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Indiana struggles at the plate, falls to #8 Oregon State again

Indiana fails to convert with runners in scoring position and loses to the Beavers for the second time in four days.

NCAA Men's College World Series Championship Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

After solid offensive outputs in the last two games against Gonzaga, the IU bats were nowhere to be found against Oregon State, where the Hoosiers went a paltry 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, and only plated one runner in a 4-1 loss.

As it turned out, the first inning was a sign of things to come, as both Laren Eustace and Matt Lloyd reached base, but no one was able to bring them around to give the Hoosier an early lead. Oregon State, on the other hand, got to IU starter Brian Hobbie early as Christian Donahue followed up Nick Madrigal’s single with a triple which gave to Beavers a 1-0 lead. Donahue would score on a fielder’s choice, pushing OSU’s lead to 2-0 after the first.

After a quiet second inning, Indiana looked threatening in the third after Jeremy Houston laced a leadoff triple into left center. However, OSU starter Jake Thompson shut down any IU attempt at a big inning as he struck out the next three batters.

Indiana looked like they were getting a little momentum going in the fourth when Craig Dedelow started the inning with a home run to right field, but that was stolen right back as Trevor Larnach started off Oregon State’s half of the inning with a dinger of his own, extending the Beaver lead to 3-1.

OSU manager Pat Casey handed the reins over to his bullpen after Thompson recorded one out in the sixth, and lefty Jake Mulholland handled things from there and retired the next two Hoosiers to come to the plate.

In the bottom of the sixth, Brad Littleton came on in relief of Hobbie, who left after giving up three runs on six hits over five solid innings. Littleton showed no signs of struggling, as he sent down the Beaver hitters in order.

After the Hoosiers went down in order in the top of the seventh, Littleton retired the first two Oregon State batters in the bottom of the inning before giving up a double to Nick Madrigal and Indiana manager Chris Lemonis turned to his bullpen once again, bringing on left-hander Cameron Beauchamp to retire the final batter of the seventh.

Indiana’s best scoring chance came in the eighth inning when Jeremy Houston found a hole in the defense with a one-out single. Pinch-hitter Matt Gorski followed that with a single of his own, and the Hoosiers were seemingly in business. Immediately after the Gorski single, OSU’s Mulholland was pulled in favor of Max Engelbrekt. Logan Sowers was the next man up for Indiana, but his line drive was snared spectacularly by OSU center fielder Elliot Cary, who saved at least one run, if not two, on the play. Craig Dedelow was unable to come up with the big hit either, and his soft liner to second ended the inning.

The Hoosiers ran into more trouble in the bottom of the eighth, and all of it came from unforced errors. After retiring the first two batters of the inning, Beauchamp walked Trevor Larnach and struck out Elliot Cary, but he was able to reach base on the dropped third strike and Larnach advanced to third. Michael Gretler followed up with a single to left and the gap widened to 4-1. Beauchamp was replaced by Cal Krueger and he retired Cadyn Grenier to end the inning.

Indiana couldn’t quite get anything going in the top of the ninth, although Jake Matheny reached on a grounder to short and pinch runner Alex Krupa advanced to second after a balk. The Hoosiers didn’t have anything left, as Austin Cangelosi grounded out to third, and Tony Butler ended the game on a pop-up to the second baseman.

The Hoosiers (2-2) now head back home from Surprise, and will play again this Friday as they take on Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, FL.