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Tuesday, Nov. 28
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

IU’s depth can keep it atop the Big Ten


Junior centerfielder Logan Kaletha stole the show in the series finale against Purdue when he launched his second walk off home run of the season.

What may have been lost in the excitement of the victory is what gave IU a chance to win the game: it's depth.

In the 7-5 win for the Hoosiers, eight different players got hits. 

Sophomore infielder Scotty Bradley has competed for a starting role on the team all season. 

Bradley was expected to be the starting first baseman heading into the season, however, a strong start from freshman Elijah Dunham has lead to the two competing for the spot.

Bradley got the nod at first against Purdue and proved that most teams would be fortunate to have a player like him coming off the bench.

He batted three-for-five with his biggest hit being a game-tying home run with two outs in the seventh inning.

“Anything to help the team,” Bradley said. “Glad I could do it, and what an unbelievable win it was.”

Bradley is also aware of the team’s depth, and said he does not take offense to being benched in certain situations.

“We have so much depth on this team that you can’t put your head down and pout if you’re not playing,” Bradley said. “You’ve just got to keep working and know that at some point you’re name’s going to be called.”

For Bradley is just a process of being prepared at all times. 

“The work continues every single day,” Bradley said. “No one’s gonna feel sorry for you in the game of baseball. You’ve just got to be ready.”

Bradley is just one example of IU players that could be everyday starters for other teams.

Sophomore shortstop Jeremy Houston had started more than 70 consecutive games for the Hoosiers before being benched for freshman infielder Justin Walker during IU's series against Butler. 

Despite making a few costly errors in the series against Purdue, Walker picked up five hits in the three games.

After starting all three games at shortstop, Walker was moved over to second base in the ninth and Houston took over again at shortstop.

Houston came into the game with seven errors on the season, but came up with the biggest defensive play of the game when he made a ranging play to end Purdue’s scoring threat in the 12th.

“Who’s bringing in Jeremey Houston off the bench to make those plays,” Lemonis said. “It’s hard for me to manage sometimes, because you’re trying to keep them happy, but they played really well.”

The depth on the team extends to pitching as well.

The Hoosiers got two quality starts from their Friday and Saturday starters, needing to use just two bullpen arms.

That proved vital for IU as the team was able to use three pitchers from the pen in the rubber game against Purdue.

After a short outing from sophomore pitcher Cameron Beauchamp, the bullpen combined to throw 9.2 innings while giving up no earned runs.

It was junior utility player Matt Lloyd who got the win for the team. 

Despite going 0-6 at the plate, Lloyd combined for five scoreless innings to mark his longest outing of the season.

“It’s a little bit different, not something I’ve done in the past year, but at JuCo I was a starter so it was just like going back to my roots in that sense,” Lloyd said. “Nothing too new for me.”

His outing might not compare to his previous ones, but for him it was no different. 

“I took it inning by inning just like any other outing,” Lloyd said.

The depth on IU will continue to be a key for them as the season continues. 

The Hoosiers cracked the top 10 of a major ranking last week for the first time this season, but what could keep IU towards the top may be the players that come off the bench.

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