IU baseball left Bart Kaufman Field on Sunday with a 6-3 win and a series victory against Big Ten-leading No. 22 Maryland, 29-13 and 13-5 in the Big Ten, but not without drama.
The Hoosiers, now 24-17-2 overall and 10-7-1 in the conference, took a hit to their lineup when freshman first baseman Matt Gorski left the game early due to a foot injury.
His lone at-bat, a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the second inning, was an unofficial one, but Gorski came up hobbling. He remained in the game through the third inning but was replaced defensively by senior infielder Austin Cangelosi.
IU Coach Chris Lemonis said Gorski bruised his foot on the bag and his status is day-to-day.
“He hit the bag a little funny and bruised it, and I had to put Cangi in there,” Lemonis said. “I don’t think it’s anything major.”
Cangelosi’s 0-for-2 performance was quiet, but he was involved in some controversy after senior center fielder Craig Dedelow hit a grand slam to put the Hoosiers ahead 6-3 in the seventh inning. With the team crowding around the plate to celebrate the big fly, Cangelosi could be seen jawing at the Maryland bench and both benches cleared for some heated discussion.
In his at-bat the following inning, Cangelosi saw two pitches high and inside near his head.
“I don’t want anyone getting thrown out so I’m really just trying to get our players back and being calm about playing the game,” Lemonis said of the tension-filled seventh inning.
Gorski beat Cangelosi and sophomore Matt Lloyd for the starting spot at first base back in early March. Both Cangelosi and Lloyd could be potential replacements for the injured freshman in future games.
Since taking over first base duties March 11, Gorski has started every game at the position except against Purdue on April 7 when he entered as a defensive replacement.
In those 31 starts, Gorski has the second best Hoosier batting average at .305 behind only Lloyd’s .320 average.
Gorski unseated Cangelosi, who started 52 games last year as a junior and 49 games as a sophomore. Cangelosi’s production has steadily decreased since arriving in Bloomington as a freshman. In that first year, he batted .257, followed by averages of .246 and .219 in his sophomore and junior years, respectively.
Now a senior coming off the bench, Cangelosi’s batting average is down to .196. However, he could bolster IU’s lineup with his experience.
Lloyd provides a viable option to cover the hole at first base and would allow Lemonis to have extra flexibility in deciding who fits best in the designated hitter role.
“I think we have a good option with either guy,” Lemonis said. “Austin Cangelosi has played there for two years so he’s had a great attitude and comes in and works every day, so he’ll do fine.”
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