Indiana Baseball tops No. 17 Indiana State on Tuesday


With wind gusts of up to 20 MPH on Tuesday evening the Indiana Baseball team were set to face off against No. 17 Indiana State Sycamores. Two weeks ago the Hoosiers fell 15-7 in Terre Haute, however a few big innings allowed Indiana to come away with a 16-7 win.

“We just were much more of ourselves today,” Indiana Coach Jeff Mercer said.

The Hoosiers were in fact much more of themselves as 14 hits, three home runs, and the pitching staff tallying 16 strikeouts were pivotal in the win on Tuesday. Although the stats jump off the page it certainly was not the most glamorous victory, however a Top-20 win could be exactly what this Indiana team needed to right the ship.

“We have shown some of these flashes…it has not come out of nowhere,” Mercer said.

It was looking bleak to say the least as Indiana would start Ty Rybarczyk at the mound where he would only last an inning as Luis Hernandez hit his eighth homer of the season with a two-run shot to give the Sycamores an early 2-0 lead.

The bleeding would continue as starting catcher and Junior Brock Tibbitts went down with an apparent injury to his lower left leg in the second inning. Jake Stadler would replace Tibbitts for the remainder of the game. After some time in the clubhouse Tibbitts would be seen walking with crutches in the dugout.

“I’ll get him in for testing,” Mercer said when asked about Tibbitts injury. “When he was standing up it kind of pulled and twisted so I don’t know.”

Stadler was ready for the moment where we has walked twice, got two hits, and earned two runs for the Hoosiers in the absence of Tibbitts.

“I wasn’t in the starting lineup but at any point of the game I could have been put in,” Stadler said.

Indiana State stayed hot on the bats as through the middle of the fourth the Sycamores had themselves out to a commanding 6-0 lead highlighted by a three-run homer by Parker Stinson giving him his fourth RBI through four. Indiana with their back to the walls and on the brink of another blowout dug deep and found a spark.

“When you know your boys are there behind you just firing you up it’s just go out there and play with a better feeling…you just feel you can play free,” said Stadler.

The Hoosiers got the bases juiced and were able to gain some momentum with consecutive walks as Jake Stadler and Nick Mitchell would reach home. Tyler Cerny was up next and would tie the ball game with a grand slam missile.

“Those kinds of plays shift the momentum in the game and it definitely shifted us to a better energy in the dugout,” Cerny said.

Although the Sycamores would retake the lead from a Mike Sears RBI single in the top of the sixth, that would be the last time Indiana State would not only lead but score for the remainder of the game.

“I think it’s just so critically important how we manage our emotions and how we talk to ourselves on a pitch-to-pitch basis,” Mercer said when asked about the shift in energy from this game compared to some of the tougher losses as of lately.

Josh Pyne got things going in the bottom of the sixth with his second home run of the season where Indiana would not look back after the two run homer. The Hoosiers were able to capitalize off a poor defensive inning from the Sycamores where a wild pitch, two walks, and a throwing error would result in the second six-run inning from Indiana as they led 12-7.

The foot was still on the gas in the seventh as Carter Mathison said goodbye to a solo shot, Stadler drove Cerny home on a sacrifice bunt, and Jasen Oliver got his second hit on the day with an RBI single as his hit streak is now at 12 consecutive games.

Devin Taylor would add some insurance for the Hoosiers with a single down the right field line that had Cerny sprinting from first all the way to home for the final run of the game.

At the mound Indiana would go through seven total arms with Ethan Phillips being credited with the win after going through two innings, striking out four batters, and only allowing one run in the process. Jacob Vogel came into to close the final 1.1 innings where he would get all four outs from his arm.

After giving up a 5-0 lead over Butler in the second of the double-header on Saturday, Indiana flipped the script and battled to a commanding win over an Indiana State team that was riding a six game win streak.

“They’re so tough, so competitive, and so fundamental, so to get in the mud and fight with them and come out on top was great,” said Mercer about Indiana State.

Indiana will be back in the heart of Big Ten play when they pack their bags and head to College Park, Maryland to take on the Terrapins for a three game series. If the Hoosiers can gain momentum and have consistent performances like the one on Tuesday, this could be a dangerous team in conference play.