AUSTIN, Texas – Indiana baseball (40-19) had its season come to an end on Sunday night, as it fell in the Austin NCAA Regional final to the Texas Longhorns, 3-2. The Hoosiers were able to play the Longhorns after they defeated Texas A&M, 9-7, earlier in the day.
Game 1: Indiana 9, Texas A&M 7
Indiana plated nine runs in the first inning, the most runs in a single inning for the Hoosiers this season.
Despite being out-hit 17-14 in the game, Indiana got three-hit outings from juniors Matt Lloyd and Luke Miller. Lloyd and junior Scotty Bradley each homered in the contest, while sophomore Matt Gorski, junior Ryan Fineman and freshman Justin Walker each had two hits.
Indiana’s first five hitters reached in the first, starting with a Logan Kaletha walk and a Lloyd single through the left side. Miller got the scoring started when he roped an RBI single to center. Gorski and senior Logan Sowers continued the singles parade, each driving in a run on their base-hits. Fineman followed with a productive at-bat by hitting a sacrifice fly to center. Bradley then followed with a two run home run to right on the first pitch to make it a 6-0 game to force the pitching change. After Walker singled and Kaletha walked, Lloyd went opposite field on his three-run home run to make it a 9-0 game.
The Aggies aggressively came back with a two-spot in the bottom half of the first frame. Zach DeLoach led off with a single and then moved to third on a double by Branden Shewmake. Chris Andritsos followed with a two-run double down the left field line to trim the lead to seven runs.
After the Aggies got one in the second to make it a six-run game, they strung together another two runs in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double and a sacrifice fly. A potential third run in the inning was halted on a rally throw to the plate to end the inning, as the Hoosiers led 9-5.
A leadoff double by Texas A&M proved costly in the seventh inning, as the run scored on a single up the middle.
With IU lead 9-6, Lloyd looked to close it out in the ninth. The Aggies were sitting nice with two runners on with one out. An RBI single by Will Firzzell cut the lead to 9-7. But a double play ball that was hit to walker sealed the victory for the Hoosiers.
Game 2: Texas 3, Indiana 2
Sophomore Andrew Saalfrank was strong in his start for the Hoosiers, as he allowed six hits over 5.1 innings, giving up two earned runs.
Indiana out-hit the Longhorns, 9-8, and got a three-hit performance from Miller. Bradley also tallied a multi-hit game, as he was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Miller and sophomore Jeremy Houston provided the two RBIs.
The Longhorns struck first with a leadoff walk and a Ryan Reynolds single to center to give the visiting team on the scoreboard runners on the corners with no outs. A double play ball would score a run to give Texas a 1-0 edge.
Indiana rallied in the bottom of the third. Bradley led off the frame with a single to right center, and Walker reached on an errant throw to second base that allowed Bradley to move to third. From there, Houston singled to left field to drive in a run and tie things up. Following two-straight strikeouts, Miller came through with an RBI single with two outs, giving Indiana a 2-1 lead.
Zach Zubia tied the game up in the top of the sixth inning on a solo home run over the centerfield wall.
The game-winning hit came from Kody Clemens, who doubled with two outs to drive in a run.
Despite loading the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth, Indiana was unable to capitalize, resulting in a 3-2 final score.