The Indiana Hoosiers (7-1, 7-1 B1G) and the Penn State Nittany Lions (2-6, 2-6 B1G) had to take an extra day off due to a positive COVID-19 test to IU head coach Jeff Mercer. In short, everything was pushed back a day and the games that were meant to be played on Friday were to be played on Saturday.
SATURDAY – GAME 1
Tommy Sommer got things going for the Hoosiers as he was able to get through two scoreless innings. Those two innings gave the Cream and Crimson more than enough time to take the lead and never look back.
Sommer finished with three strikeouts in 4.2 innings pitched. The Carmel, Indiana native gave up just three hits, but also walked four batters which led to both Penn State runs of the game.
The bottom half of the batting order is where Indiana did most of their damage in the first game of the day. Hunter Jessee, Jacob Southern, Tyler Van Pelt, and Jeremy Houston, who all bat in the bottom half of the batting order, accounted for six of Indiana’s seven runs scored in game one.
Houston was the standout for IU in their first game of the weekend as he went 2-3 at the plate with two RBI’s and a stolen base
Relief pitcher Nathan Stahl picked up his first save of the year as he came into the game in the top of the fourth inning to get out of a bases loaded jam.
Indiana would go on to win the first of two games by a score of 7-2.
SATURDAY – GAME 2
Just like in the first game, Indiana did their job both on the mound and at the plate.
McCade Brown pitched to near perfection through seven innings. Striking out 16 batters out of the 21 that he faced. Brown did not give up a single hit let alone a single run.
The 16 strikeouts tied the record for most in one game.
Both Braydon Tucker and Reese Sharp came into the ballgame to relieve Brown of his duties. Only one hit was given up through the entirety of the nine-inning game.
At the plate, there were three IU players with multiple hits and six players to attain at least one.
Cole Barr, Jordan Fucci, and Grant Macciocchi all recorded multiple RBI’s for the Hoosiers as Indiana was able to capture their second win of the day by a score of 8-0.
SUNDAY – GAME 1
Sunday’s first game made for the best game of the series as Indiana was able to rally back to defeat Penn State for the third straight time after trailing 5-1.
Redshirt freshman Ty Bothwell took the mound to start the day for the Hoosiers. Throwing 4.2 innings and striking out 4. Penn State had their way with him at the plate as Bothwell gave up five runs on four hits and four walks.
Connor Manous came in to relieve Bothwell and finished the game with three strikeouts in just as many innings. The Munster native came in and picked up his first win of the season and helped IU pick up their third straight win of the weekend.
Down two runs in the bottom half of the final inning, pre-season All-American Grant Richardson stepped up to the plate.
Richardson, who had already doubled twice in the game, appeared as if he only had one thing on his mind. To end the game…
…He did just that.
Down 0-1 in the count, Richardson took a low and outside fastball over the left-center wall and called ballgame.
Indiana won the contest by a score of 6-5.
SUNDAY – GAME 2
Gabe Bierman started things off for IU on the mound but wouldn’t be the only one in the Cream and Crimson to take the hill. Bierman went on to pitch six innings with six strikeouts and only one earned run.
John Modungo came in the game in the seventh inning and picked up his first victory of the season. Matt Litwicki closed things out for the Cream and Crimson and picked up his second save of the season.
At the plate, well, IU struggled compared to their three other games against Penn State. Only scoring two runs in comparison to their 21 in the previous three games combined.
Jeremy Houston and Paul Toetz were the only Hoosiers to acquire RBI’s in the last game of the series but that was all IU needed to hold on and secure the victory.
IU and its pitching rotation got out of two innings in which Penn State had the bases loaded. The starters and the bullpen got Indiana through the weekend while only allowing eight runs through a four game series.
Up Next For Indiana
Indiana will host the Purdue Boilermakers on March 19, March 20, and March 21 in Bloomington at Bart Kaufman Field for a three game series. The matchups are scheduled for Friday at 3:00 P.M EST, Saturday at 2:00 P.M. EST, and Sunday at 1:00 P.M. EST