Indiana Daily Student

IU loses its first home series 2-1 to the University of San Diego

<p>Freshman Hunter Jessee bunts the ball March 7 at Bart Kaufman Field. The University of San Diego defeated IU 5-13 March 8.</p>

Freshman Hunter Jessee bunts the ball March 7 at Bart Kaufman Field. The University of San Diego defeated IU 5-13 March 8.

IU baseball lost its weekend series to the University of San Diego 2-1 when the team lost 13-5 Sunday at Bart Kaufman Field.

With Sunday’s loss and the doubleheader the Hoosiers split Saturday, their record is now 8-5 for the season and 2-2 at home.

IU head coach Jeff Mercer said the team’s 6-2 loss in the second game Saturday affected it on an emotional level that carried into Sunday’s game.

“We played like a really immature team that didn’t really know how to respond once we got hit in the mouth,” Mercer said. “And it showed throughout the course of the game. We continued to give ourselves opportunities, but we just did things that poor offenses do.”

IU had 10 hits in the game, six of which were in the last two innings. The team didn’t record a hit until the fourth inning when senior catcher Collin Hopkins hit a single to left field. Junior infielder Drew Ashley was one of IU’s few offensive strengths, going 3-3 from the plate and drawing a walk in the first inning. 

San Diego starting pitcher senior Grady Miller pitched five innings and only allowed three hits. He walked five batters, but IU did not take advantage of the extra runners on the bases.

The Hoosiers left 13 runners on base throughout the game. They stranded runners in all but two innings.

“We really struggled executing with runners on base,” Ashley said. “We just didn’t find a way to get anybody home.”

Ashley hit a solo home run in the fifth inning to score IU’s first run of the game. Sophomore outfielder Grant Richardson also earned a run that inning, bringing the score to 5-2.

The Toreros scored two runs in the sixth inning and four in the eighth, one of which was unearned. In both those innings, one of the runners who scored had been walked onto the base path.

IU started a ninth-inning rally when the team hit three singles to load the bases. Freshman outfielder Ethan Vecrumba hit a triple to bring all the runners home, but the team was unable to close the 11-run gap in the score. A double play ended the inning before IU could score any more runs.

The Hoosiers’ pitchers were unable to stop the Toreros’ offense. Sophomore Braydon Tucker pitched 4 2/3 innings. He allowed 10 hits and five runs, four of which were earned. The Hoosiers used four pitchers out of the bullpen, but junior Connor Manous was the only one who didn’t allow any runs. He pitched 1 2/3 innings and only allowed one hit.

San Diego batted 16 hits against IU’s pitchers. Sophomore infielder Caleb Ricketts, junior catcher Adam Kerner and senior infielder Adam Lopez all had three hits. Kerner and Lopez both had three runs batted in.

IU is scheduled to play two midweek games this week. The team will next face the University of Evansville at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Evansville, Indiana. It will then play the University of Cincinnati at 4:05 p.m. Wednesday at Bart Kaufman Field.

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