Indiana Offense Struggles in Omaha Debut

by Cassady Palmer • @crpalmer0627 • May 22

After hitting the ball well to close out the regular season at the top of the Big Ten, the Hoosiers came out flat against Iowa to open the Big Ten Tournament, scoring just two runs on seven hits.

As many “Friday” games at TD Ameritrade ballpark are destined to be, the matchup between the Hoosiers and Hawkeyes was a pitchers’ duel. Neither team had scored a run until the 6th inning, when Indiana was able to push across a run. Iowa would then score three runs in the next inning on four hits. The Hawkeyes scored another run in the 8th on an outfield error that would have been the final out. The Hoosiers scratched out a final run in the bottom of the 9th, but it was too little too late.

Indiana ace Pauly Milto was cruising through six shutout innings, giving up just four hits, only one of which was particularly hard-hit. In the 7th inning, however, he gave up three hits and a walk with a pair of sacrifices before Connor Manous took over. Manous gave up a hit which scored a run in .1 innings. Braydon Tucker pitched a solid 8th inning, where he walked one and gave up an unearned run on a tough outfield error. Braden Scott finished out the game with a scoreless inning, picking off a runner.

At the plate, the Indiana offense mustered just seven hits. Drew Ashley broke up the Hawkeye no-hit bid in the 4th inning before leading off the 6th inning with a triple. Matt Gorski brought him home on the next pitch with a single up the middle. Eli Dunham, Cole Barr, Scotty Bradley, and Justin Walker each registered a hit, with Barr’s driving in the only other run in the 9th inning. Although he was held without a hit, Ryan Fineman drew a two-out walk in the 5th inning.

While a lot was made about how the Hoosiers would fair playing in such a home run unfriendly ballpark as TD Ameritrade, this did not really seem to be the issue on Wednesday. Through the 5th inning, the Indiana bats were only able to get two balls out of the infield, one of which was a hit. And even though the difficulty of hitting home runs in this ballpark makes a comeback that much more difficult, it really was not the deciding factor on Wednesday night.

The Hoosiers will look to stay in the Tournament tomorrow at 2pm ET and will face the loser of the Nebraska vs Minnesota game. I would expect Tanner Gordon to get the start, but for now that decision is officially TBA.

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