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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

After victorious weekend series, baseball squad prepares for Miami

IU v Georgia Southern

After a weekend series victory against Georgia Southern, the IU baseball team will begin a midweek home-and-home series Tuesday against Miami (Ohio).

During the weekend, the Hoosiers’ pitching staff rebounded from a rough week with three solid starts.

On Friday, sophomore Joey DeNato outdueled Georgia Southern’s Chris Beck — a top-10 draft prospect — by allowing only two runs and six hits while striking out eight in 6 1/3 innings.

Freshman Kyle Hart followed on Saturday with a five-hit complete game shutout while striking out eight to earn the Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor.

While Hart outdid DeNato’s performance to win the series for IU, senior Chad Martin put together his best start of the season Sunday by allowing only three hits and one unearned run in six innings.

Although the Hoosiers could not complete the sweep behind Martin’s performance, IU Coach Tracy Smith said he was very pleased by how the Hoosiers looked over the weekend.

“I feel good about our pitching right now because we have guys rested,” Smith said. “Right now, we will see how they are feeling, but I would say that either (sophomores) Ryan Halstead or Walker Stadler will get the start Tuesday.”

Halstead (2-2) has only started one game but has limited opponents’ hitters to only a .255 batting average against in 15 appearances.

Stadler (1-0) has made nine appearances this season out of the bullpen. The 6-foot-4-inch sophomore enters Tuesday’s game with a 5.54 ERA and .268 opponents’ batting average against.

Entering Tuesday, the RedHawks (20-20) boast a collective .297 team batting average. Outfielder Bryce Redeker leads the team with four homers, 33 RBI and .487 slugging percentage.

Besides Halstead and Stadler, Smith said he hopes to get pitcher Matt Dearden back on track out of the bullpen after a series of subpar outings from the sophomore.

Smith said Dearden (1-5), who leads IU with 18 appearances, appears to have lost some confidence in his two appearances last week, which included giving up four runs in a start that lasted only 2 2/3 innings against Louisville.

“I think he’s lost a little bit of his confidence, but he’s a good pitcher and has had success for us, so he needs to be the most confident guy on the planet,” Smith said. “I have confidence in him, and he will get plenty of opportunities down the stretch because we need Matt Dearden.”

At the plate, first baseman Sam Travis ended a 0-for-17 drought with a bang Friday with a two-run home run off Beck. The homer kick-started a 4-for-10, two-run, two-RBI weekend for the freshman.

“We have some guys swinging the bats better now,” Travis said. “After this weekend, we’ve built some confidence at the plate going into Miami (Ohio).”

The home-and-home series will continue Wednesday as Smith’s Hoosiers travel back to his old stomping grounds in Oxford, Ohio, where Smith coached the RedHawks for nine seasons (1996-2005), including eight straight 30-win seasons.

“I’ve been out here long enough that they probably don’t even know who I am over there,” Smith said. “Dan Simonds, the head coach, is one of my best friends. We got a long history, as we coached together and played together, so it’ll be nice seeing them.”

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