Coach Jeff Mercer put all his chips on the table in Game One on Saturday. Maryland then emptied his pockets with a late inning rally. Indiana is now facing a need to win two games with only one starting pitcher and the best recent bullpen arm already used up.
The surprise announcement of Gabe Bierman starting for the Hoosiers was very unexpected. The now ace of the Indiana staff got into and out of trouble early. He managed six innings only giving up one run. Hoosier hitters lead by Jeremy Houston and Grant Richardson scrapped across three runs and gave reliever Grant Macciocchi a chance to get another 9-out save.
It wasn’t to be. A lead-off pinch hit double and productive outs scored one run for Maryland. Then finally they got a devastating home run from star Maxwell Costas to tie the game. Macciocchi got into a bases loaded one out situation in the bottom of the 10th. Nathan Stahl was brought in to get a strikeout, but walked in the winning run.
Indiana is likely in a position now where they need to win the final two games to get a post season berth. McCade Brown is likely to start game 2 today and what is left of the bullpen will go on Sunday. It still come down to a lot of Hoosier hitters struggling mightily at the plate. Maryland has a lot of good arms left. With the season on the line, can the Hoosier bats figure something out?