MINNEAPOLIS, Minn – Indiana baseball coach Jeff Mercer used this extended offseason to get his pitchers game-ready for a shorter 2021 season, and that plan paid off in a big way when Tommy Sommer went eight scoreless innings Friday night to help Indiana beat Minnesota, 5-2.
Sommer (1-0) was sensational, allowing just two hits and striking out 10 to help the Hoosiers get their first win of the season. They lost 2-1 to Rutgers earlier in the day to open the season.
Sommer, a junior from Carmel, was sharp throughout, walking just two batters and never really threatened. Braden Scott finished the game for Indiana, and was touched for two runs and three hits in the win.
Indiana's bats heated up in the nightcap as well, getting 10 hits. Four players – designated hitter Drew Ashley, third baseman Cole Barr, first baseman Jordan Fucci and catcher Jacob Southern – all had two hits. Barr and Fucci got the Hoosiers rolling with doubles in the first inning, Fucci then hit a two-run homer in the third inning to give Indiana a 3-0 lead.
Ashley drove in another run with a sixth-inning single and outfielder Hunter Jessee homered in the eighth inning.
Both games were played indoors at U.S. Bank Stadium, usually the home of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings. The opener didn't go as well, as the Hoosiers' struggled to get anything going offensively against Rutgers ace Harry Rutkowski. Indiana's lone run came in the fourth inning when left field Sam Murrsion tripled, driving in second baseman Paul Toetz.
Gabe Bierman (0-1) started for Indiana and struggled with his control. He had five walks and allowed two runs and three hits, constantly trying to work out of trouble. John Modugno, a freshman from Upper Saddle River, N.J., was brilliant in relief, pitching four perfect innings.
Indiana plays Rutgers again on Saturday at 9 p.m. ET and concludes the weekend series on Sunday against Minnesota. McCade Brown starts for Indiana on Saturday, with Ty Bothwell getting the call on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET
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