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Wednesday, May 22
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Hoosiers withstand push from Shawnee State

Baseball vs. Shawnee State

The IU baseball team scheduled Wednesday’s game against Shawnee State to get in some extra work before opening Big Ten play.

However, the Hoosiers got a lot more than they bargained for.

IU coach Tracy Smith’s team received the NAIA squad’s best effort at the plate in a heavy-hitting, error-laden 12-8 victory at Sembower Field.

The Bears matched IU hit-for-hit throughout the contest, as both teams finished with 14 connections at bat.

“After the first inning, I said, ‘These guys are going to move the baseball,’” Smith said of Shawnee State. “I thought they looked pretty good offensively.”

The Bears scored once in the first, from two hits off IU junior pitcher Drew Leininger, who earned the win to improve to 3-1.

However, the Hoosier batters retaliated — as they would do all game, scoring in each inning — when senior catcher Wes Wilson hit a solo home run over the left-field fence in the bottom of the first.

Wilson, who finished 4-for-5 with three runs, said he simply liked what Shawnee State’s five pitchers were showing him.

“I was feeling it, but a lot of it was getting good first pitches,” Wilson said. “I like to swing early in the count, and I think there in my first four at-bats, I saw five pitches. So that was helpful to me, a lot of straight stuff early on.”

The Bears were able to maintain pace with the Hoosiers through the top of the fifth when they knotted the score at six, but an IU three-run sixth inning off of as many hits put the game out of reach.

While both teams hit efficiently, several runs on either side of the high-scoring affair resulted from fielding errors.

Shawnee State finished with six errors, two of which were errant throws in the bottom of the second. In the end, half the Hoosiers’ runs were unearned.

Unfortunately for IU, it suffered the same problems on defense, amassing
three errors.   

Shawnee State cashed in two of its three scores in the third inning when IU sophomore shortstop Michael Basil committed an error on a throw to first base, giving the Bears a 4-3 lead.

“I don’t know what it is,” Smith said of Basil. “He’s a good player. He’s been a good shortstop for us. He needs to get back in there and get comfortable again.”

Wet conditions from snowfall earlier in the day could have caused some of the mistakes on either side, Wilson said.

“The grass was a little slick with the early snow that we had,” he said. “Even when I
moved to the outfield (in the eighth inning), I could tell that balls got on you a little quicker on the grass.”

Smith agreed.

“I give them credit,” Smith said. “This is a very difficult game to play, let alone playing in 30, or whatever it is, wind chill.
“It wasn’t the prettiest, but yet I think our guys will be ready to go this weekend.”

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