Indiana Daily Student

UPDATED: IU baseball to play University of San Diego in first home series

<p>Redshirt senior Grant Sloan prepares to pitch March 4 against Purdue at Bart Kaufman field. IU will compete against the University of San Diego on March 6-8 at home. </p>

Redshirt senior Grant Sloan prepares to pitch March 4 against Purdue at Bart Kaufman field. IU will compete against the University of San Diego on March 6-8 at home.

This story was updated at 4:20 p.m. Thursday to reflect that the Friday game was canceled.

IU baseball will play its first weekend series at home when it faces the University of San Diego at Bart Kaufman Field this weekend.

The first game, scheduled to start at 4:05 p.m. Friday, was canceled due to expected wind chills. The series will now start Saturday, with the first game of the doubleheader at 2:05 p.m. and the second at 5:05 p.m. The final game is at 12:05 p.m. Sunday.

IU looks to continue building a winning record at home. The team beat Purdue 17-2 in seven innings Wednesday in Bloomington after the two teams agreed on a 10-run mercy rule. The win brought IU’s record to 7-3 for the season.

Senior pitcher Cal Krueger said IU is looking forward to playing against a challenging team in San Diego.

“We always want to play well at home and get a lot of wins, and this is a good chance to do it,” Krueger said.

San Diego has a 9-3 record and lost 5-1 on Tuesday to Indiana State University. The team swept Monmouth College in its series last weekend.

San Diego’s pitching has been strong this season. Sophomore pitcher Jake Miller threw a no-hitter against Monmouth on Friday, and freshman pitcher Carter Rustad pitched five innings Sunday without allowing any hits.

Hoosier pitchers have also been performing well, which they showcased in the tournament last weekend. Junior Tommy Sommer pitched almost the whole game Saturday against High Point University and was removed from the game with only one out to go in the ninth inning. Sophomore Gabe Bierman struck out six batters in four innings Friday.

San Diego has three powerful hitters: graduate student outfielder Thomas Luevano, junior infielder Shane McGuire and sophomore catcher Caleb Ricketts. McGuire, who has a .464 batting average for the season, and Luevano both have 11 RBIs. Luevano’s average is .429 for the season. Ricketts has 14 RBIs and a .400 batting average for the season.

Senior infielder Jordan Fucci’s recent batting helped the team earn runs. In his last four games, Fucci had 11 runs batted in and went 8-17 from the plate.

Head coach Jeff Mercer said the Hoosiers are a disciplined, hardworking team who has met a lot of his expectations.

“When I walk in and put a game plan in, I’m confident that this group will go out and to the best of their abilities try to execute that game plan,” Mercer said.

Mercer said he still thinks the team needs to improve, and this weekend provides more opportunities for that growth.

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