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The Indiana Daily Student

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No. 20 Indiana baseball run-ruled twice in three days at Frisco Classic

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One step forward, two steps back: an apt description of No. 20 Indiana baseball’s weekend at the Frisco Classic in Frisco, Texas.  

The Hoosiers had a chance to make a statement versus formidable competition at Riders Field on March 1-3, but they were trounced 12-0 by the No. 16 University of Alabama and 12-1 by the University of Arizona. They bookended the weekend with seven-inning mercy rules. Indiana’s only saving grace was a 9-7 comeback win over No. 25 Dallas Baptist University on March 2.  

Alabama wasted no time jumping on Indiana’s Friday starter, Brayden Risedorph. The Crimson Tide put up five runs in the first inning, three of which came before the sophomore righty recorded an out. Eight of Alabama’s nine starters hit safely, and three had multiple hits in the seven-inning contest. 

The Tide, an NCAA Super Regional team in 2023, thoroughly dismantled Indiana on all fronts. Junior right-hander Ben Hess, one of the top pitching prospects in the 2024 MLB Draft, carved up the Hoosier bats and held them to just one hit in five innings, striking out 10 of the 17 batters he faced.  

Junior southpaw Ryan Kraft was one of the only bright spots for Indiana on Friday. Kraft relieved Risedorph after the first inning and turned in a pair of scoreless frames, but after senior right-hander Seti Manase took Kraft’s place in the fourth inning, Alabama resumed its offensive onslaught with seven more runs. Alabama junior right-hander Coulson Buchanan shut the door, spinning two quiet innings to give Alabama a 12-0, run-rule victory over a fellow ranked foe in Indiana.  

The Hoosiers responded to Friday night’s run-rule with a Saturday afternoon comeback win over Dallas Baptist, led by the pitching tandem of sophomore right-hander Connor Foley and sixth-year senior lefty Ty Bothwell. Foley fought tooth-and-nail through 4 ⅓ innings, throwing 97 pitches and holding the high-flying Dallas Baptist offense to four runs. Indiana's offense went dormant after plating one run in the first inning, and the Hoosiers found themselves down 6-1 after five innings.  

Indiana rallied in the sixth, with junior outfielder Carter Mathison and sophomore shortstop Tyler Cerny picking up RBIs to cut the deficit to three. Bothwell pitched a scoreless sixth after the Patriots chased Foley with a four-run fifth. The Hoosiers did not miss a beat in the seventh, as sophomore outfielder Devin Taylor and junior infielder Brock Tibbitts willed Indiana to a 7-6 lead. Tibbitts’ base knock was the biggest of the weekend for Indiana — a go-ahead, three-run triple on an 0-2 pitch that capped off a seismic comeback.  

Senior outfielder Sam Murrison and junior third baseman Josh Pyne added crucial insurance runs in the eighth inning and Bothwell shut the door, capping off 4 ⅔ innings of work out of the bullpen and earning his second win of the season in the 9-7 Indiana victory.  

And Big Game Ty Bothwell escapes the 2-on, 1-out jam in the 9th by inducing a game-ending 4-6-3 DP - @IndianaBase wins a highly entertaining ballgame 9-7 over DBU. Bothwell was nails out of the IU pen for 4.2 IP, allowing Hoosiers to come back from 6-1 down and hold on to win. pic.twitter.com/A6b57zFTiB

 

Saturday was as good as it got for Indiana. The Hoosiers were dominated by a sub-.500 Arizona team Sunday, finding themselves on the wrong side of a crooked number for the second time in three days. Sophomore right-hander Ethan Phillips started the game for Indiana and gave up one run in 2 ⅓ innings, but once the Wildcats got to Indiana’s thin bullpen, they blew the doors off it.  

Indiana head coach Jeff Mercer called upon redshirt sophomore southpaw Grant Holderfield and junior righty Julian Tonghini in relief, and Arizona answered mightily. It scored 10 runs in the fourth inning, eight of which came with two outs. Holderfield was charged with six runs, while Tonghini finished his outing on the hook for four runs, retiring just one batter.  

Indiana’s offense was once again stymied. Arizona senior right-hander Cam Walty delivered six innings of one-run ball, walking no batters and striking out three while allowing five hits. With the game out of reach, Indiana freshman second baseman Jasen Oliver surrendered one run in the seventh inning, pitching in a mop-up role for Indiana.  

Arizona’s lead ballooned to 11 and the Hoosiers did not respond, ending the game on the wrong end of another run-rule. This time, they mustered up a run — unfortunately for them, Arizona hung 12.  

Indiana has lost three of its last four games, but it returns home with a chance to right the ship. The Hoosiers play 15 of their next 18 games at home. They face Northern Kentucky University at 4 p.m. Tuesday and host Troy University in their first home series March 8-10. All four games will be broadcast on Big Ten Plus.  

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

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