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Three Things: Hoosiers win series in East Lansing

A sweep of Sparty would’ve been ideal, but 2 of 3 ain’t bad

IU’s Cole Barr rounds first base in a summer ball game on July 17, 2020.
Auston Matricardi

A weekend getaway to East Lansing yielded two wins over Michigan State for coach Jeff Mercer’s first-place Indiana baseball Hoosiers. There was:

  • An 8-2 victory on Friday
  • A 10-4 triumph on Saturday
  • And a 5-1 disappointment on Sunday

Here’s what you might have missed:

The big bats mashed baseballs

Well, through the first two games, that is. Start with the middle of the order. Between the Friday and Saturday victories, Grant Richardson, Cole Barr and Paul Toetz were swingin’ some sizzlin’ hot bats.

Richardson went 5-for-9 across the first two games, scoring three runs. Barr went 5-for-8 over Friday and Saturday, driving in five runs, clubbing two doubles and scoring a pair of runs. And Toetz went 4-for-10 over the first couple contests, posting four RBI and mashing two doubles.

Jordan Fucci did some damage, as well, hitting a two-run double in the opener before belting a three-run blast in Saturday’s matchup. For the weekend, Fucci went 5-for-12 with four extra-base hits and five RBI.

Kip Fougerousse is getting regular at-bats

The freshman from Linton only briefly saw the field over the first couple weeks of the season, entering the second game of the March 13 doubleheader against Penn State as a defensive replacement. Outside of that late-inning cameo, there wasn’t much action for the newcomer until he got into last Saturday’s game against Purdue. Since then? He hasn’t come out of the lineup.

Before heading to Michigan State this weekend, Mercer told reporters that he’s been impressed with the way Fougerousse has adjusted behind the scenes over the first month of the season. He’s a quick learner, so much so that Mercer felt comfortable penciling Fougerousse’s name into the lineup in each of the past four games.

He finished merely 0-for-12 with an RBI groundout this weekend while serving as IU’s designated hitter. So, whether he keeps his spot in the lineup remains to be seen. But, at the very least, it feels like he’ll be a rotational player moving forward. His work in practice, coupled with his baseball IQ, makes him someone Mercer is eager to get going as the season unfolds.

Tough weekend in the field

Until this past week, Indiana hadn’t dealt with many defensive miscues. Through their first 11 games, the Hoosiers committed only two errors, which, obviously, is outstanding. Really good stuff!

But things have been a bit messier of late. Over its past five contests, IU has totaled nine errors, which, obviously, is not at all good.

The errors were glaring over the latter portion of the weekend, as the Hoosiers committed three miscues on Saturday, followed by another two in Sunday’s finale. Three of the errors this weekend were charged to shortstop Jeremy Houston, each of them leading directly to Spartan runs.

Up Next

The Hoosiers are back on the road next weekend for a four-game set in Columbus. IU and Ohio State will open their series on Friday at 3:05 p.m. ET. There’s a doubleheader scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 1:05 p.m., followed by the finale on Sunday at 1:05 p.m.