It was an eventful weekend for Indiana baseball as it traveled to Conway, South Carolina for the Coastal Carolina Tournament.
The tournament featured plenty of high-quality competition. Indiana played Northeastern, No. 21 Connecticut, and the host school, No. 11 Coastal Carolina.
The Hoosiers went 2-1 on the weekend with wins over Northeastern and Connecticut to propel their record to 6-5. Indiana has now won four of its last five after getting swept in the Tennessee series.
Now let’s take a deeper look at how each game went for the Hoosiers.
Northeastern: W, 6-4
Indiana’s matchup with Northeastern was moved to Saturday morning due to inclement weather on Friday. The change gave Indiana a double-header on the day as the Hoosiers played Connecticut right after Northeastern.
Indiana was particularly strong at the plate against the Huskies, as a team they accounted for 10 total hits and only four strikeouts. The Hoosiers were in the drivers seat from the beginning thanks to senior center fielder Logan Kaletha’s two-run home run in the bottom of the first.
The Hoosiers seized control from there on as they scored all six of their runs in the first two innings. Sophomore third basemen Cole Barr, junior shortstop Jeremy Houston, and Kaletha all accounted for RBIs. Sophomore left fielder Drew Ashley scored on a wild pitch.
Northeastern made a late push in the eighth inning when senior first baseman Jake Farrell went yard to put up three runs. The home run brought upon Indiana’s starter and senior right-hander Pauly Milto’s only blemish of the day after going eight innings with six hits and seven strikeouts in a winning effort.
All Gas, No Brakes. pic.twitter.com/0vnitbUWyy
— Indiana Baseball ⚾️ (@IndianaBase) March 3, 2019
Indiana’s sophomore righty Connor Manous gave up a run of his own, but successfully closed the game out for the Hoosiers to secure a 6-4 win and the first save of his career.
No. 21 Connecticut: W, 9-6
Indiana’s strong Saturday continued with the team’s first win over a ranked opponent of the season and another strong hitting performance.
IU one-upped its total from the Northeastern game with 11 hits and tied their season high of nine runs in a game.
Junior outfielder Matt Gorski had a good day batting as he went 2-for-5 and put the nail in the coffin with his first career grand slam in the sixth inning to give Indiana a 9-3 lead.
Gorski’s four RBIs added on to nine consecutive runs scored from Indiana from the fourth to sixth innings after being down 3-0 through three innings.
Indiana utilized five guys from the pitching staff including starter and junior right-hander Tanner Gordon, who went four innings while giving up three hits, three runs, and three strikeouts, before being replaced by sophomore right-hander Grant Sloan.
Sloan pitched two innings and gave up one run, two hits, and a strikeout while earning the win.
No. 11 Coastal Carolina: L, 6-5
Indiana’s almost perfect weekend fell just short in a close battle with Coastal Carolina where the Hoosiers lost the game in a back and forth battle.
The Hoosiers and Chanticleers traded the lead four times starting with Indiana taking a 2-0 lead in the third inning thanks to a sac-fly from Ashley and double steal with Houston scoring.
Coastal Carolina struck back with three runs of its own in the fourth inning and forcing Indiana to take sophomore lefty starter Tommy Sommer out for junior righty Cal Krueger.
Indiana took a 4-3 advantage in the seventh thanks to Ashley and Lloyd’s RBIs, bringing in Houston and Gorski in to score, respectively.
Barr added an insurance run in the eighth with a solo shot to left field, which gave Indiana the 5-3 lead.
All the effort fell short though when the Chanticleers scored three in the bottom of the ninth to win in walk-off fashion.
Coastal Carolina had the bases loaded while down 5-3 from a hit-by-pitch, single, and walk. Sloan replaced Manous for Indiana on the mound and the sophomore walked Coastal sophomore outfielder Jake Wright, which cut IU’s lead down to 5-4.
Disaster ensued for the Hoosiers after that when sophomore outfielder Jared Johnson laced a single to center field to bring in two Chanticleers to score and win the game, 6-5.
Indiana will try to rebound from the Coastal Carolina loss when they return home to Bart Kaufman Field on Tuesday for a match-up with in-state opponent Indiana State.