Credit - Claire Livingston / IDS

Hoosier Baseball Report: IU Riding Eight Game Winning Streak After Sweep of Iowa

After a choppy start, the Jeff Mercer era is off and running in Bloomington.

After a memorable mid-week game at Indiana State, the Hoosiers got Big Ten play started in style with a three-game sweep of Iowa.

Indiana (15-8) improved to 9-0 at home as they outscored the Hawkeyes 23-4 over the weekend.

The week was highlighted by the continued emergence of freshman outfielder Grant Richardson, who went 8-for-17 (.471) with two home runs and 11 RBIs over the four games.

Now riding an eight game winning streak, the Hoosiers will get one more at home this week before hitting the road as Big Ten play continues over the weekend.

WEEK IN REVIEW

Indiana 15  Indiana State 14

The ball was flying out of the park in Terre Haute.  The Hoosiers and Sycamore combined for 29 runs and 27 hits including an amazing 10 home runs.  IU had just enough in this one as a Cole Barr homer in the top of the ninth gave them the final edge.

Drew Ashley, Ryan Fineman, Elijah Dunham, Richardson and Barr all homered for the Hoosiers.  Fineman had three hits and scored three times.  Dunham and Richardson drove in four runs apiece while Barr added three RBIs.

There obviously weren’t a lot of pitching highlights in this one, but the always reliable Matt Lloyd was finally able to hold things down in the bottom of the ninth for his third save.

Indiana 3  Iowa 2

Who better to have on the mound than Pauly Milto to open Big Ten play?  After the fireworks against ISU, the Hoosiers and Hawkeyes got league play going with a pitchers duel.  IU took a 2-0 lead into the ninth before Iowa tied things up.  But the Hoosiers had the answer in the bottom half as Logan Kaletha delivered the game-winning single to right field.

Ashley delivered two hits for IU.  Barr reached twice and scored twice, including another home run.

Milto carried a shutout into the ninth before Iowa broke through.   He picked up strikeout No. 200 and tied his career high with 10 Ks.  He moved into 8th all-time for career strikeouts at Indiana.

Connor Manous was able to hold things down and get the last two outs in the ninth to set up Kaletha’s heroics.

Indiana 13  Iowa 1

The Hoosier bats returned on Saturday as Indiana exploded for 13 runs and 13 hits in front of a crowd of 2,271.  IU scored two or more runs in each of the 2nd through 6th innings to put the game out of reach.

Richardson continued his impressive play with three hits, four RBIs and three runs.  Matt Gorski homered as part of two hits and three RBIs.  Dunham and Jeremy Houston each had two hits and two RBIs.

Not to be outdone, starter Tanner Gordon was dominant on his way to his first Big Ten win.  The righthander went seven innings, giving up just three hits and one earned run while striking out 12.  It was his second straight strong outing after a slow start.  Gordon has 22 strikeouts over has last two appearances.

Indiana 7  Iowa 1

Indiana finished off the three game sweep of Iowa with another well rounded performance.

The coming out party for Richardson continued.  He delivered three more hits including a home run and three RBIs.  Dunham had two hits including a homer and scored twice.  Kaletha had two hits while Houston had a hit and drove in two.

It was a committee approach as five different Hoosier pitchers contributed to a no earned runs performance.  Andrew Saalfrank, Gabe Bierman, Cal Krueger, Manous and Lloyd all chipped in.

INDIANA STATISTICAL LEADERS

Here are IU’s leaders through 23 games:

WHAT’S ON DECK

Indiana will host Kent State in Bloomington before heading east to Maryland for three games over the weekend:

  • vs. Kent State, March 27, 5:05 p.m.
  • at Maryland, March 29, 6:30 p.m.
  • at Maryland, March 30, 2:00 p.m.
  • at Maryland, March 31, 1:00 p.m.

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