Credit - Missy Minear - IU Athletics

Hoosier Baseball Report: IU Riding Seven Game Winning Streak

First year Indiana baseball coach Jeff Mercer has the Hoosiers rolling with five weeks remaining in the regular season.

IU added a four game sweep of Evansville over the weekend to a mid-week win over Purdue to run their overall winning streak to seven games.

Now standing at 24-12 on the season, Indiana should be edging closer to a top 25 ranking.  The Hoosiers were 33rd in the RPI before the sweep of Evansville.  The Purple Aces were also a top-40 team.

IU currently sits at 7-2 in the Big Ten, trailing only Nebraska.  The Hoosiers will resume league play this week.

Head coach Jeff Mercer summed up the week:

Video credit – Indiana Sports Beat

WEEK IN REVIEW

Indiana 7  Purdue 6 (10 Innings)

Click here to read our recap of IU’s exciting ten inning walk-off win over Purdue.

Indiana 5  Evansville 0

The series began with a quick game at Evansville on Friday night before the teams headed to Bloomington for the weekend.

IU only had five hits but nine walks provided a boost as the Hoosiers were patient at the plate.  Cole Barr drew four walks and scored a run. Elijah Dunham also walked twice and scored.  Drew Ashley had two hits, and Matt Lloyd hit a solo homer.

Starter Pauly Milto had been a tough luck loser in recent weeks, but he left no doubt in this one, giving up just three hits in eight innings of shutout work.  Connor Manous closed things out with a perfect ninth.

Indiana 5  Evansville 1

Back home at Bart Kaufman Field, some early Hoosier runs via the bat of Matt Lloyd were more than enough as Tanner Gordon provided another brilliant start.

Lloyd doubled in the first inning to bring home Matt Gorski, and then hit a two-run homer in the third to stretch the IU lead to 3-0.  A Cole Barr two-run double in the 7th, his second hit of the game, would cap off the scoring for IU.  Gorski had two hits and scored twice.

Gordon has given up just one earned run in four of his last five starts, with 40 strikeouts in that stretch of games.  He pitched seven innings in this one, giving up just two hits and one earned run while striking out nine.  Gabe Bierman threw two shutout innings of relief to finish things off.

Indiana 9  Evansville 3

Indiana jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first, and another four run outburst in the fifth would be all the Hoosiers needed as the bats came alive in the second game of a Saturday double header.

IU produced 12 hits for the game, with four different players providing two or more.  Drew Ashley was 3-for-5 with a run, and the red hot Matt Lloyd was 3-for-4 with two runs and a RBI.  Freshman Grant Richardson had two hits and drew a walk while contributing three RBIs and two runs.  Justin Walker also had two hits and two RBIs.

Andrew Saalfrank continued his torrid strikeout pace.  The lefty is averaging 13 strikeouts in outings where he pitches six or more innings.  Saalfrank went 7 and 2/3 in this one, giving up five hits and two earned runs while striking out 14.

Indiana 6  Evansville 5 (10 Innings)

The Hoosiers capped off a great week with a bookend walk-off hit in the bottom of the tenth.  Much like the Purdue game, IU fell behind early, rallied to take the lead, only to give it up in the ninth and set up 10th inning walk-off heroics.

Indiana had 13 hits in a rain delayed game.  Drew Ashley, Scotty Bradley, Cole Barr and Grant Richardson all delivered two hits.  Matt Gorski added two runs batted in.  Elijah Dunham and Wyatt Cross both reached based three times as IU drew six walks for the game.

It was Ashley that provided the 10th inning game winner:

After a shaky start from Cam Beauchamp, IU sent a total of seven pitchers to the hill.  Connor Manous, Braden Scott, Gabe Bierman, Grant Sloan and Austin Long were all strong in relief.  Matt Lloyd gave up his first two earned runs of the year in 10 appearances to allow the Evansville ninth inning rally.

YEAR TO DATE STATISTICAL LEADERS

Here are Indiana’s statistical leaders through 36 games:

 

WHAT’S ON DECK

Indiana will remain at home for a mid-week game against Ball State before hitting the road as league play resumes.

  • Tuesday:  vs. Ball State, 6:05 p.m.
  • Friday: at Michigan State, 6:35 p.m.
  • Saturday: at Michigan State, 4:05 p.m.
  • Sunday: at Michigan State, 1:05 p.m.

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