Indiana Daily Student

Indiana baseball strikes first, loses first-inning lead to Miami in fourth straight loss

<p>Redshirt sophomore outfielder Bobby Whalen attempts to return to the bag on a pick-off throw against Purdue Fort Wayne on March 9, 2022, at Bart Kaufman Field. Indiana split its regular season series with Miami University 1-1.</p>

Redshirt sophomore outfielder Bobby Whalen attempts to return to the bag on a pick-off throw against Purdue Fort Wayne on March 9, 2022, at Bart Kaufman Field. Indiana split its regular season series with Miami University 1-1.

A one-out single in the ninth inning brought the tying run up to the plate for Indiana baseball in its Tuesday road matchup against Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. 

If the next Hoosier batter reached base, the go-ahead run would stroll to the plate. However, one final swing delivered two outs as Indiana freshman outfielder Carter Mathison grounded into a game-ending double play. 

In a rematch of Indiana's 15-2 dominating home-opening win against Miami from March 1, the RedHawks earned their revenge on their home turf with a narrow 9-7 victory to split the regular-season series 1-1. 

Similar to the first game between the two teams earlier in the season, Indiana got on the scoreboard first. Junior catcher Matthew Ellis hit a single to right field to score the opening two runs, and Mathison hit a sacrifice fly to extend the lead. 

Ellis finished the game batting 3-for-5 with three singles and had a team-high two runs batted in. 

Indiana right-handed starting pitcher John-Biagio Modugno proceeded to the mound with a comfortable 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. However, Miami accumulated seven hits, three for extra bases, and took a 7-3 lead. 

Modugno was quickly pulled from the game after throwing 40 pitches in one inning and allowing a season-high seven earned runs in one outing, bringing his earned run average to above 10 this season. 

Despite a seven-run first inning, there were still eight innings of baseball left, and the Hoosiers didn't exit quietly. Back and forth, the scoring for both sides continued. 

Indiana freshman infielder Brock Tibbits hit a double in the third inning, cutting the Hoosiers’ deficit to two runs. But only one inning later, Miami added to its lead again. 

Indiana left-handed reliever Ty Bothwell entered the game for Modugno and encountered trouble in the fourth inning. A bunt single, walk and a double steal set up Miami to score two runs — the first from a wild pitch and the second from a groundout. 

Indiana added a run in the fifth inning but stranded the loaded bases after. Only two days ago, the Hoosiers left the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning in a 10-9 walk-off defeat on the road against Rutgers. 

Left-handed reliever Jack Walker entered for Bothwell in the bottom of the sixth inning and had an excellent outing, pitching three scoreless innings for Indiana. Bothwell and Walker hurled seven innings combined with 10 strikeouts while allowing only two earned runs. 

Walker primarily provided Indiana's offense enough time to stage a comeback. The Hoosiers were losing by three runs when he entered the game, but they added only one more run in the eighth inning before failing to tie it in the ninth inning. 

Indiana drops to 13-22 overall with its fourth consecutive loss. The Hoosiers will conclude their 10-game road trip Wednesday against the University of Cincinnati. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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