The Hoosiers’ baseball season is under way, with the team losing three of the four road games against No. 23 San Diego during the weekend.
Sophomore pitcher Blake Monar got the opening day start Friday, and he was tagged with the loss after giving up 7 runs on 6 hits in 3 and 1/3 innings.
Sophomore outfielder Alex Dickerson went 3-5 with 1 home run and 3 RBI. Pitching would remain a concern for IU throughout the remainder of the game, as San Diego won the opener 16-10.
“I think we struggled with command of the strike zone and not being aggressive enough with our stuff,” IU coach Tracy Smith said. “I’m not too concerned about it, yet.”
Sophomore pitcher Matt Igel started game one of the Saturday doubleheader, and San Diego hitters drew 7 walks, knocking him out of the game after 2 innings. Freshman third baseman Micah Johnson went 1-3 with 2 walks and 1 RBI as San Diego would go on to win in convincing fashion 9-2.
“I was really just trying to jump on the fastball early and lay off the breaking stuff,” Johnson said. “And hitting in front of Sabourin and Dickerson made them have to pitch to me.”
Pitching concerns continued into the nightcap. Freshman pitcher Jonny Hoffman didn’t make it out of the second inning before giving up 7 runs on 6 hits, and San Diego pulled away for the 9-4 victory.
Junior catcher Dylan Swift went 2-3 with a 2 RBI for the Hoosiers. Sophomore pitcher Drew Leininger kept the Hoosiers in the game on the mound, tossing 5 shutout innings, giving up only 5 hits, all singles, and tallying 4 strike outs.
Freshman Walker Stadler pitched 6 quality innings Sunday, striking out 5, giving up 7 hits and 3 runs and picking up the win in his college debut. Dickerson and junior first baseman Jerrud Sabourin each hit home runs as IU won 7-5.
Smith said he was impressed with Stadler’s first start.
“Walker did a good job of pitching aggressively in the strike zone and changing speeds,” Smith said. “And that was something our pitchers struggled with early this weekend. He was in and around the strike zone all the time.”
The batting order was different each game, as Smith is trying to figure out early in the season what is most effective.
“With the way our personnel is, I think it’s going to be pretty close to where our best hitters are our best defensive guys as well,” Smith said.