Indiana knocks off a Top-25 opponent to start the year on the road in Palo Alto. Casey Rodrigue provided the offense of note for the Hoosiers, knocking a two-run blast out to right-field in the Top of the 7th. WHAT DID WE LEARN?
1. Scott Effross has that starter stuff. This was everything you want out of your Friday night starter. Effross went 6 innings, walked none, and struck out 3 on only 80 pitches. The key to the efficiency? He threw a first pitch strike to 19 of the 23 batters he faced. The only concern might be the way the balls put in play come off the bat. But if Effross limits the damage like this all season, there will be nothing to complain or worry about.
2. The offense might be just fine. Stanford's Cal Quantrill is probably the best pitcher Indiana will see all season. And the Hoosiers didn't seem to care. They put a lot of pressure on him, and even though he only gave up one run, the threats posed by the IU offense were encouraging to see. Every hitter had at least one good at-bat, and they strung together a couple good stretches of small ball, hit one homer, and did enough to get a win. All that was really missing tonight was a timely hit. The bases were left full of Hoosiers twice tonight and failed to drive home a runner on 3rd twice more.
3. If they get to the 7th with the lead, it's pretty much over because the back end of the bullpen is goooooooooood. Luke Harrison's stuff if filthy. Ryan Halstead is healthy. 'Nuff said.
The Hoosiers return to the diamond tomorrow in Palo Alto at 9PM EST. You can catch that one on the Pac-12 Network, too.