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Saturday, April 20
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Players look to minimize mistakes against Tulane

This past weekend, for the first time in nine months, the Indiana baseball team played against a team from a different university. IU won two of three games in the Big Ten-Big East Challenge.

Through three games, IU’s and its opponents’ run totals each stand at 19. However, IU committed seven errors that led to opponents scoring eight unearned runs against UConn, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

In other words, 42 percent of opponents’ runs were unearned.

“Errors are a part of baseball,” IU Coach Tracy Smith said. “I would say it was the types of errors that have me concerned, which are more of a lack of concentration.

Coach Smith said his practice plan included taking care of the baseball.

Each position player in IU’s lineup last weekend except junior center fielder Justin Cureton played his first game in an IU uniform or switched positions from 2011.

Cureton said he is not concerned about the defense, yet acknowledged it has been something Smith emphasized as the Hoosiers prepare to play Tulane on Friday.

“We’re a young team,” Cureton said. “That’s no excuse. Taking care of the baseball is a big part of the game. We can’t make this many errors because teams will convert on it like they did at UConn. We’ve been working hard at that.”

Freshman starting pitcher Kyle Hart said committing some errors is part of the growing process.

“The errors are something that’s going to come early,” Hart said. “We’re all a little rusty. We’ve got to overcome that mentally, throw good pitches, keep throwing our pitches. That’s something we struggled with this weekend. The bullpen picked us up.”

Hart pitched three innings against Pittsburgh on Sunday. Two errors were committed while he was on the mound. Despite having an 8-4 lead after the third, his day was done after he recorded nine outs.

Smith said when his team holds a big lead, he wants his pitchers to pitch aggressively. Smith said Hart wasn’t in the strike zone enough.

While junior second baseman Micah Johnson was relegated to a designated hitter role due to tenderness in his elbow, junior Michael Basil manned second base. Smith said his adjustment was going well.

Basil struggled last weekend, Smith said, but Smith said he is confident that he’ll recover.

After an error is committed, Hart said his goal while on the mound is to help his teammates move on.

“They’re not going to make errors often,” Hart said. “They’re not going to string errors together a lot. You got to get back on the high horse and throw pitches that your defense can field and play behind you.”

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