Despite Indiana baseball and Troy University each having 11 hits apiece through the first two games of their weekend series in Troy, Alabama, the Hoosiers entered Sunday’s finale of the three-game series on the verge of getting swept.
Up until that point, Indiana’s two losses were decided by two runs or fewer, as the pitching staff and hitters struggled to harmonize.
Junior right-handed pitcher Jack Perkins was bumped up to start in the series opener on Friday and pitched his second consecutive quality start. Perkins hurled six innings, allowing two earned runs while striking out six Trojans.
However, each time Perkins walked to and from the mound in between innings, the scoreboard read zero in Indiana's scoring column. Perkins had no run support behind him in the pitcher's duel.
It wasn't until the ninth inning the Hoosiers’ bats finally created a rally, but it wasn't enough as Indiana fell 2-1.
In the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader, senior pitcher Bradley Brehmer cruised through the first two innings and held Troy hitless. Brehmer’s perfect start was short-lived, as he eventually allowed five earned runs in just over three innings pitched.
Indiana's bats struck first, though, so by the time Brehmer made his exit, the Hoosiers were only behind by one run. However, they were quiet at the plate after the fourth inning and only had one hit for the rest of the game. Indiana lost 6-4.
Junior reliever Braydon Tucker only allowed one run for the remainder of the second game after Indiana’s coaching staff took Brehmer out of the game, but the Hoosiers couldn’t successfully close the gap. The Trojans pulled through with a few extra timely hits, batting 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position, while the Hoosiers hit just 2-for-9.
The Hoosiers similarly struck first at the plate in the series finale and took an early 3-0 lead. But after the short burst, junior John Modugno ultimately succumbed to the same fate as Brehmer and was knocked off the mound before finishing his start.
Modugno walked four Troy baserunners and allowed four earned runs in the first inning as the Trojans took a 4-3 lead after the first inning.
Sophomore pitcher Reese Sharp relieved the damage through the middle innings, allowing only one earned run in five and one-third innings pitched. However, Sharp went through the same treatment as Perkins, as Indiana’s bats essentially vanished down the stretch.
Freshman Brock Tibbitts hit an impressive 457-foot home run to left-center, but it wasn't enough to spark the Hoosiers’ offense.
After Tibbitts tied the game at 4-4 in the third inning, Indiana batters combined for three hits for the rest of the game, with two coming from freshman Josh Pyne. Indiana eventually lost 7-4 and suffered the sweep.
Amidst the inconsistency from the pitching and offense, Pyne batted 6-for-12 on the weekend with four runs batted in.
The result marks the first time Indiana has been swept since its season-opening series against Clemson University.
During Indiana's four-game winning streak prior to its series against Troy, the Hoosiers’ pitching staff and hitters were in sync, leading the team to dominate its opponents 41-9 in that span.
With the momentum of the four-game winning streak resting in the dust, Indiana will travel back to Bart Kaufman Field looking to remain undefeated at home against the University of Kentucky. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday.