Indiana Baseball drops four-game series against Xavier, splits doubleheader on Sunday

Indiana Baseball lost its four-game home series to Xavier University last weekend at Bart Kaufman Field in Bloomington, Indiana. After falling in the first two games on Thursday and Saturday, Indiana won the first game of the doubleheader on Sunday before losing the final.

The split in the doubleheader resulted in a missed opportunity for the Hoosiers to split the series. Instead, Indiana lost its third series of the season.

Indiana’s three losses came in high-scoring slugfests, where his offense provided enough runs, but Xavier’s offensive prowess on Indiana’s pitching staff resulted in multiple losses.

The two teams combined to score 74 points throughout the series.

Indiana right-handed junior pitcher Jack Perkins started Game 1 of the series Thursday and pitched six innings while striking out a career-high nine batters. Perkins allowed two earned runs on his third straight quality start.

“(Perkins) made a lot of different throws and the speed was good,” head coach Jeff Mercer said after Thursday’s game. “He’s gotten better every week. He’s been great.”

Freshman Josh Pyne gave Indiana the lead with a two-run homer to left field in the bottom of the sixth inning just after Perkins finished his outing. However, Xavier’s offense surged across the Indiana bullpen after Perkins’ exit, scoring seven runs in the final three innings to ultimately win Thursday’s game 9-7.

Indiana senior right-handed pitcher Braydon Tucker made his first start since 2020 when the series resumed on Saturday and allowed four earned runs through four innings. Tucker pitched back-to-back perfect innings after Xavier scored in the first inning. However, Xavier responded with three runs in the top of the fourth inning to quickly take a 4-0 lead.

The Musketeers extended their lead to 12-0 midway through the sixth inning. Indiana managed to rally and score 10 unanswered runs, including junior Matthew Ellis’ 10th conference home run, a two-point shot from 441 feet over the right field wall.

However, the Hoosiers couldn’t capitalize on Ellis’ electrifying outburst and lost by two runs for the second time in three days. Indiana has struggled to win close games throughout the season and is 0-8 in games decided by three runs or less.

Indiana’s offense and throw finally synced up in its first win of the series in Game 1 of the doubleheader on Sunday.

Senior right-handed pitcher Bradley Brehmer threw a record seven innings on his second quality start this year and held Xavier to just three runs in Indiana’s 13-3 victory.

“Brad was terrific,” Mercer said. “(He) located a fastball (on) both sides of the plate, threw a change to both sides of the plate, landed his slider and a curveball. He was outstanding and a start we had to have.

The Hoosiers bullpen backed Brehmer and held the Musketeers scoreless, while the Hoosiers batters totaled 13 hits and three home runs. Sophomore Bobby Whalen was one of three Hoosiers to hit a home run, his first of the season in the second inning.

After being credited with creating the “answer the call” celebration, he finally picked up the imaginary phone after hitting home plate surrounded by his teammates near the dugout.

Related: [Indiana baseball shows offensive improvement, inconsistent pitching in series loss to Xavier]

However, Indiana lost their masterful hitting and throwing combination in Game 2 of the doubleheader. First-year starter Ryan Kraft was pulled from the game after allowing four earned runs before the end of the first inning.

“You had some quality starts this weekend, today game two (of the doubleheader) wasn’t one,” Mercer said. “You had three starts in one week that lasted an inning or less. It’s disqualifying when it happens. »

As with Saturday’s game, Xavier’s bats were rolling after taking a 4-0 lead. The Musketeers finished with three more hits, including a grand slam and a three-run homer.

Indiana outfielder Carter Mathison hit his second homer of the day in the fourth inning and three base hits from other Hoosiers scored four runs in the fifth, but that wasn’t enough to close the deficit.

With the loss, Indiana drops to 8-12 this season and has lost six of its last eight games. The Hoosiers entered the weekend with an unblemished 4-0 record at home, which has now fallen to 5-3.

The next opportunity for Indiana to bounce back is against Indiana State University at home on Tuesday. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.