LOUISVILLE, KY – The 2019 season is now officially over for the Indiana baseball team after today’s 9-7 loss to 1-seeded Louisville in a losers’ bracket elimination game. Between the second and third innings, the Cardinals put up 6 runs and escaped a bases-loaded no-out situation in the top of the third.
That stint created a seemingly insurmountable hole for the Hoosiers who did everything they could do to claw back into the conversation. Although the bats were firing yesterday, the Hoosiers today could not find that same success early on this afternoon.
But like in game one against Illinois State, the Hoosiers fought and fought. Eventually Indiana managed to get back into the contest without much runway left in the contest.
Indiana posted a 4-run sixth inning off of a Cade Bunnell single to the right side and a Drew Ashley triple to left center. Grant Richardson scored off a fielder’s error in the eight. Drew Ashley knocked the one and only home run for the Hoosiers this game in the ninth, and Jeremy Houston scored shortly after off of a Richardson single.
If the game itself was not exciting enough for fans, more drama blew up in the top of the ninth. Louisville’s star closer Michael McAvene was immediately ejected from the game after what the broadcast mouth-read to say “That’s horrible” directed at the home base umpire. Without warning, he was instantly removed from the game.
However, that would not matter significantly. Louisville brought in LHP Michael Kirian that made short work of Drew Ashley – the remaining out – who had a debate strike 3 called against him. Jeff Mercer commented on the situation in the post game interview.
The pitch just bounced. You can look at the video. I’m not saying something untrue or controversial.Indiana head coach Jeff Mercer
Final Box Score
The 2019 Indiana Baseball Season
The Big Ten regular season champions conclude the season with a final record of 37-23 (17-7 Conference). Despite a disappointing end of the season where the Hoosiers lost quickly out of the Big Ten tournament going 0-2 and won only one game in the Louisville Regional as the 2-seed, the Hoosier baseball team is on the correct trajectory for the direction that the program has mapped out.
To recap some of the highlights of the season, see below:
The Hoosiers won their 7th Big Ten Regular season championship in program history.
First-year head coach Jeff Mercer won the Big Ten Coach of the Year award, winning back-to-back coach of the year awards in both the Horizon and Big Ten conference.
A program record for most number of home runs in a single season was broken, and the Hoosiers finished with 95 on the season. This team blasted Indiana’s previous most explosive season by 10, which featured 85 home runs.
The Hoosiers look forward to bringing in a top 60 baseball recruiting class in the 2019 recruiting rankings according to PerfectGame.