Indiana faced its first real crossroads of the season as its losing streak swelled to four games after Friday’s home loss to Illinois. Suddenly the Top 20 ranked Hoosiers were reeling, and its seemingly certain place in the postseason faced its first questions on the season.
Nothing stems the tide in baseball like a quality pitching staff, and the Hoosiers undeniably have one. IU continues to have an NCAA best team ERA of 2.40, and two quality efforts from the starters and the bullpen over the weekend turned a four game losing streak into a new two game winning streak. Indiana now stands at 31-10 overall and will look to keep the momentum going and make one final push for the Big Ten title.
Today we take a look at (i) where the Hoosiers stand in the national rankings and Big Ten standings, (ii) review the week’s games, (iii) name our hitter and pitcher of the week, (iv) review the statistical leaders through 41 games, and (v) and take a look at this week’s schedule.
NATIONAL RANKINGS UPDATE
The Hoosiers dropped in some polls as a result of the losing streak, but they are still clearly a Top 20 team across the board.
- RPI: 20th (updated through 4/29 games; previous 23rd). This week’s opponent Minnesota is 28th.
- USA Today Coaches Poll: 17th (updated 4/30; previous 16th)
- Baseball America: 18th (updated 4/30; previous 18th)
- D1Baseball: 15th (updated 4/30; previous 15th)
- NCBWA: 17th (4/30, previous 15th)
- College Baseball Central: 13th (updated 4/30; previous 13th)
BIG TEN STANDINGS
The Hoosiers currently sit at 9-5 in conference play, which is good for 5th place. IU is now 3 games behind first place Michigan. There are nine conference games remaining. The Big Ten tournament begins on May 23. You can see the complete Big Ten standings here.
THE WEEK IN REVIEW
In a game played on ESPNU, the Hoosiers fell behind their rival early and struggled to get over the hump.
Ryan Fineman, Matt Gorski and Matt Lloyd each had two hits on the evening. Gorski homered and stole a base.
After Tommy Sommer, Connor Manous and Grant Sloan struggled early, Cal Krueger and B.J. Sabol were able to pitch 3 scoreless innings to close things out.
Illinois pushed the IU losing streak to four games as the Hoosier bats continued to slump. IU jumped out to a 2 run first inning lead but couldn’t muster another run and the Illini eventually pulled it out.
Ryan Fineman and Scotty Bradley each drove in a run. Logan Kaletha walked twice and scored once from the leadoff spot. Drew Ashley had 2 hits as the DH.
Jonathan Stiever had a quality start but was tagged with the loss. He went 6 and 2/3, giving up 8 hits, 2 walks and 3 earned runs while striking out 9. B.J. Sabol and Andrew Saalfrank each threw a scoreless inning of relief.
Indiana continued to struggle at the plate on Saturday but were still able to snap the 4-game skid thanks to yet another solid day on the mound. The Hoosiers once again scored in the first inning, but it took 12th inning fireworks to pull this one out.
A Matt Gorski infield hit produced the only IU run until the 12th. Gorski was 2 for 5. Drew Ashley provided the game clinching walk-off homer in the 12th. He had 3 hits on the day.
Cam Beauchamp had a great start, going 6 innings and giving up just 2 hits and no earned runs. Illinois got to Cal Krueger for a run in the ninth. He was relieved by B.J. Sabol who uncharacteristically struggled as well. Matt Lloyd was able to finish off the 9th with no further damage, and he went the rest of the way and earned the win. Lloyd pitched 3 and 1/3, giving up just 1 hit and striking out 2.
The Hoosier bats finally awoke from their slumber to claim the series over Illinois. IU got 3 runs in the 2nd and then put Illinois away with a 5 run 8th.
Scotty Bradley, Matt Gorski and Justin Walker each homered and each had 2 hits on the day. Gorski drove in 3 while Bradley drove in 2.
Tim Herrin gave IU another strong start, going 7 innings, giving up 6 hits and 2 earned runs. He improved to 3-0 on the season. Connor Manous and Tommy Sommer closed it out with 2/3 and 1 and 1/3 of scoreless work, respectively.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
The freshman from Chandler, Indiana is becoming difficult to keep out of the starting lineup. On the week he went 6 for 13, and hit the game winner that broke the 4 game losing streak. He improved his batting average from .333 to .375 in the process and now leads the team in that category.
The sophomore lefthander from Peru, Indiana had hit a few bumps lately, but he picked the perfect time to deliver a gem. With the Hoosiers reeling on a 4 game losing streak, Beauchamp threw 6 shutout innings, giving up only 2 hits. He improved his season ERA to 2.48. With the Hoosiers down a starter while Pauly Milto recovers from arm soreness, Beauchamp did a masterful job holding down the fort.
STATISTICAL LEADERS THROUGH 41 GAMES
IU’s season to date statistical leaders through the Illinois series:
THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
The Hoosiers get some rest before hitting the road for a weekend series at Minnesota.
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