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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

IU baseball drops 2 of 3 weekend games against ETSU

Through seven innings, East Tennessee State outhit IU 7-3, but freshman pitcher Kyle Hart and senior pitcher Chad Martin pitched the Hoosiers out of jams.

That changed in the eighth inning, as pinch hitter Chris Riopedre scored the game-winning run to give the Buccaneers a 2-1 win.

The Hoosiers’ best opportunity to take the lead came in the sixth inning. Indiana had the bases loaded with two outs. Freshman designated hitter Danny Sader, making his second career start, grounded out to the second baseman.

A half-inning later, Martin retired two Buccaneers to strand Kerry Doane at third.

“It was a big situation in the game, to come in and strand that runner at third,” Martin said. “Things didn’t really go my way in my first two starts. It was more of a mechanical problem than a mental problem.”

But IU Coach Tracy Smith did not get to see it, as the Hoosiers’ skipper was ejected in the bottom of the fourth.

“Being in Division I baseball for 20 years, that was probably one of the weirdest, most unconventional things that’s ever happened in a situation like that,” Smith said. “It was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen.”

The rubber match was set up by freshman catcher Kyle Schwarber’s grand slam, which gave IU a 7-4 lead it never relinquished in the second game of the weekend series, a 10-5 win.

“In that time of the game, we were down, the adrenaline’s going,” he said. “It felt special when I hit it. We were down two, and then I put us up two. It’s pretty different in terms of hitting a regular home run.”

It was the Hoosiers’ first grand slam of the season and gave IU its first road win.

Redshirt freshman right fielder Will Nolden made his first three career starts this weekend, and the freshman batted .400 with a walk and was hit by a pitch.

Meanwhile, junior center fielder Justin Cureton’s average fell to .176.

“Offensively, we’re not doing much,” Smith said. “A lot of our guys aren’t hitting. It’s only a concern if we don’t try to improve on that and get more fundamental in what we’re trying to do.”

IU dropped to 0-4 in one-run contests. Two of those losses have been of the walk-off variety.

“They’re frustrating,” Martin said. “No loss is easy to deal with, even if it’s a one-run loss or a 10-run loss. Our bats are going to come around. We know that. It’s early in the season. We got to keep doing our thing. Our bats are definitely going to come through and get us the runs we need when we’re just surrendering two runs. Right now, frustrating, but it’s going to turn around.”

The team has an opportunity to improve its 1-5 road record when it takes on the Cardinals at 3 p.m. Tuesday in Louisville, Ky.

For more on the past weekend, click here for Hoosier Hype updates.

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