The IU baseball Hoosiers lost their 4th consecutive game tonight, falling 11-1 to the Hatters of Stetson University (8-12) at Melching Field in DeLand, Florida. The loss drops IU’s record to 1-4 on the trip and 6-11 on the season. Hitting, pitching and defense all plagued the Hoosiers tonight as the team scored only 1 run on 8 hits, gave up 11 runs on 11 hits and 11 walks, and committed 3 errors.
Joey O’Gara got the start on the mound and took the loss, pitching 5 innings and giving up 6 runs (5 earned) on 6 hits and 5 walks with 4 strikeouts. Outside of Drew Leininger’s inning of relief in the 6th, the bullpen struggled again as Matt Igel came on to give up 5 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks in 2 innings of work.
At the plate, Jerrud Sabourin, Vince Gonzalez, and Jake Dunning each had two hits. The hits were the first on the season for Gonzalez, who was making only his 2nd start of the season. Josh Phegley brought home IU’s only run with a bases-loaded walk in the top half of the 6th. For the game, IU struck out 9 times against only 3 walks, had no extra-base hits and grounded into 2 double plays. Obviously, these are all concerning statistics for a team that is leading the Big Ten in on-base percentage (.420) and is second among Big Ten schools in both batting average (.343) and slugging percentage (.526).
Hopefully tomorrow will be a different story as Eric Arnett will be on the mound facing a team with only a single victory on the season. The Hoosiers certainly need to start stringing together some W’s in order to build confidence heading into the conference season. Making the NCAA tournament was undoubtedly a big goal for IU this year, but if the team continues its losing ways of late, earning the conference’s automatic bid may soon be the only way that goal can become a reality. Although it’s still early, non-conference wins will help build IU’s resume for the selection committee come tournament time. Let’s hope that resume-building will begin tomorrow.
Next game: 3/19 at 10am EST vs. the University of Hartford (1-7) at Henley Field in Lakeland, FL.
Projected Starter: Eric Arnett (3-1)