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Three takeaways from Indiana baseball’s series win at Maryland

Indiana baseball took two of three games on the road in their second weekend of Big Ten play at Maryland.

On Friday, the Hoosiers had very little offensive production in a 2-0 loss. This was Indiana’s second consecutive loss after falling to Kent State on Wednesday 9-8 in 12 innings. Saturday and Sunday were far different from Friday as the Hoosiers blew Maryland out of the water, beating them 20-5 on Saturday and 19-4 on Sunday.

Indiana’s record now stands at 17-10 and 5-1 in conference play. Indiana and Minnesota are tied at 5-1 for the most wins in the Big Ten thus far.

Let’s take a look at what defined the Maryland series for Indiana.

Bats woke up in big way (after Friday)

Friday, compared to the Saturday and Sunday games, offensively for the Hoosiers couldn’t have been any more different.

Friday saw only two Indiana hits for the entire game, just a single from sophomore Cole Barr and a double from senior Ryan Fineman. Saturday and Sunday featured a combined 32 hits and 13 home runs. 9 of those home runs were on Saturday alone.

The Saturday game’s nine home runs are most in a single-game for any team in the country this year.

Senior Matt Lloyd (4), junior Scotty Bradley (3), and Freshman Grant Richardson (3) all had multiple home runs for the weekend. In seven of Indiana’s last 12 games they’ve put up double digit runs.

Grant Richardson is on fire

Richardson is a secret no longer for Indiana as he continues his ascension as one of the best freshmen in the country and one of the Hoosiers’ best players.

Though Richardson didn’t have his best outings on Friday and Sunday only accumulating one hit in the two games, but Richardson was incredible on Saturday. The freshman went 5-6 from the plate with three home runs four runs and six RBIs on the day. All of which were career highs. The three home runs in a game is a freshman record at Indiana as well.

In his lone 13 starts, Richardson has put up a stellar .382 batting average, six home runs, 10 extra base hits, and 23 RBIs.

Saalfrank provides stability

As usual Sunday starter and sophomore Tommy Sommer remains out due to injury, junior Andrew Saalfrank has filled the void. Saalfrank has been more than serviceable as a replacement as the Hoosiers have won in his last three starts. The lefty was quite dominant against Maryland, he allowed five hits, two runs, while striking out 11 and only walking three.

For the season, Saalfrank has a 2.70 ERA, a 2-1 record while striking out 30 and only walking nine in 23.1 innings pitched. The junior’s steady performance and ability to pitch deep into games has allowed Indiana head coach Jeff Mercer to keep flexibility with the bullpen without Sommer available.

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