Indiana baseball fell short at Cincinnati on Wednesday, losing 7-5 in the two teams’ second meeting of the season.
The first time around, Indiana handled Cincinnati with ease 7-1 in their home opener on Feb. 26.
The game was a missed opportunity for Indiana to gain some momentum after going 1-2 last weekend in the Seattle Baseball Showcase. With the Cincinnati loss, the Hoosiers have lost three consecutive games and their record drops to 7-8.
Indiana looked to have everything under control early on as they led 4-1 in the fourth inning.
Freshman pitcher Gabe Bierman had a solid outing only allowing three hits, four strikeouts, one walk, and one run while going five innings. Junior center fielder Matt Gorski had a strong day from the plate going 3-5 and scoring one run too.
The trouble came in the sixth inning when relief pitcher and junior Cal Krueger struggled, giving up three hits, a hit-by-pitch in route to four Cincinnati runs in the inning.
Indiana tied it up at five in the eighth inning from a Jeremy Houston RBI single that scored freshman Grant Richardson, but a two-run home run from Cincinnati’s sophomore third baseman Dondrae Bremner put the nail in the coffin.
This was a game the Hoosiers couldn’t afford to lose as Cincinnati is one of the weaker opponents on their schedule with a 5-10 record. Now, Indiana is in urgent need of wins and to get their record above the .500 mark.
They’ll have an opportunity to do that this weekend as they host their first home series of the season against Canisius.
It’s been a rough season so far for the Golden Griffins, they come into the Indiana series with a 4-10 record and have lost two in a row.
Canisius should not be underestimated though, they’ve played some quality competition, like Kentucky and West Virginia.
Additionally, last year they won the MAAC Conference and made the NCAA Tournament.
This year, the Golden Griffins are putting up an average of just over four runs per game, but don’t have a hitter that bats above a .300 average and have only six home runs as a team all season.
Junior outfielder and leadoff hitter Jake Burlingame leads the team in batting average, hitting .293 from the plate to go along with a home run and four RBIs.
Junior catcher William Krull and senior infielder Conner Morro are also top guys at the plate for Canisius, hitting .280 and .271, respectively.
The pitching has been far more of a struggle than the hitting for the Golden Griffins, as a team their ERA averages out to 6.10 a game.
The typical weekend starters for Canisus as follows:
Friday: Andrew Sipowicz
Saturday: Andrew Kneussle
Sunday: Jeff DeStefano
All three of them have had their fair share of struggles thus far.
Kneussle, a senior, has had the most success of the three, going 2-1 in four appearances with a 4.96 ERA and 12 strikeouts.
Fellow senior, Sipowicz has put up similar numbers with an 0-1 record in four appearances, 11 strikeouts and a 4.00 ERA.
At the end of the day, this is a series that Indiana has to take advantage of and earn some wins. Having another losing series can’t happen in order for Indiana to right the ship of their 2019 season.