Indiana baseball faced three different opponents this weekend competing in the Karbach Round Rock Classic in Round Rock, Texas. The team posted a 1-2 record over its three games this weekend and clinched their first win of the 2022 season, but continued to struggle with runners in scoring position.
Indiana had opportunities to upset two top-10 opponents, but couldn't get enough runs on the board to compete.
In the team’s first game against the University of Arkansas on Friday, Indiana let up only five runs against the No. 2 team in the country. The Razorbacks scored four of their runs in the first four innings, but the Hoosiers were only able to get two of their own runners across home plate for the remainder of the game. The Hoosiers’ pitching staff couldn't make up for the seven base runners the team left stranded in the loss.
After failing to find success offensively through its first four games of the season, Indiana erupted for 12 runs against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for a 12-4. Eight different Hoosiers brought in runners to score, but they still left eight additional runners stranded.
Indiana head coach Jeff Mercer said the Hoosiers were due for the offensive production they have been looking for and was happy to earn the team’s first win.
“You could see us take the next logical step in progression,” Mercer said after Saturday’s win. “You ask them to improve and stay their course and consistently attack the game plan. We did that today (as) you saw us obviously break through.”
Before Saturday’s game against Louisiana, the Hoosiers scored a total of 10 runs in their four games played. Indiana had batted in more runs alone against the Ragin Cajuns than in all of the team’s other games combined. Mercer said the win meant a lot for the players, who needed to see their work show off on the field.
“I was very excited and very happy for them to see the fruits of their labor and the work they have constantly put in,” Mercer said. “How it happened in real time was very exciting. I was very impressed and proud.”
After the Hoosiers’ 12-run showcase their bats turned quite once again. The team was defeated 13-0 to No. 6 Stanford University in a contest that lasted only seven innings due to a mercy rule. Similarly to the first and second game of the round-robin event, the Hoosiers struggled to bring in runs consistently. Indiana left seven players on base on Sunday, bringing the team’s weekend total to 22 stranded base runners over its three games.
“We had two runners on in the second, third and fourth consecutive innings and we weren't able to come through,” Mercer said. “We have to go back and get better.”
Through the first six games of the season Indiana has been outscored 55-22 and has left a total of 55 runners on base through the first two series.