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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Persistent defensive struggles puts team on dubious pace

One of the biggest questions that IU Coach Tracy Smith and the baseball team are facing entering the second Big Ten series of the year is how to clean up the defensive play. After 25 games, the Hoosiers rank last in the Big Ten in errors with 57.

While junior shortstop Michael Basil said practice will help the team be more comfortable during games by helping them slow down each play, Smith said he has never been around a team that has committed this many errors. He remains confident in his players’ abilities, he added.

Here’s a look at some numbers that illustrate the IU’s defensive struggles.

The number of errors IU has committed this season. Although the Hoosiers are tied for the most games played (25) in the Big Ten, they have committed 19 more errors than the second-worst Big Ten fielding team, Northwestern (38).

The number of errors IU’s opponents have committed, giving opponents 31 more outs.

275th   Entering the week, IU ranked 275th out of 291 teams in the nation in fielding percentage (.946). Note: This ranking was from games through March 25.

.942   IU’s current fielding percentage. After the Hoosiers committed five errors in the 11-3 loss to Xavier on Tuesday, their fielding percentage dropped .004 points from the weekend.

41   The number of unearned runs the Hoosiers have surrendered this year. On offense, IU has only scored 19 unearned runs. After 25 games, Indiana is nearly giving its opponents an average of two unearned runs a game (1.64).

128   The number of errors the Hoosiers are on pace for during their 56-game regular season. The Hoosiers have only committed more than 100 errors in a season four times since 1945 (1985, 2005, 2006, 2008). At this pace, this team will set the program’s record for most errors in a single-season. The current record (113) was set in 2006 and 2008.

— Michael Norman

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