Indiana Daily Student

IU baseball marks midseason point with 3-game sweep of Butler

<p>Junior outfielder Logan Kaletha slides into home to score a run for the Hoosiers. IU lost to Illinois, 5-4 on Friday.</p>

Junior outfielder Logan Kaletha slides into home to score a run for the Hoosiers. IU lost to Illinois, 5-4 on Friday.

In the bottom of the second inning during Saturday's game between IU and Butler, the Hoosiers missed a prime opportunity to take control.

With the bases loaded and no outs, three consecutive IU batters struck out. 

Junior catcher Wyatt Cross, freshman infielder Justin Walker and junior outfielder Logan Kaletha all went down swinging while IU continued to trail Butler, 2-1.

It wasn't a mistake the Hoosiers would make twice.

IU combined for seven runs in the sixth and seventh innings Saturday to secure a 10-3 comeback win at Bart Kaufman Field.

The victory completed IU's three-game sweep of Butler, now 17-7 overall, and gave IU, now 20-5 overall, its 11th win in 12 games.

"We didn't start off so hot," sophomore outfielder Matt Gorski said. "But then we got a couple good at-bats and then broke it open a little bit at the end."

While it was junior catcher Ryan Fineman who put on a show Friday with a six-hit performance in IU's doubleheader sweep, Gorski focused the attention on himself Saturday.

Gorski hit his first home run of the season in the sixth, a two-run blast to left-center field to put IU in front 4-3.

"I saw changeups my first two at-bats and then Scotty Bradley had a really good at-bat before me," Gorski said. "I just thought, 'Hey I'm probably going to get a good fastball here,' and I put a good swing on it."

The home run was part of a four-run sixth for IU which also included RBI singles from junior utility player Matt Lloyd and junior infielder Luke Miller. 

"We got a lot of confidence offensively and in our bullpen," IU Coach Chris Lemonis said. "So when we get in games like that the guys are doing a great job of not spazzing, just keep playing the game."

Freshman starting pitcher Connor Manous pitched five innings for IU in his second start of the season. He recovered well after taking a line drive off his left leg during the first inning, as he allowed both of his earned runs during the opening inning before pitching four scoreless innings.

"I thought he settled in and gave us a good start," Lemonis said. 

Sophomore Cameron Beauchamp, senior B.J. Sabol and freshman Grant Sloan combined to pitch the final four innings for IU.

Saturday's game also marked the final nonconference series of the season for IU.

The Hoosiers will still be playing midweek matchups against local Division I schools, such as next week's visit to Ball State, but each of these meetings will be single-game affairs. IU's next five games will also be against in-state opponents, although three of these games will be part of Big Ten Conference play as Purdue visits Bloomington next weekend.

So far, the Hoosiers have gone 4-0 against other Indiana schools. 

This success is something Gorski and Lemonis agreed is important for IU as a team.

"I think it's important to put ourselves out there as the best team in Indiana," Gorski said.

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