As the end of the season approaches, IU heads into the final regular season series of the year with an abundance of momentum.
The Hoosiers have won five straight series and Tuesday night knocked off No. 2 Louisville 4-3. IU heads to Ohio State for a three-game series starting Thursday.
The Buckeyes have struggled this season and are 21-32 overall, and 7-14 in the Big Ten.
Freshman outfielder Dominic Canzone leads Ohio State’s offense and he is hitting a team-high .348 on the season to go along with 33 RBIs. The only other two Buckeye hitters hitting above .300 are junior outfielder Tre’ Gantt and freshman infielder Conner Pohl. As a team, Ohio State is hitting .257.
This series offers IU’s bullpen another opportunity to show how strong it has become as the season has evolved.
“You can’t win without your bullpen,” IU manager Chris Lemonis said after the victory over Louisville. “I know starting pitching is important and everything, but I remember my first year here (in 2015). We had that great bullpen and I feel like this one is evolving into that with some options, too. Some of our lefties are really tough matchups.”
Lemonis talked about how having a strong bullpen is critical to winning in the Big Ten tournament and beyond. Closer Matt Lloyd, who has a 2.66 ERA, leads IU’s bullpen and has seven saves. Junior pitcher Kade Krysko, senior pitcher Luke Stephenson, junior pitcher B.J. Sabol and sophomore pitcher Tim Herrin also bolster the bullpen.
Herrin’s ERA of 3.45 is the best of that group and has made eight starts this season.
“We’ve been figuring things out,” Herrin said. “We’ve had our rough patches this year and I think that we’re finally getting to a point where we’re just being ourselves and we’re not trying to do too much. It’s working out. I think we can make a run here down the stretch.”
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