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Hoosiers start hot, close flat in Seattle: Three Things

Indiana got a resume-boosting win but lost a pair over the weekend

Matt Lloyd hit a pair of homers over the weekend, but it wasn’t enough for the Hoosiers to win two of three in the Pacific Northwest.
Auston Matricardi

Recap

The Hoosiers kicked off the weekend against Washington. The Huskies weren’t ranked, but they’re coming off of a College World Series appearance in 2018 and are a quality ball club. IU took a 1-0 win thanks to a brilliant outing by Pauly Milto. Drew Ashley plated the eventual game-winning run in the top of the sixth inning as he brought Cole Barr around to score on a single to left field.

On Saturday IU took on No. 4 Oregon State and got off to a hot start. In the top of the first Matt Lloyd sent a ball over the fence in right field to put the Hoosiers ahead 2-0, but it went downhill from there. The next inning the Beavers got a run back and then in the fourth inning they added three more to take the lead. They didn’t look back and beat Indiana 8-3.

Sunday’s equivalent of a rubber match for IU was against San Diego, a team they took three of four games from on the road last season. Hot-and-cold pitcher Andrew Saalfrank got the start for the Hoosiers and things didn’t go well. In the first inning, he gave up a three spot and only made it three innings into the game before the Hoosiers had to go to the pen. The Hoosiers worked it back to 3-2 but ultimately fell 5-3 against the Toreros.

Three Things

1. The Offense

The Indiana offense was on a roll coming into the weekend having scored 36 runs in its past five games. In the three games over the weekend the Hoosiers managed to score seven runs. This offense has ebbed and flowed so far this season so this downtick isn’t a surprise. When you also factor in that the Hoosiers were taking on some really good competition in what is notoriously a pitcher’s park in T-Mobile Park, which was previously known as Safeco Field.

Because of these factors as well as what we’ve seen from the Hoosiers recently at the plate it doesn’t seem like there’s a reason for concern at the moment, but it’s definitely not something Hoosier fans want to continue.

2. Death. Taxes. Pauly Milto.

On Monday Milto was named B1G Co-Pitcher of the Week and his performance on Friday was absolutely deserving. Against the Huskies the senior threw eight innings of one-hit baseball with the lone hit coming in the eighth inning. He also struck out six hitters and gave up just one walk. It seems like every time Milto gets the ball you know what you’re going to get—you know he’s going to give the Hoosiers a chance to win the game. Heck, he gave the Hoosiers a chance to win a game that they only scored one run in. He once again showed why he should continue to be in the conversation for B1G Pitcher of the Year as the season progresses.

3. Concerned about Gordon?

On the other hand IU’s Saturday starter Tanner Gordon had another rough showing, this time against Oregon State. He tied his season long outing of 4.1 innings, but was frequently in trouble and ended the day having allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits. He also struck out five batters and walked five batters. The junior is now 0-3 with a 6.48 earned run average in his four starts as a Hoosiers. He’s logged 16.2 innings on the mound and has 17 strikeouts, but he’s also walked 12 batters and given up 18 hits. Gordon has shown that he’s talented, but his tendency to live on the dangerous side so far this season and the end results of his outings have been discouraging and it might be time to start getting worried. He could easily bounce back at some point in the next few weeks and it wouldn’t be surprising, but at the moment things look a bit grim.

What’s Next

The Hoosiers will head to Cincinnati for a matchup with the Bearcats on Wednesday. The two teams played a couple of weeks ago in Bloomington and IU took the win 7-1 thanks to strong performances from Cole Barr and Matt Gorski at the plate and a combined seven innings of three-hit baseball from Cal Krueger, Cam Beauchamp, and Grant Sloan. It looks like the conditions will be good in Cincinnati—Kentucky’s finest city—as of Monday night the forecast calls for a high of 65 degrees and low chances of precipitation.