IU baseball lost its opening series 2-1 this weekend, avoiding a sweep from No. 11 Louisiana State University.
The teams played one game on Friday and a doubleheader on Saturday. The game scheduled for Sunday was moved to Saturday because of a rain forecast.
The Hoosiers improved throughout the series, moving from an 8-1 loss in the first game to a 7-4 loss in the second game, until they finally beat the Tigers 7-2 in the last game.
Head coach Jeff Mercer said he was encouraged by the team’s ability to adapt during the series.
“The overriding theme for the weekend was our ability to grow and to learn in real time,” Mercer said. “To be able to adjust in real time is really difficult to do, and we did that exponentially.”
IU struggled to hit in the first game. The team only had three hits compared to LSU’s nine. All of IU’s hits were against LSU sophomore pitcher Cole Henry. He had eight strikeouts but tired out after four innings, leaving IU plenty of time to hit against other pitchers.
IU’s only run in the first game was unearned. Freshman outfielder Ethan Vecrumba scored after he reached on a fielding error in the fifth inning.
The Hoosiers hit better than the Tigers in the second game but earned fewer runs. IU had 10 hits while LSU had nine. With 10 hits and only four runs, IU stranded 11 players on base.
“We weren’t great finishing innings in either of the first two games,” Mercer said. “We had a lot of guys on base throughout.”
IU left seven runners on base in the first game and nine in the third game.
Sophomore outfielder Grant Richardson was the only Hoosier who hit in all three games. He went 6-12 in the series, with a triple in the second game and a 2-run home run and 4 RBIs in the third.
Junior infielder Cole Barr only had one hit in the series, but it was a 2-run home run in the second game.
LSU is the second highest ranked team on IU’s nonconference schedule. Mercer said he likes to play difficult teams because the only way to grow is to compete against the highest caliber.
“I’ve always been a firm believer that if you want to be a team that can compete in June, you have to play in environments that are similar to June environments,” Mercer said.