I’m on record that professional baseball is not particularly my thing, especially in uhhhh April. But any red-blooded human should appreciate the beauty of a well-timed dinger. And, well, folks, we got a fantastic onslaught of those in dramatic circumstances this afternoon in Bloomington.
Coming off a Friday night win that didn’t help the Hoosiers’ regional chances, Minnesota was punking Indiana up 6-1 in the bottom of the 7th. Then, our Big Dinger Boys sprung into action.
First, Ryan Fineman golfed one to bring the Hoosiers within three to left-center.
Welcome back, @ryanfineman14! That's a two-run shot!— Indiana Baseball ⚾️ (@IndianaBase) April 27, 2019
MINN 6, #IUBase 3 | B7 pic.twitter.com/pgE2v9NKQD
Fast forward to the bottom of the ninth, when Grant Richardson added what seemed like a make-the-score-look-better type solo-shot.
Solo shot for the freshman! That's home run No. 8 this season for @grantr_1.— Indiana Baseball ⚾️ (@IndianaBase) April 27, 2019
MINN 6, #IUBase 4 | B9 pic.twitter.com/Tu4BuzrTog
Indiana followed that with a pair of walks. Then, uhh holy shit. Matt Lloyd, dude.
HE CALLED GAME!!!@mlloyd07 CRUSHES his 14th bomb of the season with a full count and two outs to win this one for the Hoosiers!! pic.twitter.com/5omf0eVyXP— Indiana Baseball ⚾️ (@IndianaBase) April 27, 2019
Full disclosure: I’m recovering from a half-marathon on my couch and just happened to be flipping through twitter, noticing it seemed Indiana was about to drop another game that certainly wouldn’t help with any dreams of hosting a regional. Then Indiana’s baseball twitter account started tweeting out repeat shots of dingers over and over to the point I assumed these were highlights, or we’d had some sort of glitch in the time-space continuum causing me to see the same shit over and over.
But that’s nonethematter. Indiana baseball is good and fun as hell again, mostly because the majority of the offense is generated from hitting 7-irons over the right field wall. The Hoosiers lead the nation in home runs, and are doing so by a decently large clip. They entered the weekend with 72 total — five more than Tulane and Bryant — and they’ve already added five more to that total this weekend. It’s good to me. All hail our beloved Hoosier Dinger Boys.
How good are our Big Dinger Boys? Well, that’s a bit of an open question at the moment — but very good. Maybe not quite Schwarber-Travis CWS levels of good, but you could reasonably argue this is Indiana’s best baseball team since Tracy Smith left Bloomington to go play Call of Duty in some very large, decadent Scottsdale basement. They’re 28-14 on the year, inside the top-25 of all the polls for the moment, and projected to host a regional in occasional projections.
The dinger boys will play for the series tomorrow on ESPNU against Minnesota. It’s worth watching.