Bart Kaufman Field, Bloomington, Indiana
Tuesday, March 28, 6:05 p.m. ET (Evansville)
Wednesday, March 29, 6:05 p.m. ET (Indiana State)
Wednesday: Indiana - TBA, Indiana State - LHP Ryan Keaffaber (1-1, 4.87)
The Hoosiers are rolling right now. Winners of nine out of their last 10 thanks to huge performances by Alex Krupa and Matt Lloyd who have won Big Ten Player of the Week honors in back-to-back. Indiana is fresh off of a sweep over Northwestern and a big win over Cincinnati just two days prior to the start of that series. Now, the Hoosiers are ready to take on some in state foes.
When the pitching has struggled (which has been most of the season), the bats have come through. The Hoosiers have hit a ball over the fence in 15 games this season and average 1.18 home runs per game on the season. For a team that has won nine of its last 10, though, the pitching staff has been less than stellar. As a staff they have a 4.36 ERA (114th in the nation) and have given up 6.25 runs per game over the last 8 games.
Evansville is sitting at 8-15, having lost five of their last six. The Aces pitching staff is even worse than Indiana’s giving up 5.85 earned runs per game, which is more than their offense scores, at just over five runs per game.
Indiana State, on the other hand, is 11-9 and on a four-game win streak. Over their last eight games, the Sycamores have split a 4-game series with 12th ranked Washington before sweeping Oakland and defeating Eastern Illinois. But just like Indiana and Evansville, what problems Indiana State does have seem to stem from pitching. The staff has a 5.40 ERA.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Just looking at the numbers, it would make sense that Indiana should bat well against both of these teams given the form they’ve been in. However, it’s baseball and any given day is unpredictable in this game. Expect players like Krupa and Lloyd to continue hitting well at the plate especially coming home to play at Bart Kaufman Field. Luke Miller has also been tearing it up at the plate batting .436 in his last 10 games with six doubles, one home run, eight RBI and 11 runs scored. Tim Herrin got the win against Cincinnati last week and hasn’t seen the mound since then. In that game he only gave up one run in 4.0 IP.
The Aces will be hungry to improve upon their one game win streak especially against an in state powerhouse in Indiana. If Evansville could get a key win against the Hoosiers, they could really get the ball rolling into conference play. For Evansville to do that, however they will have to play an almost perfect game. Sophomore pitcher, Alex Weigand, has pitched well this year barring his last outing against UT Austin when he gave up seven runs. Weigand also hasn’t pitched more than 4 innings in a game this year, so look to see if he can get past four or five in this game against the Hoosiers.
Indiana State will also be salivating at the opportunity to take down an in state foe and improve upon their four-game win streak. The Sycamores pitching staff has actually pitched well as of late giving up just under four runs per game in the last nine games. Indiana will be going up against senior right hander, Ryan Keaffaber, for Indiana State who, in his last two outings, has given up just three earned runs in 10.1 IP.
The game against Evansville may be a bit less competitive than the Indiana State game on Wednesday, but as mentioned, baseball can be very unpredictable.