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Sunday, April 21
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Hoosiers beat by Cardinals

Wild pitching and three errors doomed the baseball team to its 21-4 loss to No. 22 Louisville on Tuesday at Sembower Field.

“I’m very disappointed with not only the result but the attitude and lack of aggressiveness on the mound,” IU Coach Tracy Smith said. “When you pitch timidly, that will be the result.”

From the beginning, IU’s pitching had trouble finding the strike zone consistently.

Despite walking two, hitting one batter and throwing a wild pitch, sophomore starter Matt Dearden worked out of trouble to keep the Cardinals scoreless in the first inning.

After IU went one-two-three in first, Dearden wouldn’t be as fortunate in the second inning, in which back-to-back doubles by Louisville’s Zac Wasserman and Kyle Gibson plated the first run of the game for the Cardinals. Gibson would score from second on the next play when sophomore Dustin DeMuth committed a throwing error on a tough play up the middle to give Louisville a 2-0 lead after two.

The Hoosiers would answer with three runs of their own in the bottom of the
second.

Junior Trace Knoblauch put IU on the board with a line drive single to center that scored freshman designated hitter Collin McEnery. Freshman catcher Chad Clark followed with a double down the left-field line to score Knoblauch, and after a DeMuth single, freshman Will Nolden drove Clark in from third to put IU up 3-2.

The lead would be short-lived as Louisville regained the lead with a two-run third inning and never looked back — adding four runs in the fourth and three more in the sixth to take a commanding 11-3 lead on only nine hits.

Smith said part of the reason why the IU pitchers struggled so much in the game was because they were trying to nibble the corners too much and put themselves in hitter counts.

“We were behind in almost every count,” Smith said. “Right now, we lack confidence, and that falls on me because we have to be more confident in what we have and in the fielders behind them.”

Louisville would add one in the seventh and two in the eighth to extend the lead to 14-3.

In the eighth inning, freshman Danny Sader would drive in the last run of the day for the Hoosiers with a line drive RBI single to center. The hit was Sader’s second of the season, while the RBI was also number two on the year for Sader.

Overall, Louisville scored in every inning except for the first and fifth, including a seven-run ninth inning.

On the game, IU pitchers hit seven batters, walked 11 Cardinals, tossed nine wild pitches and contributed to two passed balls that eventually led to 15 earned runs against.

“Hitting is contagious. Pitching is contagious, and poor performances are contagious,” Smith said. “What we need right now is someone to step it up and understand that this isn’t acceptable because we have some capable pitchers that aren’t getting it done.”

After the game Knoblauch said the recent pitching struggles might be due to a loss of confidence — something the pitching staff had plenty of early in the season.

“I think the pitchers have just lost some confidence,” Knoblauch said. “At the beginning of the year, they carried the hitters and carried the defense, so maybe it’s a loss of confidence.”

Regardless of cause, Knoblauch reiterated that the team still has complete confidence in the staff.

“They are definitely good enough, every single one of them,” Knoblauch said. “We have faith that they will be able to get it back.”

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