Yes, it was a baseball game.
Thursday night's slugfest between Indiana and Iowa baseball finished with 46 combined runs, making it a higher-scoring game than the Hoosiers' and Hawkeyes' football game in 2021, which had 40 total points.
The game started with a pair of home runs from Indiana's Hunter Jessee and Phillip Glasser in the first inning, followed by Carter Mathison's 17th home run of the season and a two-run double by Matthew Ellis in the second. Josh Pyne's grand slam in the third gave Indiana a nine-run lead, but things were just getting started.
Six innings later, five home runs later, 27 hits later and 31 runs later, Iowa emerged victorious in one of the craziest college baseball games of the season. The Hawkeyes went on a 28-3 run – yes, still baseball – to end the game, winning the series opener 30-16.
Iowa center fielder Kyle Huckstorf went 6-for-7 at the plate with three home runs, 12 RBI and four runs scored. Peyton Williams and Keaton Anthony have led the Hawkeyes' lineup all season, but combined for a comparitively modest five hits and four RBI. Iowa leadoff hitter Michael Seegers walked five times on Thursday night, and eight total Hawkeyes drove in at least one run.
Braydon Tucker made his fourth start of the season for Indiana and allowed two runs in three innings of work. Grant Holderfield and Nathan Stahl each pitched just a third of an inning, allowing 10 combined runs. Seven runs crossed the plate when Nathan Stahl was on the mound for 1.2 innings, but only one of the runs was earned due to four Hoosier errors on Thursday.
John-Biagio Modugno and David Platt let up a combined nine earned runs across 2.1 innings, and Jack Walker pitched the final out of the game without allowing a run. In total, the Indiana pitching staff allowed 23 hits, 30 runs, 22 earned runs, 12 walks, 12 strikeouts, five wild pitches and five batters hit-by-pitch.
A positive takeaway for the Hoosiers after this game is the work they did against Adam Mazur, who was the favorite to win Big Ten Pitcher of the Year entering this game. Mazur took the mound with a 2.18 ERA across 86.2 innings, including four starts of at least eight innings.
But he walked off the mound after allowing nine runs in just two innings. The Hoosiers finished with nine total hits off Mazur, including three home runs and only one strikeout. Mazur's ERA jumped almost an entire run by the time his night was over.
With this loss, Indiana moves to 25-28 on the season with a 10-12 record in conference play. The Hoosiers will have a chance to bounce back on Friday at 7 p.m. with their ace Jack Perkins on the mound.
It will be crucial for Indiana to win one of the next two games against Iowa, as they battle for a spot in the Big Ten tournament where the top eight teams qualify. Indiana dropped to seventh in the conference after a Michigan win on Thursday, but losses from Penn State, Purdue, Northwestern, Nebraska and Ohio State kept the Hoosiers in the tournament as of Friday morning.
Stories related to Indiana baseball:
- SERIES PREVIEW: Six teams are fighting for the final four spots in the Big Ten tournament, creating a do-or-die series for the Hoosiers as they travel to Iowa City. Indiana goes for its fifth-straight series win against the top pitching team in the conference. CLICK HERE
- FOLLOWING WHALEN'S LEAD: Leadoff hitter and center fielder Bobby Whalen has started every game for Indiana this season, leading the Hoosiers with toughness and a "win at any cost" mentality. They'll continue to follow his lead into the final regular season series at Iowa beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday.
- ELLIS' GRAND SLAM DEFEATS ILLINOIS STATE: The Hoosiers rallied for a seven-run eighth inning, defeating Illinois State on Tuesday in their final game at Bart Kaufman Field this season. Matthew Ellis' monstrous grand slam put Indiana on top, and Ryan Kraft struck out the side in the ninth. CLICK HERE
- BOTHWELL'S 7-INNING, NO-HIT GEM: Ty Bothwell entered the game in the third inning against Minnesota on Saturday and went the distance, striking out eight and allowing zero hits. It was his longest outing of the season, one that was a product of trusting his fastball and his teammates. CLICK HERE