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IU Baseball Pummeled by Texas A&M in Regional Opener

Indiana third baseman Luke Miller went 2-for-4 with two home runs in the 10-3 loss to Texas A&M Friday. The Hoosiers will have to win an elimination game Saturday in order to keep its season alive. (Mark Timko/HN)

Indiana baseball starting pitcher Jonathan Stiever and Texas A&M starter John Doxakis went toe-to-to through the first three innings, each facing the minimum.

But the fourth inning was a different story for Stiever. He only recorded two outs as the Aggie offense exploded, putting up a seven spot on the Indiana ace.

That monster fourth inning was all the Aggies needed as they took control and never looked back, beating Indiana 10-3 to open up the Austin Regional in the NCAA tournament.

“It is probably most of it on myself, not being able to get ahead in the count and when I was able to make quality pitches they were able to take advantage in those scenarios,” Stiever said. “Give them credit but I am more frustrated with myself in those scenarios.”

Texas A&M’s potent offense ran Stiever out of the game in the fourth, but they were also backed by a stellar start on the mound from Doxakis.

The sophomore left-hander struck out 12 Hoosiers through six innings, while only allowing one hit and one unearned run Friday.

The first time through the lineup, Doxakis struck out seven-out-of-nine Hoosiers.

Shortstop Jeremy Houston was the only Hoosier to reach base safely in the first three innings after being hit by a pitch, but Doxakis quickly picked him off at first to end the third.

“Usually fastball command isn’t my best saying and once I established that it was easier to throw the slider and keep it in the same plane as the fastball,” Doxakis said. “I really didn’t feel like they knew what was coming.”

After Indiana was quiet at the plate last weekend in the Big Ten tournament, it was more of the same against A&M Friday.

The Aggie pitching staff dominated the SEC, leading the conference with a 3.23 team ERA this season and Doxakis backed up that stat while recording his second consecutive 10-plus-strikeout game.

“His slider was good and the fastball he pitched in and out just all day long kept us off-balance,” IU coach Chris Lemonis said. “It’s a good arm, he’s going to beat a lot of people in his career but the slider was tough too, we just had a hard time getting on him.”

After the seven-run fourth, the Aggies added runs in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings to extend their lead.

Indiana scored on an error in the sixth for its first run of the game and the lone bright spot for the Hoosier offense was a pair of Luke Miller solo home-run’s in the seventh and ninth.

As a team, Indiana struck out 17 times while racking up just five hits in the contest.

The loss moves Indiana to the losers bracket in the Austin Regional Saturday, as they will face off against No. 4 Texas Southern at 2:30 p.m. ET in an elimination game. The Tigers lost 10-0 to No. 1 Texas Friday night.

Junior right-hander Pauly Milto will get the nod on the mound Saturday as the Hoosiers look to extend their season at least one more day.

“Give my guys credit for fighting and coming back, but against that pitching staff and that arm seven runs is a lot,” Lemonis said. “We have our back against the wall now and we’ll just play it one game at a time from this point on.”

Zain Pyarali

I am a junior from Edwardsville, Illinois majoring in Sports Media. I formerly worked for the Indiana Daily Student for two years serving as the Sports Editor and beat reporters for Men’s Basketball, Men’s Soccer, Baseball and Field Hockey during my time with the student newspaper. Currently I am the Men’s Basketball beat reporter for IU Student Television while I also broadcast games for BTN Student U. Email me: zpyarali@thehoosiernetwork.com and follow me on Twitter: @ZainPyarali

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