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Saturday, April 20
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Hoosiers get blown out by No. 14 Cardinals

Two big innings doomed the Indiana baseball team as they lost to No. 14 Louisville, 13-4, Tuesday at Patterson Stadium in Louisville, Ky.

Unfortunately for IU (3-7),  Lousiville (9-3) was able to string hits together to generate the big innings. With a combined 11 hits in the first inning (five hits and five runs) and fifth (six hits and four runs) inning, the Cardinals jumped out to a 9-2 lead heading into the sixth.

After sophomore starter Brian Korte (0-2) failed to record an out to start the game — giving up three straight singles, a double, a triple, a walk and a hit by pitch — freshman Luke Harrison stopped the bleeding and kept the Hoosiers in the game 5-0.

The Hoosiers responded with a run in both the second and third innings.

In the second, sophomore short stop Dustin DeMuth roped a double down the line. Then this past week’s Big Ten Freshman of the Week, Chris Sujka followed up with a RBI single to left to get the Hoosiers on the board.

In the third, freshman Chad Clark led off with a single to right and a stolen base. Louisville’s Jared Ruxer (1-0) responded by striking out junior designated hitter Trace Knoblauch and freshman catcher Kyle Schwarber, but junior first baseman Michael Basil drove Clark in with a two-out RBI to make it 5-2.

Despite the deficit, Schwarber said the team’s attitude never dropped.

“After the first inning, (our attitudes) weren’t down at all,” Schwarber said. “We knew we had eight innings of baseball to come back.”

With the Hoosiers battling back, Harrison got on a roll and did not allow a hit in innings two, three and four. The 6-foot-4-inch right-hander from Glenview, Ill., looked strong in the fifth inning when he struck out two of the first three batters, but he could not get the third out — allowing five two-out hits and four runs to widen the Cardinals’ lead, 9-2.

IU Coach Tracy Smith said that because he wanted to stretch Harrison as much as he could, he might have left Harrison in too long in the fifth inning.

“It all happened fairly quickly, but that was more our fault trying to save some pitchers to get as much as we could out of him,” Smith said. “It was his first appearance, so we were trying to let him finish his inning.”

Doing damage in both the first and fifth innings were Louisville’s three, four and five hitters: Jeff Gardner, Stewart Ijames and Mason Synder. The three combined to go 6-for-13 with four RBIs, five runs and a walk.

Smith said the success of Louisville’s hitters was because of Indiana’s inability to finish people off.

“Again, it came down to our inability to execute our pitches when we needed to,” Smith said. “Our guys in that situation need to do a better job with two outs to put people away.”

After Louisville tacked on another run in the sixth, junior center fielder Justin Cureton led off a two-run seventh inning with a triple and was driven in by Knoblauch, who was driven in by Basil two batters later to make it 10-4.

It would be the closest the Hoosiers would get again as the Cardinals would add three more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to put the Hoosiers away.

Despite the loss, DeMuth and Basil were two bright spots at the plate. DeMuth finished 2-for-3 with a walk and a run, while Basil went 2-for-4 at the plate with his first two RBIs of the season.

Basil, a junior from Cincinnati, said a slight pregame adjustment to his stance allowed for him to see the ball out of the pitcher’s hand better.

“At the end of batting practice, coach suggested that I opened up my stance a little bit to stay on top of the ball,” Basil said. “My swing isn’t much different, so as long as it’s comfortable, it was able to work.”

As Indiana prepares to take on the Indiana State Sycamores on Wednesday — the second game in a 10-game-in-12-day stretch — Smith said the team will use these upcoming games as a learning experience and opportunity to find roles.

“In the next few days, we will be seeing a lot of guys in a lot of competitive situations,” Smith said. “Hopefully, at the end of this stretch, we will be able to pick and choose who we think will be able to help us in Big Ten play, but it’ll be a good learning experience for us.”

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