your inbox every day?  It’s free.  Join our daily mailing list here.

Please consider supporting The Daily Hoosier by shopping on Amazon via this link to the Amazon home page or through the ad below.

%d bloggers like this: