It was a weekend filled with tradition at IU this past Friday and Saturday as the 32nd Women’s Little 500 race and 69th Men’s Little 500 race took place.
While Teter raised the women’s trophy and Cutters the men’s, IU baseball was taking care of the University of Evansville in a big nonconference weekend.
The first game was played in Evansville, Indiana, while the subsequent three were played in Bloomington.
For IU, pitching was the key all weekend long.
Senior pitcher Pauly Milto started things off for IU on Friday in a big way. Behind an eight-inning, four-strikeout gem, Milto carried IU to a 5-0 win to start the series.
Sophomore infielder Drew Ashley broke a scoreless duel in the third inning with a RBI single to left field to score freshman outfielder Grant Richardson. Ashley went 2 for 5 with a run batted in during his first game back in Evansville.
Senior utility player Matt Lloyd added a second run in the fourth inning with a solo bomb to continue his hot streak as of late.
With Milto cruising, sophomore infielder Justin Walker added a two-run single en route to a 5-0 final score Friday night.
On Saturday, the two teams moved things north to Bloomington for a doubleheader. IU junior Tanner Gordon got the ball in game one and didn’t disappoint.
He went seven innings while striking out nine and surrendering just one run before freshman Gabe Bierman came into close things out with two scoreless innings.
After a rocky start to the season, Gordon has figured things out on the mound. He started the season 1-3 but since a loss to Oregon State University in March, Gordon has gone 5-0 in five starts with 40 strikeouts while allowing just seven earned runs, bringing his season earned run average to 3.31.
IU’s offense got off to a quick start after Lloyd drove home junior outfielder Matt Gorski with a run batted in single. In the third, Lloyd did some more damage with a two-run home run.
Sophomore infielder Cole Barr added some insurance in the seventh with a two-run double to give IU the 5-1 victory in game one of the doubleheader.
Game two on Saturday was more of the same.
IU junior pitcher Andrew Saalfrank may have turned in the most impressive pitching performance of the weekend.
Saalfrank went seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 14 while only giving up two earned runs.
Freshman outfielder Grant Richardson had three runs batted in while junior utility player Scotty Bradley and Walker both had two. IU’s offense produced more than enough for Saalfrank as IU coasted to a 9-3 victory and a clinch of a series win in the four-game set.
IU capped off an impressive weekend Sunday with a 6-5 walk-off victory. IU got a combination of help from different players on a rainy, gloomy day to cap off the series sweep. Ashley’s tenth inning hit ended the series.
The Hoosiers are now 24-12 overall and 7-2 in Big Ten play. IU will host Ball State University at 6:05 p.m. Tuesday at Bart Kaufman Field.