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Friday, June 14
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

IU baseball team can't complete sweep of Georgia Southern

IU v Georgia Southern

A five-run seventh inning for Georgia Southern broke a 1-1 tie, and the Eagles won 9-1 to avoid a series sweep at the hands of the Hoosiers Sunday at Sembower Field.

GSU sent 10 batters to the plate in the seventh, took advantage of a couple errors in the frame and used a slash play to pull ahead for the first time in the series. A slash play occurs when a batter squares to bunt and pulls the bat back and swings normally in the last possible seconds.

“It’s one of the exciting plays in baseball,” IU Coach Tracy Smith said. “They executed it, did a good job. I said it at the time, ‘They’re probably going to slash here.’ From a defensive standpoint, you don’t really worry about that because it’s a tough play to execute. But they got it done.”

Smith said he was upset about the two errors his team made after that play.

“It destroyed a very good baseball game,” he said.

Senior pitcher Chad Martin gave the Hoosiers a great opportunity to earn the sweep, as he pitched six innings, allowing one run on three hits and striking out three. The Lexington, Ky., native threw four one-two-three innings.

“Just not trying to overthrow,” he said. “Focusing on hitting spots, working the knees. I’ve been up in the zone a lot this year. I was throwing harder earlier in the year, but that wasn’t working too well for me. Going back to the basics — repeating my mechanics, keeping the ball down and hitting all my spots.”

In the seventh, sophomore Matt Dearden came in to relieve Martin. He surrendered two base hits, and Smith brought in junior Jonny Hoffman for the second time this series.

The Hoosiers missed an opportunity to extend their lead in the fifth, as Eagles’ second baseman Tyler Avera snagged a line drive off the bat of junior center fielder Justin Cureton.

With two outs and sophomore second baseman Dustin DeMuth on second, Cureton laced a hard line drive that seemed destined for center field.

Avera had other ideas, as he ranged to his right and made a diving catch at the edge of the outfield grass to preserve the Eagles’ 1-0 deficit.

“That was an unbelievable play,” freshman first baseman Sam Travis said. “That seemed like it was slow motion, didn’t even seem like it was real. You’ve just got to tip your hat to him.”

The Eagles tied the game in the next half inning and took their first lead of the series in the seventh by executing the slash play.

Smith said the Hoosiers, looking for their first series sweep of the season, came out a bit too relaxed.

“It’s a relaxed feeling,” Smith said. “But it’s that catch-22. You want to be relaxed, but you also want to be focused. We made numerous mental mistakes today. I almost think we were too relaxed. That’s the part that disappoints me. Some of that is the young team. We’ve got to grow up and stop doing that.”

Martin said his outing will help him in the near future.

“That’s going to help a lot,” Martin said. “I really needed that for my confidence. (I’ve) been working constantly with Coach (Ty) Neal and Coach Smith, repeating my mechanics. That’s my big thing — not trying to do too much, just throwing strikes, making the hitters get themselves out.”

For coverage of Friday’s and Saturday’s games, click here.

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