One word was typed next to 39 games of IU baseball’s regular season schedule: canceled.
The team marched through 15 games before being forced to shut down for the rest of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Expectations were high as the Hoosiers were coming off a Big Ten regular season title after head coach Jeff Mercer’s first year at the helm in 2019.
In February, the Hoosiers salvaged the final game of the season opening series in Baton Rouge against No. 11 Louisiana State University.
After a stretch of 12 more contests, including another top-25 win against No. 17 East Carolina University, IU’s season came to a halt with a 9-6 record.
The 15 total games were less than most high school baseball seasons. That meant no blisters from digging into the batter's box more than 200 times or fatigued rotator cuffs from pitchers hurling upward of 100 innings. Fans only had five opportunities to see their beloved Hoosiers take Bart Kaufman Field.
Now, around three months after diamonds around the country fell silent, the crack of the bat is resounding once again.
College summer baseball leagues are underway, and some IU players are back on the dirt, attempting to get back into rhythm after a lost season. A handful of Hoosiers are playing in the College Summer League from June 15 to July 24 at Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana.
Here’s a look at some Hoosiers’ statistics from the College Summer League at Grand Park so far:
The A-Team (3-1-1)
Cole Barr, junior infielder: Six for eight, three runs scored, five RBI, one home run
Zach Behrman, freshman pitcher: Four innings pitched, zero runs allowed, five strikeouts
Braydon Tucker, sophomore pitcher: Three innings pitched, one earned run, four strikeouts. At the plate, he’s one for six with two walks.
Connor Manous, redshirt junior pitcher: Two innings pitched, zero runs allowed, three strikeouts
Garrett Manous, freshman outfielder: Hitless in four at bats
Drew Ashley, junior utility: One for six with two strikeouts
Turf Monsters (2-1-2)
Ethan Vecrumba, freshman outfielder: Four for eight with four doubles and four runs scored
Reese Sharp, freshman pitcher: Four innings pitched, four hits allowed, one run allowed, four strikeouts
Tyler Nelson, incoming freshman infielder: Hitless in five at bats with two RBI and three strikeouts
Snapping Turtles (3-1-1)
Casper Clark, incoming freshman pitcher: Two innings pitched, two earned runs, five strikeouts.
Kip Fougerousse, incoming freshman infielder: Four for 11 with three RBI.
The Northwoods League, centered around the Midwest and Great Lakes regions, has also returned to action. Redshirt senior catcher Collin Hopkins, who’s starring on the Mandan Flickertails in North Dakota, has recorded two hits in 11 at bats while scoring two runs.
The Kernels Collegiate League, based out in Normal, Illinois, is scheduled to start July 1. Sophomore pitchers Gabe Bierman and McCade Brown, along with freshman pitcher David Platt are all set to take the field for the CornBelters.
More updates will be provided throughout the summer.