IU and Butler came into Wednesday’s mid-week matchup in the midst of opposite streaks — IU had won four of its last five games while Butler had lost its last four. The starting pitchers, though, were in similar positions and making their second starts of the season.
IU trotted out freshman Cameron Beauchamp after sophomore Tim Herrin had started four of the Hoosiers’ last five mid-week matchups. Butler put sophomore Sam Hubbe on the mound.
Hubbe would get the best of Beauchamp and IU, and by the time Hubbe exited the game in the fifth inning, IU was already on its fourth pitcher of the game. IU and the committee of Hoosier arms fell to the Bulldogs, 7-5, Wednesday night at Bart Kaufman Field.
“That was a whole team effort, not just our pitchers,” IU Coach Chris Lemonis said. “I thought we were pretty lifeless tonight.”
Beauchamp surrendered two runs in one inning of work, senior Luke Stephenson surrendered two runs in his third of an inning of work, and junior BJ Sabol gave up two as well in the ninth inning. The Bulldogs kept racking up hits against nearly every arm Lemonis sent to the mound.
Butler also had five extra-base hits — a home run in the top of the ninth by Butler catcher Michael Diviesti that pushed the Bulldogs’ run total to seven and sealed the game and four doubles.
At the plate, the Hoosiers weren’t making much noise either. They totaled one hit in four innings against Hubbe. Besides the fifth inning, when IU scored four runs on three hits, the offense wasn’t there for the Hoosiers — unlike the Bulldogs, who scored in five different innings.
The only inning besides the fifth in which IU threatened to challenge Butler pitching was the bottom of the ninth inning, with the Hoosiers down by three runs. Those opportunities were created by Butler errors. A dropped pop-up at third base and a misjudged fly ball allowed IU to score one run before senior outfielder Craig Dedelow struck out as the tying run.
Lemonis wasn’t happy with the effort, he said. Tallying five total hits against a team higher than 100 in RPI rankings after winning a series against one of the biggest threats in the Big Ten in Minnesota surely disappointed him on the same day d1baseball.com projected IU as one of the first four teams to miss the field of 64 in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
“We played a good team tonight,” Lemonis said. “I’m just frustrated with how we played. Games like this is what keep you out. For us to come out and play with the life that we did tonight, I did a poor job of getting us ready.”
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