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Tuesday, April 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Indiana baseball’s Brayden Risedorph named opening day starter against No. 12 Duke

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Indiana baseball sophomore pitcher Brayden Risedorph will start on the mound in the Hoosiers’ season opener against No. 12 Duke University on Friday, head coach Jeff Mercer said Wednesday afternoon. 

As a freshman last season, Risedorph appeared in 25 games, making five starts. The 6-foot-3 righty notched six saves and a trio of wins, accumulating a 4.47 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 52 1/3 innings. 

Part of a sophomore pitching trio that includes flamethrower Connor Foley and a proven arm in Ethan Phillips, Risedorph gave the Hoosiers the most work as a freshman. Now, against a Duke team that made an NCAA Super Regional last year and has lofty expectations in 2024, Risedorph will be charged with trying to open the season on a high note. 

 

For Risedorph, transitioning to a full-time starting role will bear more than just an overwhelming pitch repertoire. 

“It’s not always stuff,” Mercer said about how to succeed against tough competition. “Stuff is part of it. But it’s deception. It’s timing. It’s managing.” 

Like Foley and Phillips last season, Risedorph was tasked with getting through clutch innings. After then-sophomore pitcher Luke Sinnard exited last year’s Lexington Regional bout against West Virginia University with an injury, Risedorph took over and earned a win after delivering a crucial three 2/3 frames. 

While he had time to collect his thoughts and mentally prepare for relief appearances, that process is expedited as a starter. Still, Risedorph said his approach is largely unchanged. 

“The biggest adjustment is just getting routines right,” Risedorph said. “As a reliever, you just go out there and whenever your name’s called you start getting ramped up. But outside of that, it’s pretty much the same thing — just going out there and competing.” 

After developing his arsenal to try and incorporate more supplementary pitches, Risedorph thinks he’s equipped to handle the workload of a starter. Still, will looks to maintain his velocity and ability to wipe out batters. 

“I would say just a power pitcher,” Risedorph commented on his pitching style. “I’m just gonna throw strikes, give my best stuff.” 

Mercer said the starters for Saturday and Sunday’s games against No. 18 Coastal Carolina University and George Mason University have yet to be determined. He added those decisions will be clearer after seeing which pitchers he uses Friday. 

Indiana’s clash against Duke serves as the first of its three games in the weekend’s “Baseball at the Beach” tournament in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. First pitch against the Blue Devils is set for 11 a.m. Friday, and all three games will be available to watch on ESPN+. 

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

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