Three issues: Hoosiers win series in East Lansing
A weekend trip to East Lansing brought two wins against Michigan State for coach Jeff Mercer’s first place in Indiana, Baseball Hoosiers. There was:
- An 8-2 win on Friday
- A 10-4 triumph on Saturday
- And a 5: 1 disappointment on Sunday
Here’s what you may have missed:
The big bats crushed baseball
Well, in the first two games. Start with the middle of the order. Grant Richardson, Cole Barr and Paul Toetz swept some hot bats between wins on Friday and Saturday.
Richardson went 5-9 in the first two games and scored three runs. Barr went 5-8 on Friday and Saturday, drove five runs, hit two doubles, and scored two runs. And Toetz went 4-10 in the first couple of competitions, posted four RBI and mashed two doubles.
Jordan Fucci has also done damage, scoring a two-run double in the opener before scoring a three-run match on Saturday. For the weekend, Fucci went 5 against 12 with four extra base hits and five RBI.
Kip Fougerousse gets bats on a regular basis
The Linton freshman saw the field only briefly during the first few weeks of the season and stepped into the double header’s second game on March 13 against Penn State as a defensive substitute. Outside of that late inning cameo, there wasn’t much action for the newcomer until he got into the game against Purdue last Saturday. Since then? He did not get out of the constellation.
Before going to Michigan this weekend, Mercer told reporters he was impressed with the way Fougerousse had adjusted behind the scenes for the first month of the season. He’s learning so quickly that Mercer felt comfortable adding Fougerousse’s name to the line-up in each of the last four games.
He only ended this weekend 0-12 with an RBI groundout while serving as IU’s designated batsman. It remains to be seen whether he will keep his place in the line-up. But at least it feels like he’s a rotation player moving forward. His work in the field, coupled with his baseball IQ, makes him someone Mercer is dying to get going as the season progresses.
Difficult weekend in the field
Until this past week, Indiana hadn’t faced many defensive mistakes. The Hoosiers only made two mistakes in their first eleven games, which is obviously outstanding. Really good stuff!
But lately it’s been a little messier. In the last five competitions IU made a total of nine mistakes, which is obviously not good at all.
The mistakes were evident in the latter part of the weekend when the Hoosiers made three mistakes on Saturday, followed by two more in the final on Sunday. Three of the faults that weekend were attributed to Jeremy Houston’s shortstop, each of which resulted directly in spartan runs.
The Hoosiers are back next weekend to play four games in Columbus. IU and Ohio State will open their series on Friday at 3:05 p.m. ET. A double header is planned for Saturday afternoon at 1:05 p.m., followed by the final on Sunday at 1:05 p.m.