Hoosiers head home after 4-2 loss to Maryland #iubase

One bad inning and a handful of missed opportunities ended Indiana’s run at the Big Ten Tournament on Saturday.

Now, all that’s left to do is wait.

A series of Hoosier mistakes in the seventh inning allowed Maryland to run away with a 4-2 win over IU in the tournament semifinals at Target Field in Minneapolis. After returning to Bloomington, Indiana will learn where its season is headed once pairings for the NCAA Tournament are announced Monday at noon.

Indiana coach Chris Lemonis expressed confidence that Saturday’s loss was not the end of the season, though it was certainly an avoidable ending to IU’s defense of back-to-back Big Ten Tournament championships.

Indiana received another solid start — this one from Caleb Baragar — out-hit Maryland 8-6 and put leadoff men aboard in four consecutive innings, but couldn’t cash in until it was too late.

Then there was the disastrous four-run seventh inning for the Terrapins, who jumped on three Indiana errors and watched the Hoosiers play their way out of the game.

“The team that wins tournaments, regionals, super regionals, they just execute,” Lemonis said. “Early in the game, let’s get the runner in from third with less than two outs. We’re not asking guys to make the greatest play. We’ve played with a lot of pressure for about the last three weeks. We’ve been handling it pretty good, but it just got to us today.”

Maryland did its damage against IU reliever Jake Kelzer, who pitched OK, but was also guilty of his own mistakes. Kelzer struck out Maryland’s Nick Cieri to lead off the seventh, but Cieri reached base when Kelzer’s wild pitch for strike three scooted past catcher Brad Hartong.

Following a walk by Kengo Kawahara, Hartong fielded Kevin Biondic’s sacrifice bunt and threw the ball up the right field line, allowing pinch runner Zach Jancarski to score. An uncharacteristic error by shortstop Nick Ramos loaded the bases, and a fielder’s choice off the bat of Kevin Smith brought Kawahara home.

What followed was a mental error by Kelzer, whose indecision allowed Maryland’s third run of the inning to come home.

Kelzer fielded a comebacker and had Biondic stuck between third and home. The Bloomington South product looked at Biondic but turned to throw to second, where Smith was already safe. Biondic darted home and put the Terps ahead 3-0.

“I think he froze and everybody’s yelling, ‘Two!’ on the freeze and he probably should’ve just came to (home) on that one,” Lemonis said. “I think it was a little bit of freezing. Poor kid, I mean, he runs out there, strikes the guy out and I think the inning got to him a little bit. The game sped up on him. He pitched well. He hadn’t done anything to put himself in that jam. We kind of put him in that jam defensively.”

Maryland added its fourth run with Kevin Martir’s single to left field got past Logan Sowers, allowing Smith to come home on the error.

It was almost an inevitable fate after the Hoosiers squandered multiple opportunities with runners on base over the middle innings, an ominous stretch of offensive futility that began in the third. That’s when Austin Cangelosi led off with a double and moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Brian Wilhite. After Casey Rodrigue popped up to very shallow centerfield, Cangelosi tagged from third and was easily thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

An inning later, Ramos and Hartong both reached base to start the fourth, but a double play ball off the bat of Scott Donley minimized the threat. After Logan Sowers was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners, Craig Dedelow popped to short for the third out.

In the fifth, Will Nolden led off with a single through the middle, but Wilhite hit into a double play two batters later to end the inning. Rodrigue walked to begin the sixth and moved to second on a sac bunt by Ramos, before Hartong struck out and Donley lined to left.

It wasn’t until the top of the eighth that Indiana scored its first run when Cangelosi came home on an RBI groundout by Rodrigue. Pinch runner Isaiah Pasteur cut the Terps’ lead to 4-2 when an error by Maryland’s first baseman allowed him to score. By then, it was too late.

IU posed a final threat in the ninth after Dedelow led off with a double to left field, but three straight outs ended the contest.

“I thought we’d come back at that point, and you saw us get a little bit back there,” Lemonis said. “We’ve been pretty clutch lately, so I didn’t think we were out of it, by no means.”

Baragar, who beat Maryland to clinch a series sweep of the Terrapins earlier this month, tossed five scoreless innings, yielding only four hits, walking two and striking out four. All four runs allowed by Kelzer were unearned.

“It’s just tough,” Baragar said. “I know we have such great guys out there, so it’s always hard to see that. We’ll be alright. We’ll get back and be fine next week.”

2 comments

  1. Subject: Scoop Archives
    Attn: Tech Team

    In the process of selecting to access Scoop posts from any particular month, it has come to my attention that only about 5 to 7 posts are displayed from any “month” selected(usually amounting to only the posts from the final week of the month). There is nothing at the bottom of the page to scroll or move to the successive earlier weeks these monthly selections from the archives.

    I do recall a time that any post from Scoop could be retrieved…There were arrow prompts at the bottom of each Scoop page to either go backward to “previous” pages or “forward” from past posts all the way up to present day…..You could select a page number and move to “next page” or “previous page.”

    Now it appears there is no method to easily scroll through an entire month of posts…Not possible through any prompt at the bottom the page. Not possible through the “Scoop Archives” function at the top-right your homepage.

    Thank you for your time.

  2. If Hoosier Sports is your H2O, there’s no bigger ocean than HTO.

    All things Hoosier you need to know? Make it the Herald Times with Bloomington’s HTO.

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