Friday March 29, 6:30 pm
Saturday March 30, 2pm
Sunday March 31, 1pm
Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium, College Park, Maryland
This weekend Indiana travels to College Park trying to rebound from a brutal 9-8 extra inning loss to Kent State—which also snapped an eight game winning streak—on Wednesday night. Even though the Indiana offense did its job by scoring eight runs on 11 hits, the Hoosiers repeatedly shot themselves in the foot all game long. Despite only giving up eight hits on the night, Hoosier pitchers walked 12 batters and the IU defense continued their struggles with an egregious six errors. In all, of the nine runs Indiana surrendered at Bart Kaufman Field, only four were scored as earned runs. The Hoosiers will look to right the ship defensively, throw more strikes and keep the offense hot against the Terps.
Pitching and defense will be on display in College Park this weekend, as Maryland will prefer to keep games low scoring, as the Terrapins have surrendered four or less runs in nine of their 12 victories on the campaign. Maryland will rely on their strong pitching staff and its 3.82 ERA. Led by a weekend rotation which sees all three Terps boost an ERA of 3.63 or lower. Friday night will match up a great pair of aces in IU’s Pauly Milto and Maryland’s Hunter Parsons. Both squads are used to seeing their ace go deep in games, as Parsons averages just over 6.2 innings per start, and Milto just shy of 7.1 innings pitched when on the mound. If the Indiana offense can get to Parsons and force an early exit, the Hoosiers not only could get the win on Friday but also wear down the Terp bullpen for the rest of the weekend.
While Maryland’s strength is on the mound, they have struggled mightily at the plate. The Terps are hitting an anemic .232 at the dish with a .378 slugging percentage and just 20 home runs as a team. To compare, Indiana’s top four long ball hitters (Cole Barr, Matt Gorski, Ryan Fineman and Matt Lloyd) have drilled 25 balls over the fence by themselves. The Hoosiers should be able to keep Maryland from doing much damage at the plate, Indiana will have to clean up their play in the field and make sure they don’t issue free passes. Maryland’s biggest strength offensively is that they draw 4.2 walks per game, which has led to a .360 on base percentage. If Indiana can limit walks and errors, as well as have success against a stout Terrapin pitching staff, they can have a lot of success in College Park this weekend.