After Tuesday’s game against Indiana State University was canceled, Indiana baseball returns to the diamond this upcoming weekend to face off against the University of Evansville. The Hoosiers will play in a three-game series against the Purple Aces, with the first game marking the Hoosiers’ seventh straight home game at Bart Kaufman Field.
Both teams head into the weekend series coming off of postponements earlier this week. Due to rainy weather conditions, Indiana’s matchup Tuesday was postponed for a future date. Evansville also had a scheduled game on Wednesday against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, but it was also canceled due to inclement weather.
Both teams hold the same 8-12 record heading into the weekend series.
Friday marks the first meeting between the Hoosiers and Purple Aces since March 10, 2020. The Purple Aces won the meeting 5-4 in Evansville. The in-state rivals usually face off against each other at least once each season, but due to COVID-19, the two teams didn’t play in the 2021 season as Indiana played an all-Big Ten schedule.
With recent struggles in Indiana’s starting pitching lineup, one of the biggest questions for the weekend will be how well the Hoosiers’ pitchers will fare against the Purple Aces offense. Indiana head coach Jeff Mercer said he’s aware of what his team needs to do to get back on track and earn a couple of wins.
“We have to be better with runners on base,” Mercer said. “We have to be able to mature and grow and to manage those base runners while also executing our pitches. That's a sign of immaturity of not being out there, of lack of experience. But that only goes so far until you've been out there long enough to understand how to do this.”
The upcoming home series will be the second Indiana has hosted this season after playing Xavier University last weekend. The Hoosiers have posted a 5-3 record this season at home, while the Purple Aces are 5-8 in away games.
The first pitch for Friday’s opener is scheduled for 5 p.m., followed by a 2 p.m. start Saturday and 1 p.m. start Sunday.