It was a solid week for the Indiana University baseball team as the Hoosiers went 4-0 on the week against quality in-state opponents Indiana State and Butler. IU won the four games by a combined score of 34-11 as they put together one of their more complete and dominant weeks of the year.
The Hoosiers improved to 20-5 (.800) on the year and showed an ability to win with both quality hitting and pitching. The pitching staff has been particularly strong on the 2018 season thus far. Indiana ranks 12th nationally with a team ERA of 2.77.
Today we take a look at (i) where the Hoosiers stand in the national rankings, (ii) review the week’s games, (iii) name our hitter and pitcher of the week, (iv) review the statistical leaders through 25 games, and (v) and take a look at this week’s schedule.
NATIONAL RANKINGS UPDATE
The Hoosiers continue to be a consensus Top 20 team as they make a big move in several polls on the week including entering the Top 10 for the first time this year in the D1 Baseball poll.
- RPI: 18th (updated through 4/1 games; previous 47th). This week’s opponents are Ball State (191) and Purdue (90)
- USA Today Coaches Poll: 11th (updated 4/2; previous 16th)
- Baseball America: 16th (updated 4/2; previous 18th)
- D1Baseball: 10th (updated 4/2; previous 11th)
- NCBWA: 11th (4/2, previous 15th)
- Collegiate Baseball: 13th (updated 4/2; previous 17th)
- College Baseball Central: 11th (updated 4/2; previous 12th)
THE WEEK IN REVIEW
The Hoosiers brought the long ball to Terre Haute, as Ryan Fineman and Logan Sowers each went deep. Fineman’s shot gave IU a 1-0 lead in the 2nd, but ISU got to starter Cameron Beauchamp for two runs in the bottom of the 2nd to claim the lead.
Sowers drove in a run in the 3rd with a single to tie it, and then drove in 2 more in the 5th with his home run. Matt Lloyd gave the Hoosiers some cushion in the 9th with an RBI single. Sowers, Fineman and Sam Crail each had 2 hits on the day.
Tim Herrin and B.J. Sabol were particularly strong out of the bullpen. Herrin gave the Hoosiers 4 scoreless innings of work and Sabol added 2 more. Cal Krueger came in for the save in the 9th.
The Hoosiers fell behind 2-0 after Butler put up a run in each of the 4th and 5th innings off IU starter Jonathan Stiever. IU picked up a run in the 5th on a Matt Lloyd single which drove in Logan Kaletha, but Butler added 2 unearned runs off Stiever in the 6th to extend the lead to 4-1. That set up a big IU bottom of the 6th in which they manufactured 4 runs off a hit batter, a walk, a hit, 2 Butler errors and a sacrifice.
Butler would tie things back up, only to see IU win it in the bottom of the 9th on of all things, a passed-ball. Ryan Fineman had 3 hits on the day and Lloyd added 2. Cal Krueger picked up yet another win, his sixth on the year, with a scoreless inning and a third to close it out.
IU scored 5 in the 1st inning as Ryan Fineman hit a 3-run double and Justin Walker hit a 2-run single, and that was all she wrote. Fineman and Matt Lloyd each had 3 hits on the day. Fineman also drove in 5 runs. Logan Kaletha, Matt Gorski, Scotty Bradley and Walker each had 2 hits. One of Bradley’s hits was a home run, as he and Lloyd each drove in 2 runs.
Pauly Milto was able to cruise comfortably behind the big lead. He pitched 6 shutout innings, giving up 6 hits and striking out 3. The bullpen combination of Andrew Saalfrank and Nick Eaton preserved the shutout. Saalfrank gave up no hits and struck out 4 in 2 innings of work.
The final game of the Butler series was tight through five innings before the Hoosiers once again exploded with 7 runs over the 6th and 7th innings. Matt Gorski led the way with 3 hits, 3 RBIs and 2 runs including a home run. Matt Lloyd, Luke Miller, Logan Sowers and Scotty Bradley each added 2 hits apiece. Bradley scored three times.
Connor Manous started and went five innings, giving up 5 hits and two earned runs. B.J. Sabol and Grant Sloan each gave IU an inning of scoreless relief.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Ryan Fineman had a dominant week at the plate for the Hoosiers, increasing his season batting average from .286 to .342 in the process. The junior catcher from Westlake Village, California, went 9 for 16 on the week while driving in 7 runs and scoring 4 times.
The lefty reliever continued to do this week what he’s done all season thus far — be near perfect out of the bullpen. In 10 innings on the season, the senior from Hartland, Wisconsin, has given up only 2 hits and no earned runs while striking out 13.
STATISTICAL LEADERS THROUGH 25 GAMES
IU’s season to date statistical leaders through the Butler series:
THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
The Hoosiers continue the in-state portion of the schedule this week, with a quick road trip to Muncie to face Ball State on Tuesday and then a three games series at home against rival Purdue over the weekend.
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Main photo and schedule graphic credit – Indiana University