Indiana Daily Student

IU baseball, on five-game win streak, welcomes Iowa to open conference play

<p>Sophomore infielder Cole Barr hits a pitch March 17 at Bart Kaufman Field. IU will play against Iowa on Friday through Sunday.</p>

Sophomore infielder Cole Barr hits a pitch March 17 at Bart Kaufman Field. IU will play against Iowa on Friday through Sunday.

After a back-and-forth 15-14 win over Indiana State University on Tuesday, IU baseball will get conference play underway this weekend against Iowa.

IU is now 12-8 on the season after winning five straight games. Its veteran bats are starting to wake up and support junior outfielder Matt Gorski. Gorski, batting .329, along with senior catcher Ryan Fineman and senior infielder Matt Lloyd are pacing an IU offense which has put up 66 runs in the past five games.

The Hoosiers' starting pitching has been solid overall the past few weeks. IU senior ace Pauly Milto is 4-1 with a 2.57 earned run average and has already been named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week one time this year. Juniors Tanner Gordon and Andrew Saalfrank are expected to round out the weekend rotation while sophomore pitcher Tommy Sommer recovers from an injury. 

Iowa comes to Bloomington after back-to-back midweek wins over Simpson College and Chicago State University. Iowa has two road wins over ranked Oklahoma State University but has also dropped multiple games to the University of Evansville. 

Junior catcher Austin Martin leads Iowa with a .317 batting average, two home runs and nine runs batted in. Sophomore Izaya Fullard hits .304. 

Two of Iowa’s weekend starters have a plus-5.00 earned run average, but junior Grant Judkins is 2-1 with a 1.52 earned run average. 

Iowa and IU opened conference play against each other last year and split the rain-shortened, two-game series in Iowa City, Iowa. 

IU hasn’t lost the opening series of conference play since 2016 when it lost two of three games to Rutgers. IU didn’t make the NCAA tournament that season.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Friday. However, weather will be worth watching for Friday night. Saturday and Sunday will have a first pitch of 2:05 p.m. and 1:05 p.m., respectively. 

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