Photo Credit: Indiana Baseball
OMAHA, NE – Indiana (36-20, 17-8 B1G) lost to the Iowa Hawkeyes in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on Wednesday. This is the first time the Hoosiers fell to the Hawkeyes this season and marks a surprising loss to the lowest seed in the tournament.
The Hoosiers scored their first run in the 6th inning behind the bat of Ashley’s triple. Setting him up in scoring position led the Hoosiers and Gorski to bring him home with a single up the middle. After the 6th, the offense on for the Hawkeyes started to wake up after a scoreless first half of the ball game.
The seventh inning marked the first run for the Hawkeyes after a lead off single by Norman. This inning produced a scare for the Hoosiers as even after Norman scored, the Hawkeyes loaded the bases with only 1 out. The Hawkeyes added another two runs despite the efforts of Milto and Manous to lead 3-1 after the top of the 7th.
Iowa continued to play small ball and added another run in the 8th off of a fielding error. This was the second error in the game by the Hoosiers who appeared flatfooted for most of the game against the Hawkeyes. Indiana added a second run in the bottom of the ninth with Barr singling up the center and scorring Dunham. The Hoosiers never found their true offensive roots and fell 4-2 to the Hawkeyes at the end of the game.
Pauly Milto (8-6) was arguably one of the MVPs for the Hoosiers this game pitching lights out and making the Hawkeyes struggle to get production most of the time he was on the mound. He didn’t pitch shut out baseball as he allowed seven hits to the Hawkeyes, and three crossed the plate. He also added three strikeouts to his count.
The Hoosier offense was the obvious main issue this game. The offensive firepower for the No. 1 home run producing team never started which credits the strong effort the Hawkeyes displayed with their pitching and defense. The Hoosiers will need to find answers in preparation for their next game tomorrow.
The Hoosiers will now be relegated to the loser’s bracket while the Hawkeyes will continue to progress through the winner’s bracket tomorrow at 10PM EST to face the winner of No. 4 Minnesota and No. 5 Nebraska.
Indiana will face the loser of No. 4 Minnesota and No. 5 Nebraska at 2PM EST tomorrow on BTN. The Hoosiers will have to battle their way back and play perfect baseball the rest of the tournament to survive. Despite this, they are still one of the strongest teams and have a good chance at winning it all.
The Hoosiers in the Big Ten Tournament
The Hoosiers are aiming to win their 5th conference tournament in program history and first crown in five years. In 2017, the Hoosiers hosted the Big Ten Baseball Tournament in Bloomington, Indiana, but Iowa took the championship.
Unlike basketball, the baseball team has had significantly more success in the Big Ten Tournament. They are tied for fourth for the most tournament tiles. Minnesota leads all teams with ten tournament championships.
Indiana Hoosiers Big Ten Baseball Tournament Championships
- 1996 Tournament (MVP: Dan Ferrell, Indiana)
- 2009 Tournament (MVP: Matt Bashore, Indiana)
- 2013 Tournament (MVP: Sam Travis, Indiana)
- 2014 Tournament (MVP: Kyle Schwarber, Indiana)