Indiana Daily Student

IU baseball offense bounces back from Friday shutout, wins Maryland series

<p>Freshman Grant Richardson hits the ball March 22 at Bart Kaufman Field. IU beat Iowa, 3-2.</p>

Freshman Grant Richardson hits the ball March 22 at Bart Kaufman Field. IU beat Iowa, 3-2.

After an offensive explosion over the nine games leading into the weekend, IU was shut out in the opener of a three-game set against Maryland in College Park, Maryland.

Whatever IU Coach Jeff Mercer said to his team after Friday night's game night must have worked because the offense responded by scoring 39 runs in the final two games of the series.

IU’s 19-4 win over Maryland on Sunday capped off an incredible two days of hitting and gave IU its second consecutive conference series win. 

Maryland pitcher Hunter Parsons went eight innings on the mound Friday, allowing just two hits while striking out five. He didn't allow a run.

IU senior ace Pauly Milto did his best to counter Parsons’ effort, going six and one-third innings and striking out eight. However, the IU offense gave Milto zero help Friday night. 

Runs batted in from Maryland’s infielder Taylor Wright and outfielder Caleb Walls were enough to push Maryland to a 2-0 win over IU.

The tide turned Saturday afternoon. 

IU’s bats came out firing, putting up 18 runs in the first five innings en route to a 20-5 blowout of Maryland. IU hit nine home runs on the day including a hat trick from freshman outfielder Grant Richardson to give IU a comfortable lead.

Richardson, junior outfielder Matt Gorski, sophomore infielder Cole Barr, junior utility player Scotty Bradley and senior utility player Matt Lloyd all hit home runs Saturday. Bradley, Richardson and Lloyd all had more than one.

The 20 runs from IU were the most since the team put up 22 runs against Northwestern last spring. 

Junior pitcher Tanner Gordon continued his hot streak with a seven-inning, three-hit performance. He allowed just one run while striking out five. 

Sunday was more of the same for IU.

After the 20-run explosion Saturday, IU put up 19 runs Sunday.

Lloyd stole the show with a three-hit performance. His day included hitting two home run and driving in seven total runs. His performance sparked IU to a 19-4 win over Maryland and the series victory. Bradley had four hits and sophomore infielder Drew Ashley had five runs batted in.

The offense allowed junior pitcher Andrew Saalfrank to settle in and deal an 11-strikeout performance over the course of six innings. 

IU moves to 17-10 overall and 5-1 in the Big Ten after taking two of three against Maryland. It will be back in action against Mercer’s former team, Wright State University, at 4:05 p.m. Wednesday in Bloomington.

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