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Tuesday, April 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

No. 23 Indiana baseball stays hot, slugs its way past Baylor in first road series

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No. 23 Indiana baseball continued its red-hot start to the season, sweeping Baylor University on the road to extend its winning streak to six games. Sophomore outfielder Devin Taylor and senior outfielder Morgan Colopy each hit multiple home runs and sophomore right-handed pitcher Connor Foley pitched a gem to lead the Hoosiers over the Bears in Waco, Texas.  

After going winless at the Shriners Children’s College Showdown in Arlington, Texas, Baylor’s early-season slate did not get any easier with the high-flying Hoosiers coming to town. Indiana set the tone early Friday, jumping out to a 6-1 lead in the third inning of the series opener.  

Junior third baseman Josh Pyne, Taylor and junior infielder Brock Tibbitts, the 2-3-4 hitters in Indiana’s lineup, combined to go 9-12 with 2 RBIs and five runs scored. Baylor struggled defensively, committing three errors.  

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Brayden Risedorph got the starting nod for Friday’s game and ran into some trouble in the fourth frame, allowing back-to-back doubles to start the inning and walking senior catcher Harrison Caley with one out. Junior righty Julian Tonghini replaced Risedorph and allowed both inherited runners to score, but tight roped out of trouble by striking out junior outfielder Ty Johnson and inducing a groundout off the bat of senior infielder Cole Posey.  

Tonghini shut down the Baylor bats over the next three innings, allowing Indiana to save its bullpen depth and setting the table for redshirt sophomore southpaw Grant Holderfield’s first career save. Holderfield spun two scoreless innings of one-hit, shutout ball while striking out four Bears to seal the 8-4 series-opening win for Indiana.  

The Hoosiers jumped out to an early lead again Saturday, with Tibbitts plating junior outfielder Carter Mathison to give sophomore right-hander Connor Foley a one-run cushion before throwing a pitch. Taylor and Colopy each belted solo homers, junior catcher Jake Stadler had a pair of run-scoring base hits and freshman second baseman Cal Sefcik picked up his first career hit on an RBI single.  

The Bears’ pitching staff had no answer for Indiana the entire weekend. Their bats were equally powerless against Foley, who pitched a gem to clinch the series for Indiana.  

One week removed from shutting down No. 18 Coastal Carolina University, the reigning Big Ten Pitcher of the Week picked up right where he left off, delivering six shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out seven.  

Much like Feb. 17 against the Chanticleers, sixth-year senior Ty Bothwell turned in a quality performance in relief. Bothwell allowed one run in three innings of work, locking up his first save of the season in Indiana’s 6-1 Saturday victory. In two starts this season, Foley has not allowed a run in 10 innings, given up just three hits and struck out 14 batters.  

Indiana had a chance to sweep its first series of the season Sunday, and it proved more than up to the task, routing Baylor 15-5. The game was closer than the final score may indicate — it was initially a back-and-forth affair, with Indiana up 4-3 after four innings. Taylor and Tibbitts each homered while defensive miscues once again cost Baylor.  

The Bears chased sophomore right-hander Ethan Phillips in the fourth inning, but Indiana’s bullpen once again stymied Baylor’s momentum. This time, it was junior southpaw Ryan Kraft, who pitched 2 ⅔ innings of one-run ball to keep Indiana ahead. Kraft was one of Indiana’s shutdown arms last season, and Sunday’s outing was more characteristic than his struggles against Duke University in the season opener Feb. 16.  

With Kraft’s day done after the sixth, the Hoosiers scored 11 runs in the seventh and eighth innings to blow the game open. The avalanche began with yet another RBI hit from Taylor, followed by a bases-loaded walk and hit-by-pitch, and then the dagger: Colopy slapped an opposite-field grand slam to punctuate a phenomenal offensive weekend.

Taylor homered again in the eighth and redshirt-freshman first baseman Joey Brenczewski added two more runs on a single to cap off a three-RBI performance. Indiana’s bullpen had a bit of trouble in the final inning, but senior right-hander Jack Moffitt got the final two outs to salt away the series finale, an eight-inning, 10-run win for Indiana.  

Taylor and Colopy led the offensive charge for Indiana, combining for 12 hits, six home runs, 13 RBIs and 11 runs scored. Indiana totaled 16 extra-base hits on the weekend, hanging 29 runs on a struggling Baylor pitching staff that, try is it might, could not keep the Hoosiers’ bats quiet.  

Indiana is now 6-1 on the season as its road-heavy schedule continues next weekend. The Hoosiers make a brief stop at home for a midweek game versus Purdue University Fort Wayne at 4 p.m. Tuesday on Big Ten Plus.  

After the showdown against the Mastodons, Indiana heads back to Texas for the Frisco Classic. It faces the No. 17 University of Alabama in a ranked showdown at 7 p.m. Friday, followed by 1 p.m. matinees against fellow 2023 NCAA Tournament participants Dallas Baptist University on Saturday and the University of Arizona on Sunday. All games in Frisco will be streamed exclusively on D1Baseball.  

Follow reporters Matt Press (@MattPress23) and Nick Rodecap (@nickrodecap) for updates throughout the Indiana baseball season.

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