Game 2 at Missouri State

Indiana Rebounds in Game 2 at Missouri State

Hoosiers score 12 runs on Saturday to seal the victory.

by Cassady Palmer • @crpalmer0627 • March 5th, 2022


The Hoosiers struck early and often in the second game at Missouri State, scoring 5 runs in the 1st inning and never looking back in the 12-3 victory.

The first 7 IU batters reached base to start the game, with hits from Tyler Doanes, Bobby Whalen, Matthew Ellis, Morgan Colopy, and Brock Tibbitts, scoring four of the five runs, with a Hunter Jessee single bringing in the 5th. Indiana scored two more in the 2nd inning off an absolute tank of a home run by Ellis which may have rivaled the one by Schwarber over the batter’s eye at Louisville in 2014. Two more runs came across in the 5th and 6th innings on an RBI single by Whalen and a sacrifice fly by Josh Pyne respectively. Ellis really put the nail in the coffin with another equally impressive home run to center, brining in 3 runs with two outs.

When talking about his early-season success at the plate, Ellis cited adjustments he’s made to his swing, stating that he “got here with [Coaches] Mercer, Weatherford, and Simmons, and really just worked hard.”

All of the Hoosier starters reached base at least once on the game, and 7 of them had at least one hit, including 6 extra base hits. Phillip Glasser and Pyne were the lone starters without a hit, but Glasser reached base 4 times (scoring thrice) with an error, HBP, and two walks, while Pyne drew one walk and drove in a run with a sac fly. Tibbitts led the charge with 4 hits on the day, while Colopy, Ellis, and Whalen tallied 3 each.

Asked about the first inning offense, Head coach Jeff Mercer said that the “ability to work a long at bat, the ability to work it to a count that we could manage is great, but we also want to be able to be aggressive with pitches that we can hit.”

On the mound, Jack Perkins was spectacular, giving up just 1 run on 2 hits in 6 innings of work. After facing just 1 over the minimum in the first 2 innings, Perkins briefly lost the strike zone, leading off the 3rd inning with a pair each of walks and HBPs. He escaped the inning by striking out the next batter and inducing a solid 5-3 double play featuring a strong throw by Pyne and fantastic stretch by Tibbitts. Perkins would face just 1 over the minimum over the next three innings, only giving up an infield single. “What he really did was to set the tempo for us,” Mercer said about Perkins postgame. “He showed if you can command pitches and you can locate your fastball, then the rest of the play can open up.”

Grant Holderfield came in for the 8th, giving up just 1 walk while striking out 2. Ty Bothwell closed out the game with a pair of innings, surrendering 2 runs after 2 walks and a ground-rule double. He stranded the bases loaded with a strikeout to end the game. On the day, the pitchers gave up just 4 hits while striking out 13 Bears.

The Hoosiers will face Missouri State in the Rubber match on Sunday at 12pm ET. Note that this game has been moved up one hour in an attempt to minimize any weather-induced issues in Springfield. Bradley Brehmer gets the start for IU, facing righty Dan Merrill for the Bears.