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Hoosier Baseball Report: Struggles at the Plate Cost IU First Big Ten Series

Indiana hit the road for a critical three-game series at Illinois this weekend.  Unfortunately it took a couple games for their bats to join them.

After scoring just one run in the first two games of the weekend, IU came alive at the plate on Sunday to avoid the sweep against the Illini in Champaign.

Indiana remains in second place in the Big Ten behind Michigan, with plenty of company right behind them in the standings.  IU is 2.5 games behind the Wolverines and a game in front of both Iowa and Minnesota with just two weeks remaining in the regular season.

The Hoosiers fell to 31-16 overall and 12-6 in league play.  They currently stand at No. 28 in the college baseball RPI.

WEEK IN REVIEW

Illinois 4  Indiana 0

Indiana struggled throughout against Illinois starter Andy Fisher as the Hoosiers dropped the series opener on Friday night in Champaign.

IU only managed to produce three hits on the night and none of them were for extra bases.  Elijah Dunham reached twice with a hit and a walk.  Matt Gorski and Cole Barr also produced hits.

Pauly Milto has been a tough luck loser on multiple occasions, and that was once again the case on Friday night.  Milto shut out the Illini through four innings.  He went 5 and 1/3 giving up six hits and three earned runs.  Tommy Sommer was strong in an inning and 2/3 of relief.

Illinois 3  Indiana 1

It took 15 innings for IU to break through for a run at Illinois this weekend, but just one wasn’t enough in game two.

Once again Indiana was only able to manufacture three hits.  Elijah Dunham homered and walked on the day.  Justin Walker also reached twice with a hit and a walk.

Tanner Gordon produced a quality start, going seven innings and giving up six hits and three earned runs.  He struck out five and didn’t allow a walk.  Connor Manous came on in relief for a scoreless eighth inning.

Indiana 9  Illinois 2

The bats came alive on Sunday for IU to avoid the sweep and salvage something from the weekend.  The Hoosiers only had one run through four innings but broke through with three in the fifth as they scored in four of the final five innings.

IU’s mainstay — the home run — returned on Sunday as the Hoosiers hit three out of the park.  Cole Barr, Elijah Dunham and Ryan Fineman all hit long balls for the Hoosiers.  Matt Lloyd had two hits, two walks and two RBIs on the day.  Drew Ashley had three hits.  Dunham drove in three runs, while Barr and Fineman each brought home two.

Andrew Saalfrank continued his run of Sunday dominance.  The lefty threw seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits and three walks while striking out eight.  Saalfrank improved to 7-1 on the season.  In Big Ten play, Saalfrank is 5-0 with a 1.56 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 34.1 innings of work.

STATISTICAL LEADERS

Here are IU’s year to date statistical leaders through 47 games.

WHAT’S ON DECK

The schedule continues to be challenging this week as the Hoosiers remain on the road.  Indiana will travel to rival and RPI No. 42 Kentucky before then heading up to Ann Arbor for a three game set against Big Ten leader and RPI No. 35 Michigan.

  • at Kentucky, Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. (ESPN Streaming)
  • at Michigan, Friday, 8:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
  • at Michigan, Saturday, 2:00 p.m.
  • at Michigan, Sunday, 1:00 p.m. (BTN)

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