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Thursday, June 13
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Bats catch fire, starters solid in Indiana baseball’s series win over Maryland

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Powered by 34 runs in three games over the weekend in College Park, Maryland, Indiana baseball raced to a 2-1 series win over the Terrapins, its first at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium since 2019. 

After trouncing Indiana State University 16-7 on Tuesday night at home, the Hoosiers’ hot bats carried into the weekend. Indiana plated 14 or more runs twice against Maryland en route to a 15-4-win Friday and a 14-2 victory Saturday before falling 6-5 in walk off fashion Sunday. 

Though the Hoosiers’ pitching staff has been a cause for concern throughout the season, it was solid over the weekend. Graduate lefty Ty Bothwell got the ball Friday and turned in his second longest outing of the year, going six innings and giving up four runs, three of which were earned. 

Bothwell punched out seven and tossed a season-high 104 pitches in his fourth win of the season. After giving up a solo shot to Maryland junior Eddie Hacopian in the bottom of the first, Bothwell retired the Terrapins in order in the ensuing two frames before running into trouble in the fourth. 

Maryland slapped three hits and pushed three runs across in the fourth before Bothwell stranded two runners to get out of the inning. Bothwell struck out four in his final two innings of work, and Indiana’s offense was humming in the meantime. 

Tied 1-1 in the top of the third, junior Nick Mitchell and redshirt freshman Joey Brenczewski knocked back-to-back RBIs, and the Hoosiers added two more runs to take a 5-1 lead. Brenczewski added an RBI double in the fifth, and after redshirt junior Jake Stadler plated a run in the seventh, the Hoosiers exploded in the final two frames. 

Indiana tallied eight runs and nine hits across the eighth and ninth to secure its blowout victory in the series opener. Mitchell and Brenczewski logged four hits apiece, and Stadler, sophomore Tyler Cerny and junior Josh Pyne each collected three hits. 

On Saturday, the Hoosiers received a brilliant performance from sophomore righty Connor Foley. Like Bothwell, Foley turned in his second longest start of the year and struck out 10 in six shutout innings while only surrendering one hit. 

Foley upped his previous career-high pitch count from 103 to a whopping 116 on Saturday and used his flamethrowing fastball and whirling slider to baffle Terrapin batters. And like the day prior, Indiana backed up its starter with plenty of run support. 

With runners on the corners in the top of the first, Mitchell launched a towering three-run homer to kickstart an 11-hit, 14-run afternoon for the Hoosiers. Pyne stayed hot, matching Mitchell with a three-run homer of his own to left field in the sixth to put Indiana up 13-0. 

Junior Carter Mathison capped the offensive outburst with an RBI double in the eighth, and junior Julian Tonghini and senior Seti Manase combined to close out the final three innings on the mound and clinch Indiana’s series win. 

Freshman second baseman Jasen Oliver’s 13-game hitting streak ended in the 14-2 victory, but four Hoosiers registered multi-hit efforts. Foley picked up his fourth victory of the year and continued to cement his role as the staff’s ace after shining as a reliever last year. 

Foley is among the Big Ten’s best in a handful of statistics. His 3.21 ERA ranks sixth, his .139 opposing batting average, 64 strikeouts and 20 hits allowed all rank second and his 42 innings pitched come in ninth. 

After piecing together two of its finest offensive outings of the season, Indiana slowed a bit Sunday. The Hoosiers tallied just three hits in the 6-5 defeat, with sophomore Devin Taylor knocking two of them. 

Graduate righty Ty Rybarczyk got the start and hurled two shutout frames to kick off the afternoon. Maryland plated a pair of runs in the third off a fielding error, and Rybarczyk’s outing concluded after three innings of five-hit, two-run ball, neither of which were earned. 

Taylor crushed a solo shot to center field to open the scoring for the Hoosiers, and Indiana tacked on four runs in the top of the sixth to take a 5-2 lead. The Terrapins jumped on Indiana senior reliever Jack Moffitt in the bottom of the frame, plating a run and forcing redshirt sophomore lefty Brandon Keyster to enter. 

Keyster immediately issued a bases-loaded walk and Indiana brought in graduate righty Drew Buhr to try and limit the damage. Buhr plunked a batter to bring in the tying run before getting out of the inning, and things remained scoreless until the ninth. 

Hoosier sophomore Brayden Risedorph loaded the bases before getting an out, and after striking out one, he surrendered the game-winning single to Maryland senior Kevin Keister. 

Despite the loss in the series finale, Indiana’s offense and pitching staff took major steps forward against the defending Big Ten Champion Terrapins. The Hoosiers impressively did it all without junior catcher and first baseman Brock Tibbitts, who is currently sidelined with a lower body injury. 

Now at 18-15, the Hoosiers return home for a midweek matchup against Ball State University. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Bart Kaufman Field and will be streamed on Big Ten Plus. 

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

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