Indiana Head Coach Jeff Mercer elected to hold Jack Perkins for Friday’s game in Iowa City to keep him on regular 6-day rest. It wasn’t enough as the now hot Hawkeye bats damaged Perkins much like it has every Hoosier they have faced this weekend with the exception of Thursday starter Braydon Tucker. Perkins allowed six earned runs and three unearned runs.
Carter Mathison and Josh Pyne have been polishing their resumes for potential B1G Freshman of the Year honors. Pyne went 2 for 4 including a double to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Mathison walked to extend his on-base streak to 21 games.
Another bright spot for the Hoosiers was that they needed only one relief pitcher to finish game after Perkins exited. Ryan Kraft struck out seven Hawkeyes in 3.1 innings of work to ensure that Ty Bothwell and Reese Sharp remain fresh in case a win is necessary Saturday night.
The loss drops Indiana to 25-29 overall, 10-13 in the Big Ten standings. Indiana is still in seventh place ahead of Purdue by mere percentage points. The top eight teams earn a berth the B1G Tournament. Saturday’s games will conclude the regular season. Indiana and Iowa wrap their series at 9pm ET on ESPNU. This gives the Hoosiers the advantage of know whether a win will be necessary to earn that final bid. This is important as IU’s starting pitching rotation is complicated right now. Either Bradley Brehmer and Ty Bothwell could start tonight. If the game was a needed win you would figure both plus Reese Sharp would be available. If a B1G Tournament spot were assured though, it would be natural to suspect either Brehmer or Bothwell will not pitch tonight and instead be slated to start in Omaha on Wednesday.
See our scoreboard watching post for updates throughout the day on Saturday.