Indiana faced off against the hottest team in the Big Ten this weekend, taking on first-place Rutgers in a three-game series. The Hoosiers fell to the Scarlet Knights in all three games, leaving multiple runners stranded on the bases and allowing the Scarlet Knights’ winning streak to extend to 15 straight games.
The first two games saw Rutgers pull away with the win by just two runs. The first game on Friday ended 5-3 while Saturday’s game ended 4-2, and looking at the box score, Indiana had opportunities to bring in more than the five combined runs.
On Friday, Indiana finished just 1-10 with runners in scoring position. The Hoosiers recorded more hits than the Scarlet Knights, and the Scarlet Knights also struggled leaving runners on base after they batted 2-8 with runners in scoring position.
However, a two-out single from Rutgers sophomore Evan Sleight gave his team two runs in the bottom of the eight. Sleight’s hit was Rutgers’ second hit of the game with runners in scoring position and ultimately brought home the winning runs.
Saturday’s game featured similar struggles from Indiana. Just like Friday, Indiana batted 1-10 with runners in scoring position. The Hoosiers scored their two runs in the fifth inning but were unable to produce anything after that. After the fifth inning, Indiana went 1-12 overall to end the ball game.
Indiana batted a combined 2-20 with runners in scoring position, 5-27 with runners on and left a total of 17 runners on base between the first two games of the series.
The Hoosiers’ offensive production changed in the early part of Sunday’s game, but fell off as the game continued.
Indiana held an 8-3 lead in the fifth inning but lost 10-9 after Rutgers was able to earn a walk-off win in the ninth. Indiana was shut down after the sixth inning, unable to add to its nine runs.
Hoosier batters went 3-14 with runners in scoring position and just 5-25 with runners on base. Indiana stranded nine more runners in Sunday’s game, and after all its walk-off on Sunday, Rutgers left the field with the weekend series sweep.
After the three games against the Scarlet Knights, the Hoosiers sit near the bottom of the Big Ten in offensive rankings. They are eighth out of thirteen total teams in the Big Ten with .271 team batting average.
Indiana batted 5-34 with runners in scoring position while also leaving 26 runners on base all weekend.
Indiana now holds a record of 13-21 and is still in search of a Big Ten Series win. The Hoosiers’ next two games will be midweek matchups against Miami University (Ohio) and the University of Cincinnati April 19 and 20, respectively.