IU Coach Jeff Mercer had a tone of disgust when talking about his team's 9-8 loss to Kent State University Wednesday.
Six errors, nine runners left on base and 12 walks allowed were more than enough to cost IU the game at Bart Kaufman Field.
With the loss, IU falls to 15-9. This marked the first home defeat of the season.
“Yeah, we really didn’t do anything well,” Mercer said. “Literally anything. We had terrible approaches offensively and terrible baserunning. Add all that together and it's even a minor miracle we were in the ballgame into the ninth, 10th and 11th inning.”
IU seemed in trouble from the start after errors from junior infielder Jeremy Houston and junior pitcher Cam Beauchamp spotted Kent State four early runs in the second inning.
Sophomore infielder Cole Barr responded with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the second inning putting IU on the board. IU would cut the Kent State lead in half after senior Wyatt Cross’ ground ball scored freshman Grant Richardson.
Even after an error on a Houston ground ball tied things up at four in the fourth inning, IU couldn’t take advantage of the momentum.
“You’ve got to be able to go execute,” Mercer said. “We missed signs, missed pitches and picks.”
The Kent State runs in the seventh and eighth inning were both results of errors from IU fielders. Senior Matt Lloyd, Barr, Beauchamp, Houston and Richardson all finished with errors for IU.
Lloyd and sophomore Elijah Dunham homered in the bottom of the eighth to bring IU back into the game when it looked like all hope was lost. Still, Mercer wasn’t impressed from the effort of IU’s offense.
“We didn’t do anything that can be confused for decent baseball,” Mercer said.
Even when IU tried to help itself, it didn’t. Cross’ 11th inning two run home run to tie the ballgame was followed by him dropping a ball in the 12th inning to allow the game winning run.
IU will return to action this weekend as it takes on Maryland in College Park, Maryland. The Hoosiers will put their undefeated conference record on the line.