Indiana Daily Student

Fundamental errors continue to plague IU in recent losing streak

<p>Freshman infielder Elijah Dunham runs to third base March 30 at Bart Kaufman Field. Baserunning mistakes have cost the Hoosiers during their recent losing streak. &nbsp;</p>

Freshman infielder Elijah Dunham runs to third base March 30 at Bart Kaufman Field. Baserunning mistakes have cost the Hoosiers during their recent losing streak.  

From failed bunt attempts to baserunning miscues, it's been the little mistakes that have taken wins away from IU during the last few weeks.

The Hoosiers have lost eight of their last 10 games dating back to April 21, with six of those defeats coming by two runs or less.

IU Coach Chris Lemonis said the team's lack of execution has prevented it from earning important conference and nonconference wins as the regular season draws to a close.

"It's been like that for two weeks," Lemonis said. "We just keep losing close games."

IU's 7-6 loss to No. 21 Kentucky (31-17, 11-13) on Tuesday night at Bart Kaufman Field was the latest example of mistakes costing IU a chance at a victory. A total of 13 baserunners were left stranded by IU (31-14, 9-8) in the loss, which is one more than the number of hits, 12, the Hoosiers had in the game.

In six of the nine innings played Tuesday, IU's leadoff batter reached base. However, in only one of these innings did the leadoff batter make it around the diamond to score.

The total of 13 baserunners stranded didn't include two significant baserunning errors by IU. Junior outfielder Logan Kaletha was picked off at second base in the bottom of the third inning, and was then replaced by freshman outfielder Sam Crail. 

"He's been struggling," Lemonis said of Kaletha. "Just trying to get a new guy in there and see if we can get some energy at that position."

In the sixth, Crail overran second base after a hit by junior utility player Matt Lloyd and was also tagged out at second base.

"It's just poor baseball," Lemonis said. "We have to do better."

For six consecutive innings Tuesday night, from the third to the eighth, the Hoosier offense left runners in scoring position on base.

With seven games left in the regular season, including six Big Ten Conference games, IU has less than two weeks remaining to gain momentum before postseason play begins. 

"We've played close ones all year long," Lemonis said. "It's time for us to push through the door and start playing good baseball."

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