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Hoosier Baseball Report: IU Continues to Claim Big Ten Series

Another week, and another Big Ten series victory for Indiana.

Somewhat lost in all of the commotion surrounding Bob Knight’s visit to Bart Kaufman Field on Saturday was this — IU won their third straight series in the Big Ten and the Hoosiers now share the league lead with seven victories.

This team isn’t perfect.  IU is struggling with their mid-week pitching rotation, have been bad at times in the field, and they aren’t hitting opposing Friday aces.

But on the whole Indiana is strong both at the plate and on the mound.  Sitting at 19-12 overall and 7-2 in the Big Ten, the Hoosiers have built up a respectable early resume and have a strong foundation to build from over the final six weeks of the regular season.

WEEK IN REVIEW

Wright State 15  Indiana 4

Head coach Jeff Mercer’s meeting with his alma mater and former team didn’t go well.  The Raiders scored early and often against Indiana pitching, leaving the Hoosiers in catch up mode throughout.  A six run Wright State eighth inning finally eliminated all doubt.

Three Hoosier home runs produced all of the scoring for Indiana in this one.  Cole Barr hit a solo homer to center in the second inning, Matt Gorski hit a solo shot to center in the sixth, and Scotty Bradley hit a two run homer to right in the seventh.

Seven different IU pitchers appeared in the game, and none were particularly effective.  Wright State had 14 hits and drew eight walks.  Indiana also committed two errors and had three wild pitches in a sloppy effort.

Penn State 3  Indiana 0

Nittany Lion starter Dante Biasi was locked in from the start as he held Indiana to just two hits while allowing only one walk and striking out nine.

A Matt Lloyd double in the first inning was the only time IU got a base runner past first base for the entire game.  Bradley had the only other hit for IU.  Both Lloyd and Bradley reached base twice as each was also hit by a pitch.

Pauly Milto was once again the tough luck loser.  The Hoosier ace gave IU six strong innings, allowing six hits, two walks and just one earned run while striking out eight.

Indiana 5  Penn State 3

With a buzz in the air related to Bob Knight’s appearance at the game, the Hoosiers got back to their winning ways in the first game of a double header.  IU gave away an early three run lead, but timely hitting in the eighth gave the Hoosiers another Big Ten victory.

The red hot Matt Lloyd kept things rolling with a three-run bomb in the third to give IU a 3-0 lead.  Elijah Dunham, Scotty Bradley and Wyatt Cross each had two hits in the game.  Cole Barr delivered the game-winning run in the eighth with a double to center that scored Dunham.

Starter Tanner Gordon wasn’t as sharp as he had been in recent weeks, but he was still effective, allowing three earned runs in six innings of work.  Tommy Sommer saw his first work in a month, returning from injury to throw two scoreless innings and pick up the win.  Matt Lloyd pitched the ninth and earned the save.

Indiana 3  Penn State 2

IU rallied in game two of the doubleheader and earned the series win.  A crowd of nearly 3,000 enjoyed a beautiful evening in Bloomington as the Hoosiers won their third straight conference series after trailing 2-0 early.

A three-run fifth inning would be all that IU needed in this one.  A Matt Gorski double drove in Wyatt Cross and got IU on the board, and a Matt Lloyd single to center brought home two more.  Cole Barr and Cross delivered the only other hits in the game for IU.  Drew Ashley reached base twice.

Starter Andrew Saalfrank hit the double digit strikeout mark for the third time in his last four starts.  The lefty went seven innings, allowing just two earned runs while striking out 13.  Grant Sloan and Matt Lloyd both threw hitless innings of relief, with Lloyd earning an unusual two saves in one day.  Lloyd struck out the side to close out the game.

STATISTICAL LEADERS

Here are Indiana’s statistical leaders through 31 contests:

WHAT’S ON DECK

The Hoosiers remain at the friendly confines of Bart Kaufman Field in Bloomington to face arch-rival Purdue on Wednesday before a unique series with Evansville that will see both teams play host over the course of four games in three days.

  • Wednesday:  vs. Purdue, 7:05 p.m.
  • Friday:  at Evansville, 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday:  vs. Evansville (double header), 2:05 p.m.
  • Sunday:  vs. Evansville, 1:05 p.m.

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