Hoosier Baseball Report: Top 25 IU Keeps it Rolling With Another Big Ten Series Win

The schedule got more difficult, but it was more of the same for IU baseball this week.

After their annual pilgrimage to Indianapolis for a Tuesday night game at Victory Field, the Hoosiers returned home for a key series against last year’s Big Ten champion Minnesota.

The Hoosiers dispatched the Gophers just like they have all of their Big Ten opponents thus far, winning their fifth straight leagues series of the 2019 season.

Indiana (30-14, 11-4) slipped a half game behind Michigan in the conference.  The Hoosiers will be off during the week before hitting the road for a big weekend series at RPI Top 25 Illinois.

That series will mark the start of seven straight games away from Bloomington as the schedule gets increasingly difficult from here.

IU was No. 25 coming into the week, and a 3-1 performance should keep the Hoosiers in the national rankings.

(Monday morning update:  IU is now ranked No. 22 according to Baseball America.)

WEEK IN REVIEW

Indiana 9  Ball State 3

See our report on the game from Victory Field here.

Minnesota 7  Indiana 3

It was a rare day as the Gophers got to IU starter Pauly Milto for 12 hits and 7 runs on the night.  Milto hadn’t given up more than four runs in a game until Friday’s contest with the Gophers.  The right hander had eight strikeouts but couldn’t do enough to hold down Minnesota in this one.

Matt Gorski and Scotty Bradley each had two hits including a home run apiece in this one.  Gorski reached base three times and Bradley scored twice.  Justin Walker added two hits.

Braden Scott and Matt Litwicki each pitched a perfect inning of relief.

Indiana 7  Minnesota 6

Down to their final strike in the bottom of the ninth and trailing by two runs, it looked like the Hoosiers would lose their first Big Ten series.

But Matt Lloyd had other ideas.

Lloyd’s three-run walk-off homer capped off a rally from a 6-1 deficit as Indiana completed a miraculous come from behind win.

IU continues to lead the country in home runs, and it was what else but the long ball that won the day for IU.  Ryan Fineman hit a two run shot in the 7th to pull IU to within 6-3, and Grant Richardson hit a solo homer to make it 6-4 and set up Lloyd’s heroics in the 9th.  Lloyd also walked three times on the day.

Starter Tanner Gordon got tagged for eight hits and four earned runs in five innings of work.  He struck out seven in his first appearance since taking a line drive off of his arm.  Grant Sloan, Alex Franklin and Tommy Sommer were able to hold things down to allow for the late fireworks.

Indiana 7  Minnesota 1

The Hoosiers scored five runs in the first two innings and took the series with a comfortable win on Sunday.

Cole Barr got things going with a two out, two run double in the first.  Scotty Bradley added two hits, two runs and two RBIs.  Matt Gorski was on base three times and scored each time.  He also stole a base.  Drew Ashley reached base twice and scored both times.

Starter Andrew Saalfrank (6-1) continued his run of dominance, going 5 and 2/3 innings, giving up six hits and just one earned run while striking out six.  Connor Manous was excellent in relief, going 2 and 2/3 without a hit.

STATISTICAL LEADERS

Here are IU’s year to date statistical leaders through 44 games.

WHAT’S ON DECK

The Hoosiers will play three at Champaign this weekend:

  • Friday, May 3, 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 4, 4:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 5, 2:00 p.m.

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