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Sunday, April 21
The Indiana Daily Student

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No. 20 Indiana baseball looks to regroup, faces two ranked opponents in Frisco Classic

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After a shocking 9-6 defeat to Purdue University Fort Wayne on Tuesday night, No. 20 Indiana baseball looks to regroup this weekend in the Frisco College Baseball Classic in Frisco, Texas. 

Prior to the upset loss, the Hoosiers were riding a six-game winning streak featuring a commanding win over then-No. 18 Coastal Carolina and a road sweep of Baylor University. But against the Mastodons, Indiana’s bats were quiet until the sixth inning and couldn’t overcome Purdue Fort Wayne’s five homers. 

While the Hoosiers won’t have the luxury of easing back into action — they face two ranked foes in three games this weekend — they’ll have their regular starters back on the mound. According to a release from IU Athletics, sophomores Brayden Risedorph and Connor Foley will get the ball Friday and Saturday, respectively, and look to build on their strong starts to the season. 

Here’s a look at Indiana’s trio of opponents in Frisco: 

Game 1: Friday vs. No. 16 University of Alabama (7 p.m.) 

Alabama hasn’t faced the level of competition Indiana has so far this season, but the Crimson Tide still boast an unblemished 9-0 record. Under head coach Rob Vaughn — who took over after a successful six-year stint at Maryland — Alabama’s hitters have been on fire. 

The Crimson Tide bat .363 as a unit, slug .640 and have hit 19 homers. Freshman shortstop Justin Lebron has led the offensive surge, boasting a team-high .500 batting average. Junior Gage Miller and senior TJ McCants have offered more power, combining for 11 home runs and 35 RBIs while hitting .457 and .400, respectively. 

Alabama ace Ben Hess will toe the slab against Indiana. The junior righty has been limited by injuries in his first two seasons, but he’s been solid in his pair of starts this year. Against Manhattan College and Valparaiso University, Hess tossed eight combined innings and surrendered 2 runs while striking out 14. 

Hess earned a win in both contests, and he heads into the matchup against Indiana with a 2.25 ERA. Meanwhile, across eight innings against then-No. 12 Duke University and Baylor, Risedorph has gone 0-1 and possesses a 5.63 ERA. 

Game 2: Saturday vs. No. 25 Dallas Baptist University (1 p.m.) 

Like Alabama, the Patriots own an undefeated record, albeit with a slightly more impressive resume. Dallas Baptist has taken down the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University behind a potent trio of hitters. 

Sophomore Michael Dattalo paces the team with a .444 batting average, and sophomore Grant Jay and senior Miguel Santos are hitting above .400, as well. Jay and Santos have combined for nine homers and 27 RBIs and each slug over .900. 

Righty hurler Jaron DeBerry is set to make the start against Indiana. In his second season with the Patriots, the senior has thrown 10 innings across two starts and surrendered 5 combined runs while striking out 13 and issuing three walks. 

On the mound for Indiana, Foley will have a tall task against the Patriots’ explosive options at the plate. Still, the righty hurler has answered the call so far in his first season as a starter. In his first outing against Coastal Carolina, Foley spun four innings of two-hit, shutout ball and struck out seven. 

Then, against Baylor, Foley pitched a gem. The Jasper, Indiana, native worked six shutout frames and surrendered only one hit while again punching out seven batters. He leads the staff in almost every statistical category, though he has issued a team-worst six walks. 

Game 3: Sunday vs. University of Arizona (1 p.m.) 

Indiana’s tournament finale comes against an Arizona team that has been shaky through eight games. The Wildcats have gone 4-4 with a pair of ranked wins over then-No. 23 Northeastern University but also dropped two out of three games against the University of San Diego. 

Arizona junior infielder Garen Caulfield leads the team at the plate with a .500 average, and sophomore Brendan Summerhill has batted .400 and knocked a team-high 15 RBIs. Sophomore Mason White and senior Emilio Corona have provided a jolt of power, hitting three homers apiece and each slugging above .575. 

While the Wildcats have shown a capable offense, their pitchers have been more volatile. Arizona’s staff possesses a 5.35 ERA and a .280 opponent batting average, though it’s given up a modest five combined homers. 

Indiana has relied on more of a committee approach through two Sunday games and sophomore righty Ethan Phillips has gotten the start on both occasions. Across two outings, Phillips has thrown seven innings and struck out nine while maintaining a 6.43 ERA. 

All three of Indiana’s games this weekend will be streamed on the subscription-based D1 Baseball. 

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

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