Brock Tibbitts holds runner at first base

Indiana evens Michigan series late Thursday

Hoosier bats woke up as Indiana clinches B1G Tourney berth and is back in third place in the conference.

By Carl James @jovian34 May 16th, 2024

Indiana had a good 90 minutes between games and the offense had a short memory as the Hoosiers exploded with crooked numbers in the each of the first three innings to cruise to a dominant win over Michigan, forcing a rubber match currently scheduled for 2pm on Saturday.

Indiana Hoosiers 11, Michigan Wolverines 2:

Inning by inning details in the Live Game Blog | Box Score

Devin Taylor (Carl James)

The Hoosiers were paced yet again by sophomore Devin Taylor, who went three for four with a walk and three runs batted in. Taylor is now making a very strong case for B1G Player of the Year. With a home run in each of today’s games, Taylor now leads the conference in long bombs and runs scored.

Junior Brock Tibbitts and Freshman Jasen Oliver also had muti-hit games. Tibbitts said after the game that, “sometimes ball falls, sometimes it doesn’t” stressing that Hoosier hitters stuck to the game plan and just had more success in the second game. When asked about his health, Tibbitts said that, “I’m feeling great. It’s great to be back. While I was gone, the team was playing really well, so I just got back in there, and trying to keep the train rolling.”

Head coach Jeff Mercer told the media, “We’re a momentum offense. Typically when we go we really go.” For the first time in four games, the Hoosiers really went.

Connor Foley pitches against Michigan
Connor Foley pitches against Michigan (Carl James)

Connor Foley got the start on only four days rest. The short rest was evident as his fastball velocity a touch lower than normal and his command was not great. That being said, Foley was still effectively wild giving up no runs in four full innings of work, despite walking five. Only one Wolverine batter got a hit off of Foley. In another sign he was not quite himself, he didn’t strike out a single Wolverine.

Julian Tonghini pitches against Michigan
Julian Tonghini pitches against Michigan (Carl James)

Julian Tonghini had the middle innings. Except for a 3-2 mistake that was launched for a home run, Tonghini kept Michigan at bay. Eight of Tonghini’s 12 outs were via the strikeout. Tonghini attributed his success to, “getting ahead with the curveball early in counts and then putting hitters away with the slider.”

Ethan Phillips closed the door in the ninth inning adding two more strike outs, so the Hoosier relievers combined for 10 strikeouts.

Indiana and Michigan are both 14-9 on the season. The rubber match will determine who gets the better seed next week in Omaha.