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Friday, May 24
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Indiana baseball takes series finale, goes 1-2 in season opener at Auburn

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It was a tale of two halves for Indiana baseball in its season-opening series at Auburn this weekend, which seems impossible given that it was a three-game series.  

The Hoosiers dropped the first two games of the series in similar ways. In game one, fifth-year senior shortstop Phillip Glasser was the only Indiana batter to tally multiple hits at the plate and the offense struggled, going just 5-of-33 with 12 strikeouts. One of the five hits, however, was a Matthew Ellis home run.  

The redshirt senior catcher briefly gave Indiana a 2-1 lead, but the Auburn bats were quick to respond. They chased starting pitcher senior Ben Seiler in the middle of the third inning after tallying four hits and four walks against the southpaw. He would be saddled with the loss, being charged for four of the Tigers’ eight runs. Auburn won game one by a score of 8-4.  

Game two was more of the same offensively. The Cream and Crimson went just 4-of-30 at the dish in the middle game, and once again Glasser was the only Hoosier with more than one base knock. The strikeouts were toned down and the defense was solid, but early walk trouble proved to be the difference maker once again.  

Redshirt senior lefty Ty Bothwell would take the loss for Indiana, giving up two runs in 2+ innings while allowing four walks. Freshman outfielder Devin Taylor would tally Indiana’s only RBI of the day on a pinch-hit single, his first career hit and first career run batted in. The baseball will surely find a spot in Taylor’s collection, a sign of a bright future for the Cincinnati LaSalle High School product. Auburn took game two, 6-1.  

Indiana hit just .143 in the first two games of the series. The Sunday matinee, however, was a different story. It’s often said that offense is contagious, and Indiana’s bats exploded for 11 runs on 14 hits.  

The offensive avalanche began with a Carter Mathison grand slam in the opening frame, the 20th home run of the sophomore outfielder’s career. Senior outfielder Hunter Jessee and sophomore third baseman Josh Pyne also saw great success at the plate in the series finale. They combined to go 7-10 with three doubles and 5 runs batted in. Seven different Hoosier batters tallied a hit, and eight of Indiana’s 11 runs came in the first three innings. All nine Indiana starters reached base safely in the contest.  

When a pitcher has an early lead, he often takes the mound with a little more confidence. Sophomore righty Luke Sinnard used Indiana’s offensive fireworks to full effect, throwing five innings of one-run ball, allowing five hits, one walk, and striking out four Auburn hitters.  

Indiana was sure-handed in the field, not committing a single error. Sophomore Ryan Kraft would take over for Sinnard in the middle innings, racking up four punchouts, and junior Seti Manase fanned one Auburn batter in the ninth inning. Indiana claimed the series finale, avoiding the sweep by a score of 11-1.  

Indiana hosts the Miami University (Ohio) Redhawks in their home opener Tuesday at Bart Kaufman field. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. After the midweek matchup, the Hoosiers head to the University of Texas for a three-game set against the Longhorns. The game versus Miami can be seen on Big Ten Plus, and the weekend series at Texas will be televised on Longhorn Network.

Follow reporters Matthew Byrne (@MatthewByrne1) and Nick Rodecap (@nickrodecap) for updates throughout the Indiana baseball season.
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