”We just couldn’t get the last hit,” Indiana head coach Chris Lemonis said. “The strikeout killed us today.”
The Hoosiers (18-10, 2-6 Big Ten) struck out 11 times Sunday afternoon. Michigan (18-13, 4-5 Big Ten) was led by sophomore right-handed pitcher Brett Adcock (3-3), who accounted for seven of those 11.
Overall, Adcock allowed eight hits but just one earned run in 6.0 innings pitched.
”He was hiding the ball a little bit, kind of had a little hop in his motion,” Indiana sophomore centerfielder Craig Dedelow said. “That kind of throws off the hitter a little bit.”
Indiana managed to out-hit Michigan 10-9 but couldn’t make the most of its opportunities. The Hoosiers left seven runners stranded on base despite four different Hoosiers recording two hits.
”I don’t know, to be honest with you,” Dedelow said when asked about the team’s struggles to get the ball into play. “It was a mixture of some of the balls not being what we thought were strikes or balls or what not. But we’ll figure it out this week.”
Dedelow was one of the bright spots for Indiana on offense, going 2-for-5 with a solo home run to right field. It was his third of the season.
”He was throwing me some off-speed, so I was kind of expecting a fastball just because that was the only he hadn’t thrown at me at that at-bat,” Dedelow said. “He threw a little bit up, and I put a good swing on it. Luckily it got out.”
IU sophomore designated hitter Austin Cangelosi returned to the offensive lineup after spraining his left ankle at Kentucky last Tuesday. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
”His timing was a little bit off,” Lemonis said. “But he’ll be back. He’s a tough kid.”
Unlike its hitting, pitching issues that plagued IU in the doubleheader Saturday continued Sunday. Junior right-handed pitcher Scott Effross (2-4) got the start for the Hoosiers, allowing seven hits and two earned runs while tossing two strikeouts in 6.0 innings pitched.
This effort produced better results than his first Big Ten outing, though. After giving up a two-run home run to Michigan sophomore rightfielder Carmen Benedetti in the third inning, Effross allowed only two runners on base.
Against Iowa on March 29, he tossed two strikeouts while allowing six earned runs off of five hits in 0.1 innings pitched.
Effross threw 28 pitches that game, but reached 92 against Michigan.
”I thought he was better today,” Lemonis said. “I still don’t think he was great, and I don’t think he’d tell you he was great. He got a lot better around the fifth inning, settled in in the fifth and the sixth and really found his breaking ball.”
Michigan jumped out to an early 3-0 after freshman shortstop Jake Bivens scored on a sacrifice fly by fellow freshman Drew Lugbauer in the top of the second inning and Benedetti hit a two-run home run in the top of the third.
The Hoosiers began to chip away at the Wolverines’ lead with Dedelow’s solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning and unearned run on an error by Michigan in the bottom of the seventh.
Pasteur hit a solo home run to center field to cut the Indiana deficit to one with one out remaining in the bottom of the ninth, but that would be the closest the Hoosiers would get.
”We’ve played some good teams, and we haven’t played our best,” Lemonis said. “When you play good teams, you have to play good. We haven’t pitched a little, we haven’t hit a little, we haven’t defended a little. I don’t think we can point our finger at one area - maybe we’re pressing a little bit – but we’ll come out be ready to go play Friday night against Rutgers and Wednesday against Cincinnati.”