In 2016, freshman Luke Miller hit one homerun in 190 plate appearances. So far in 2017, the now sophomore already has two long-balls in just 14 at-bats.
“I think I was getting the right pitches and the right counts,” Miller said. “I was just trying to hit them hard and I got under them a little bit. I got the launching pad there with the wind; it all just kind of tied in together there.”
In his first weekend of full action in the 2017 campaign, Miller recorded five hits (two homeruns) and drove in four runs against Florida Atlantic University. The Hoosiers split the series 1-1-1. The tie was the result of a travel curfew set early in the weekend.
Miller only got one at-bat in the first four games of the season due to an offseason injury. However, the Hoosiers’ third baseman does not view the injury as a setback.
“I’ve been taking a lot of ground balls this summer and spring, leading up to the injury point, so it wasn’t bad getting back into it. I just took a lot of balls in BP and stuff, just getting back into and getting the feel for it.”
Although the injury is not 100 percent healed yet, Miller feels good and it appears that he will continue to hit in the middle of the order.
“It feels a lot better, so I think it’s just staying where I am and getting better each day.”
Miller, who played all over the infield last year, appears poised to take a more established role, with IU Coach Chris Lemonis set to use him primarily at third base this year. The move has Miller looking forward to some consistency.
“It makes you feel more stable, knowing where you are going to play every day, so you know what to expect, so I think that’s going to help me a little bit.”
With the full season ahead, Luke Miller looks ready to keep mashing dingers in the middle of the order. If he can provide the pop that he showed in the first few games, then the Hoosiers can make some noise in the B1G Ten and beyond.