Errors were the story of the first game as Indiana committed three. Because of those 3 errors, Louisville scored 4 runs. In addition to the 3 official errors (not getting the ball cleanly out of the glove, not fielding an easy bunt, not catching a high popup), the Hoosiers also allowed Dominguez to somehow manage a double off of a sharp grounder straight up the middle, missed the cutoff on a sac fly that allowed all 3 runners to move up a base, swing and miss on a hit-and-run that got Dickerson out running to second, and let a high pop fly drop in shallow center field.
On the mound, Eric Arnett pitched well enough to win only allowing 5 hits and 1 earned run through 7 innings. He did, however, struggle with his command (4 BBs (1 intentional), 3 HBPs) which allowed too many Louisville batters on the base paths and lengthened many innings for the Hoosier fielders. Regardless, the IU defense needs to make plays and perform at a high level if we expect to beat high quality teams.
If the rough day in the field wasn't enough for the Hoosiers, their performance at the plate wasn't much better. Of the 9 Hoosier starters, 8 struck out at least once and only 4 had a hit. After the explosive hitting in the Big Ten tournament, IU only mustered 4 hits off the Cardinals starter in 7 innings while striking out 8 times. Kipp Schutz performed the best at the plate managing 2 of our 4 hits vs. Louisville lefty Justin Marks. Evan Crawford, making a push to get back into the starting lineup, lined a pitch to right to record a hit in his pinch hit at-bat in the 9th inning. As for the IU hitters as a unit, we all too often we looked foolish at the plate as we struggled to make contact with Marks' offspeed stuff.
The good news is that the regional is double elimination so there is still plenty of baseball to be played. We obviously made it tougher on ourselves to win as we will now need to play 4 more games (instead of the hopeful 2), but IU is not out of this tournament yet! We have a very good #2 pitcher in Matt Bashore going tomorrow against Vanderbilt at 3pm, our defense should play more relaxed, and I'm not convinced a strong Hoosier lineup can be shut down in back-to-back games. Go Hoosiers!