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Three takeaways: Indiana baseball swept in road series at Tennessee

It was a disastrous second weekend for Indiana Baseball as the team got swept on the road at Tennessee.

Other than game three, where the Hoosiers lost 5-3 after leading 3-0 in the top of the fourth, the games weren’t close. Game one saw Indiana lose 5-1 and game two was a 11-0 deficit.

The weekend’s games drop Indiana’s record to 2-4 on the season. Here are three takeaways from the Tennessee series.

Hitting was a major struggle

The most glaring issue with Indiana Baseball over the weekend was the poor offense.

Star right fielder and junior Matt Gorski, who before this series started every game hitting leadoff, was out for the series due to injury.

Not having a career .324 hitter in the lineup threw off the offense. Over the course of the three-game series Indiana scored a total of four runs and all of them came from solo home runs.

In game one, senior outfielder Logan Kaletha had a solo shot. In game three, sophomore infielder Cole Barr, senior catcher Ryan Fineman, and senior infielder Cade Bunnell all went yard. With just purely home runs, the offense lacked much substance. The team only had 13 hits on the series.

Furthermore, the team really struggled even making contact. The Hoosiers struck out a total of 46 times in the series. In game two alone, Indiana struck out 21 times.

Not getting off to stronger starts

As discussed in the section earlier, Indiana’s hitting did them no favors this series. The team needs to try to break out of that funk, but the blame isn’t all on the offense.

Game three looked like the strong start Indiana was vying for after the top of the fourth when Indiana led 3-0. But then they slipped up and gave up runs in each of the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings without putting up anymore themselves. It led to a 5-3 loss.

The blame isn’t all on the offense though. Defensively, the team has to be stronger from the first pitch too. In each game of the series, the Hoosiers couldn’t go more than four innings without giving up a run.

Games one and two were particularly troublesome with Indiana getting in a 3-0 hole after one inning of work and in game two the Hoosiers were down 2-0 after two innings.

The starting pitching wasn’t nearly as strong this weekend which played a role in the defensive lapses.

Star pitcher and senior, Pauly Milto had an uncharacteristic Friday start against Tennessee where he gave up three runs along with eight hits in six innings. Milto did have an impressive nine strikeouts on the game though.

Junior Tanner Gordon, and sophomore Tommy Sommer, Saturday’s and Sunday’s starters respectively, each went 4.1 innings. Gordon gave up five runs and Sommer gave up four with three of Sommer’s being earned.

Sense of urgency moving forward

It’s not typical for a team to feel pressure after only two series’ on the season, but with a record of 2-4, Indiana certainly will be feeling an enhanced need to bounce back.

A season ago, the it took the team 13 games to reach four losses. Fortunately for Indiana, they get to play two rare February home games at Bart Kaufman Field.

On Tuesday they will host Cincinnati for the home-opener and on Wednesday the Hoosiers will play Butler.

After the brief homestretch Indiana will hit the road once again this weekend for the Coastal Carolina Tournament, increasing the importance of those two home games.

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