(Photo Credit: Indiana Baseball)
Indiana baseball continues to dominate the Big Ten conference and improves their record to 27-13 (9-3 Big Ten) with less than a month remaining in the regular season.
They are returning from a weekend road trip where they took two of three from the Michigan State Spartans.
Though the Hoosiers took two of three, they outscored the Spartans 27-11 over the set. Indiana has been excelling on both offense and defense over the last several weeks. Pitcher Pauly Milto improved to 6-3 (2.29 ERA) with a 7.0 inning outing and striking out 7 and having 4 ER. Andrew Saalfrank (2.40 ERA) won his fifth game to improve to 5-1 on the season with a 7.0 inning performance as well while striking out 11. Saalfrank has struck out over 10 batters in four consecutive appearances and five of the last six games he has pitched.
Matt Gorski was the star over the weekend with 4 RBIs, 1 HR, and 2 doubles. He was awarded Big Ten Player of the Week for the second time this season for his performance.
Indiana now breaks into the AP top 25 for the first time this season at No. 23. @PerfectGameUSA have the Hoosiers at No. 24 and @BaseballAmerica at No. 25. The last time the Hoosiers were in the top 25 was last season where they were ranked as high as No. 10 according to the Coach’s Poll in the middle of the season. Last season the Hoosiers reached the regionals and they were projected to finish fourth in conference play per the B1G coaches in the preseason. They have exceeded early projections this season and continue to improve as the season progresses.
Head coach Jeff Mercer has done an incredible job in leading the Hoosiers to another promising season in his first year at the helm. It is unfortunate that the Hoosiers did not sweep the Spartans in East Lansing, as they are in last place in the conference and this would have provided more distance between the Hoosiers and Nebraska who is in second place. The loss this weekend to Michigan State was the worst loss the Hoosiers had thus far this season.
The Hoosiers will continue to fight to lead the Big Ten with a much tougher stretch of games for the remainder of the season. Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, and Rutgers are the remaining series for the Hoosiers and each of these teams have a record of at least 0.500 in conference play.
Next up, they face Ball State in Indianapolis on Tuesday April, 23 and then face Minnesota for a three game series at home this weekend. The Big Ten Tournament starts May 22 in Omaha, NE.