Indiana Daily Student

IU baseball prepares for a pair of midweek contests

<p>IU played University of Kentucky on May 8, 2018, at Bart Kaufman Field. IU will face the University of Cincinnati on Feb. 26.&nbsp;</p>

IU played University of Kentucky on May 8, 2018, at Bart Kaufman Field. IU will face the University of Cincinnati on Feb. 26. 

After losing three straight games over the weekend in Knoxville, Tennessee, IU baseball will return to Bloomington on Tuesday for its first home game of the season. 

IU will welcome the University of Cincinnati on Tuesday and Butler University on Wednesday to Bart Kaufman Field for a pair of midweek contests.

Without star junior outfielder Matt Gorski last weekend against the University of Tennessee, the IU offense stumbled to just four runs in three games. That offensive output culminated in a three-game sweep at the hands of Tennessee.  

Cincinnati comes to Bloomington on the heels of a 5-4 win over Houston Baptist University that broke its five-game losing streak to begin the season. Cincinnati is being led offensively by sophomore outfielder Joey Wiemer who is hitting .458 on the season, going 11-24 from the plate. 

The rest of the Cincinnati lineup struggled against Houston Baptist and Florida Atlantic University pitchers, as each of them are hitting below .300 so far this season. 

Sophomore pitcher Garrett Schoenle is the statistical leader of the Cincinnati rotation with a 2.00 ERA in nine innings pitched. Though having pitched Sunday, Schoenle will be unlikely to pitch against the Hoosiers. With an important series against Auburn University approaching this weekend, Cincinnati may use a more inexperienced pitcher for the midweek game against IU. 

Tuesday’s game will also be a chance for IU to throw a younger pitcher, leaving the normal rotation in tact for this weekend’s tournament in Conway, South Carolina. 

On Wednesday, IU will welcome in-state opponent Butler for another important matchup. Butler, which took two of three games from Rider University to begin the season, dropped its following two games, suffering a one-run loss to both Rutgers and the University of New Orleans, respectively. 

Butler’s lineup is led by senior outfielder Kyle Smith who is hitting .412 this season. Junior outfielder Harrison Freed and junior infielder Brody McGrath are two solid offensive options as well. 

Junior catcher Duncan Hewitt provides a solid defensive option behind the plate and has already driven in four runs this season.

Butler will likely throw a young pitcher Wednesday afternoon to spell the normal starters. IU swept Butler in three games last season in Bloomington. 

Both games this week will have a first pitch of 3 p.m. at Bart Kaufman field. 

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