It was a much nicer day for baseball in Bloomington on Wednesday, but the result was still another midweek loss for the Hoosiers. Coming off a heartbreaking comeback defeat at the hands of Louisville yesterday, IU fell 7-4 to the Sycamores of Indiana State (24-13) on Wednesday afternoon. The loss drops IU's overall record to 18-20 heading into this weekend's match-up at Michigan.
Although this was a team I personally feel IU should have beaten, the Hoosiers did not go down without a fight. With one out in the bottom of the 9th, Brian Lambert was hit by a pitch and Jerrud Sabourin followed with a single to bring Josh Phegley to the plate as the potential tying run. Unfortunately for the Hoosier faithful, Phegley lined out to center for the second out of the inning. All-everything freshman phenom Alex Dickerson (who actually played LF today instead of DH) stepped to the plate next and drove a ball to deep center, but a strong wind blowing in from left worked against the Hoosiers on this occasion, knocking the ball down just short of the wall for the game's final out.
Freshman Wyatt Hoff (1-2) got the start on the mound and labored through 4 innings of work, yielding 6 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks with 4 strikeouts. Drew Leininger (3 IP, 1R), Matt Igel (1.1 IP) and Matt Carr (0.2 IP) combined to throw 5 innings of 1-run relief to follow Hoff. However, the Hoosiers were just never really able to get the bats going. For the game, IU had just 7 hits against an Indiana State staff that allowed opposing hitters to bat at a .308 clip and had a team ERA of 5.93 heading into the game. Tyler Rogers did hit a pair of solo homeruns, and Josh Phegley blasted his 10th homerun of the season (a solo shot), but this was not nearly enough for IU this time around.
Ultimately, to win games like this one, the Hoosiers simply need to hit the ball batter. Seven hits won't win you too many games at the Division I level. While it's disappointing to drop both midweek games this week, let's hope IU can continue their winning ways this weekend at Michigan. Check back for a preview of the series tomorrow. Go Hoosiers!
***If you get a chance, take a look at this great article on Eric Arnett by Terry Hutchens that was printed in yesterday's Indianapolis Star. Also, there was a nice write-up on freshman Blake Monar in the Evansville Courier this past weekend. It is worth a read as well.***