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Friday, April 19
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Hoosiers look to get back on track against Georgia Southern after rouch patch

Baseball vs Iowa

The Hoosiers said this is a perfect time for them to face a nonconference opponent, as Georgia Southern University comes to Sembower Field this weekend.

The Eagles are coming off an 8-2 loss against the No. 1 Florida Gators, and they have a top-10 MLB Draft prospect in starting pitcher Chris Beck.

These games won’t affect the Hoosiers in the Big Ten standings, as they’re currently tied for fifth.

This series is an ideal time for the Hoosiers to heal and improve in areas that have betrayed them, IU Coach Tracy Smith said.

For example, opponents have outscored the Hoosiers 41-14 in the last two contests.

“I think it’s a perfect time for an off weekend because we’ve clearly got some issues that we need to get straightened out,” Smith said. “That’s going to come with good practices and good focus. We’re going to go with guys that want to compete. If guys are going to nibble and pitch behind in the count, they’re not going to get the baseball.”

Part of the Hoosiers’ struggle is that they have not found a consistent third weekend starter.

“I’m very concerned about it and very upset about it,” Smith said. “My concern, and the fact that I’m upset, has to do with there’s guys that are capable. We have to take a long, hard look at what we’re doing from a coaching standpoint — starting with me — as to why these guys aren’t ready. I will still say it’s not as much physical as it is mental.”

Junior shortstop Michael Basil said the Hoosiers must move on from the past two games.

Those games have been difficult, Basil said, because the Hoosiers haven’t been able to string together base hits. Basil added that the Hoosiers’ energy level suffered as Louisville’s run total ballooned.

“(Tuesday) was the first time it was recognizable to me,” he said. “We need to address that as a team. That’s something we can’t do if a team gets up on us. We know we have the ability to come back. We’ve done it in the past. We need to understand that we’re good enough to come back.”

Junior first baseman Trace Knoblauch said baseball has a certain beauty and that baseball’s quicker turnaround is a blessing.

“You have 50-something games,” he said. “You’ve just got to put this behind you. Learning from it is the important thing and not make the same mistakes again. There’s always the next day, and you have another chance to come out and prove yourself.”

But Smith said mindsets have to change before the results can change.

“Hitting’s contagious,” he said. “Pitching’s contagious. Poor performances are contagious. What we need is ... to understand this isn’t acceptable. This isn’t even Little League pitching at this point. I’m very upset because we have some capable guys. I’m hoping it’s just a funk and they realize that they’re capable.

“We’re nibbling around the strike zone. That tells me one thing — you’re not pitching to contact, which is our philosophy. It ain’t going to get any easier this weekend.”

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