For the third consecutive year, the Hoosiers will head to Indianapolis to play a game at Victory Field, the home of the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians.
After taking on in-state foe Notre Dame at the venue in the previous two years, IU will match up Tuesday against yet another in-state opponent in Ball State. The Hoosiers enter the game with a 21-16-2 overall record, and the Cardinals are 21-19.
In IU’s first game at Victory Field in 2015, the Hoosiers came from behind in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Fighting Irish 6-5. Last year, Notre Dame shut IU out 5-0.
The opportunity to play at Victory Field raises the potential for exposure of each team because nearly 7,000 fans attended the game last year. IU’s Bart Kaufman Field seats 2,500 fans, and Ball State’s Ball Baseball Diamond has a capacity of just 1,500 spectators.
If Tuesday’s contest is anything like IU and Ball State’s first meeting of the season, the additional fans will be in for an exciting game.
In that April 4 ballgame, sophomore designated hitter Matt Lloyd led the Hoosiers to victory with a walk-off solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning to bury the Cardinals 3-2.
Heading into this week, IU received a boost in its RPI ranking from No. 41 to No. 33 after beating Michigan in two of three games on the road this past weekend.
Michigan entered the series ranked No. 13 in d1baseball.com’s top 25 with a 17-2 record at home before IU won the series. The Wolverines had also won 13 of their last 14 games before the Hoosiers won the series opener Friday.
IU’s win Sunday tied it with Minnesota for the third-most conference wins in the Big Ten; however, IU’s win percentage puts the Hoosiers at sixth in the standings.
Freshman pitcher Cal Krueger will start against Ball State at Victory Field in just the second start of his college career.
In his first start, Krueger earned the loss but did not allow an earned run.
The Jasper, Indiana, native tossed three innings and gave up just one hit, but Cincinnati pushed across one run on a costly error by sophomore third baseman Luke Miller and another on a passed ball by sophomore catcher Ryan Fineman before Krueger was relieved. Cincinnati won that game 6-1.
Krueger has thrown 28.2 innings and is 1-1 with a 2.51 earned run average and one save this season.
In games he has appeared in, the Hoosiers have outscored their opponents 105-85.
IU will look to continue its strong play with Krueger on the mound at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
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