Not even two home runs by junior second baseman Tyler Rogers were enough for the Hoosiers on Wednesday as they fell 7-4 to Indiana State at Sembower Field.
The loss drops IU’s record to 18-20 on the year.
Early poor pitching by freshman Wyatt Hoff forced the Hoosiers to battle from behind the entire game. Hoff (1-2) pitched four innings, giving up nine hits and six earned runs.
IU assistant coach Ty Neal said the main reason for the loss was a lack of hitting with runners in scoring position.
“I thought we hit some balls hard but with nobody on,” he said. “We didn’t get a ball in play or a big hit throughout the game when we needed it.”
The pivotal point of the afternoon for the Sycamores came in the fourth inning. Tied 2-2 with the bases loaded, Indiana State outfielder Ryan Strausborger singled to shallow right field to score catcher Bronco Lafrenz.
The Sycamores’ right fielder Kyle Burnam hit into an RBI fielder’s choice, allowing first baseman Joe Meggs to come home. Indiana State’s next batter, left fielder Brady Shoemaker, singled to right field to score shortstop Ben Ferrell. Burnam scored from third base after outfielder Nick Ciolli singled to left field to take give the Sycamores a 6-2 advantage.
Down five runs after a Strausborger home run in the sixth inning, Rogers stepped to the plate hoping to reduce the 7-2 deficit.
Despite heavy wind blowing toward right field, the Lafayette native crushed the ball past the center field wall for a solo home run.
Rogers added to the Hoosiers’ score again in the eighth inning with another home run to center field, cutting the Indiana State lead to only three.
“My first two at-bats kind of got off on my front toe a little bit,” Rogers said after the game. “When I came up for my third and fourth at-bat, I wanted to stay back and let the ball get deep. The greatest thing about that memory-wise is I probably have not hit two home runs in one game since I was about 12 years old.”
Trailing 7-4 in the bottom of the ninth inning, IU put itself in position to make a late comeback attempt.
With sophomore outfielder Brian Lambert on third base and sophomore first baseman Jerrud Sabourin on first base, freshman left fielder Alex Dickerson stepped to the plate with two outs.
The Hoosiers’ top home run hitter, Dickerson swung for the fences but came up just short, flying out to Indiana State’s Strausborger in center field just shy of the warning track.
Despite the loss, junior catcher Josh Phegley said his team is still thinking positively before an important conference series against Michigan this weekend.
“Last year we split two of four with them, and we have a better squad this year,” he said. “I would stack our three starters against anybody else’s. I think we will be just as confident going into this weekend than any other one.”