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Thursday, April 18
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Slugging Sycamores face Hoosiers

Though they enter today’s contest against Indiana State in a tie for second place in the Big Ten, the Hoosiers will not be able to improve their seeding. But freshman first baseman Sam Travis said his team must bring a better mindset to the ballpark.

“We’ve got to come out with more intensity,” he said. “We came out flat, and we didn’t really have life in our dugout, on the field. We were kind of going through the motions.

We’ve got to come out aggressive, be ready to go and be excited to play.”

IU committed four errors in its 7-3 loss to Illinois on Saturday. The Hoosiers committed two on Sunday. IU Coach Tracy Smith did not mince words.

“(They were) big,” he said. “We did some really stupid things with the ball. We’ve got to eliminate that stuff because it’s tough to overcome when we’re not swinging the bats that well.

“You can’t just give teams as many free bases as we did on Saturday. We’ve got to eliminate those silly, silly mistakes.”

The Sycamores enter today’s contest scoring an average of 7.7 runs per game and having won eight of their past 10 games.

Indiana State will send freshman right-hander Kyle Rupe to the mound. The Indianapolis native allowed four runs on seven hits in 1.2 innings in his most recent start April 3 against the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Rupe, however, did not walk a batter. Smith said he wants his team to be more selective offensively.

“We’re still striking out too much and hitting their pitch rather than being selective and getting our pitch,” he said. “That’s going to be a focus this week.”

The most recent time these teams played, sophomore reliever Ryan Halstead started for the first time in his career.

The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native pitched a perfect 5.1 innings in relief last Sunday against Iowa. He said after the game that relief pitchers have no defined roles.

“Honestly, there’s no roles set out coming into this year,” he said. “I just want to pitch. Wherever they put me is fine with me. I just kept going and didn’t say anything, and they kept me in. That’s what I was planning on.

“I’ve thrown a lot more this year because my role’s different. I think that’s helped my endurance.”

Freshman pitcher/infielder Collin McEnery will make his third career start on the bump for the Hoosiers as IU seeks to earn a season split.

Sophomore designated hitter/third baseman Dillon Dooney said the Hoosiers need to keep their foot on the gas no matter the score.

“I feel like we’re swinging the bats well,” he said. “We’re just coming out flat when we first jump on the team. We need to keep it going, keep tacking on runs.”

Dooney dismissed any relevance of last month’s 13-8 loss to the Sycamores.

“That’s in the past,” he said.

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