IU baseball lost its final game this weekend in the Keith LeClair Classic in Greenville, North Carolina, ending a six-game winning streak it secured after the first two games.
The team went 2-1 in the tournament. It beat No. 17 East Carolina University 11-5 on Friday and High Point University 5-1 on Saturday. It then lost to No. 13 University of Mississippi 9-5 on Sunday, bringing the team’s record to 6-3 for the season.
The Hoosiers had a slow start offensively Sunday. They didn’t get a hit until the fourth inning, when the Hoosiers hit a pair of solo home runs by sophomore outfielder Grant Richardson and senior infielder Jordan Fucci.
Ole Miss started out strong during the game with a two-run home run from junior infielder Tyler Keenan in the first inning. It had two other two-run home runs in the game, one from freshman catcher Hayden Dunhurst in the fourth inning and one from sophomore infielder Kevin Graham in the seventh.
The Hoosiers managed to tie the score 5-5 in the sixth inning. Richardson and junior outfielder Elijah Dunham both hit singles, and senior catcher Collin Hopkins was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. The Rebels’ redshirt freshman pitcher Logan Savell then walked freshman outfielder Hunter Jessee, which allowed Richardson to score. Junior infielder Cooper Trinkle hit a two-runs-batted-in double to tie the score.
Ole Miss scored four runs in the seventh inning, and IU was unable to gain back the deficit. The Hoosiers had a runner on third in both the seventh and the eighth innings but couldn’t bring either one home. IU stranded eight runners on base during the game.
Junior pitcher Tommy Sommer pitched a career-high number of innings with eight and two-thirds innings Saturday against High Point, coming one out away from pitching a full game. Sommer was taken out in the ninth inning when the bases were loaded with the tying run at the plate. Junior pitcher Connor Manous relieved him and struck out the final batter to secure the win for IU.
Sommer only allowed five hits in the eight and two-thirds innings he pitched, and he struck out five batters. He led the team with a defense that shut down most of High Point’s attempts to score.
The Hoosiers’ defense was not as strong in their first game of the weekend. Three of East Carolina's five runs were unearned, and a fourth was scored on a wild pitch.
The team’s win over East Carolina was largely due to its hitting ability. IU had 15 hits and caused East Carolina to use eight pitchers.
The Hoosiers started the game hitting strong when Fucci hit a double that allowed Dunham and Richardson to score. Richardson hit a two-run home run in the third inning.
The game remained close until IU pulled away at the end. Fucci hit another RBI double in the seventh inning, and junior infielder Drew Ashley hit a three-run home run in the eighth, bringing the score to its final 11-5.
Senior pitcher Braden Scott also helped IU beat East Carolina. He came in for starting pitcher sophomore Gabe Bierman in the fifth inning and pitched four innings without allowing a run. He struck out seven of the 15 batters he faced.
IU is scheduled to play Purdue at 3:05 p.m. Wednesday at Bart Kaufman Field for its first home game of the season.