Indiana Baseball: Hoosiers Lose Series Final to Michigan State, 5-1

Indiana loses the final game of its three game series with Michigan State, but wins its fourth straight series this season. The Hoosiers are 11-3 and still in first place in the Big Ten.
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EAST LANSING, Mich. – Indiana's potent bats finally went silent on a cold and windy Sunday at Michigan State, falling to the Spartans 5-1 in the final game of their three-games series.

The Hoosiers (11-3) had exploded for 18 runs in the first two games of this season, so the one-run output was a bit surprising. The Hoosiers had only six hits, and scored their lone run in the seventh inning when they were already trailing 5-0. 

They put two hits together that inning, with Jordan Fucci's double and an RBI single by Jeremy Houston. But that was it.

"I thought our mindset was right, but it was just one of those days in baseball,'' Indiana coach Jeff Mercer said. "Really bad weather conditions, but they handled better than we did and they found a way to push a few runs across.

"We weren't able to come through with hits today. Their starter was a really unique profile that matched up well against us. He was able to really locate, and he did a good job of being able to speed us up and then throw a changeup off of that. I didn't think they were bad at-bats. we just hit a few right at guys.''

Gabe Bierman took the loss for the Hoosiers. He led off each of the first three innings with a walk, and gave up four hits and those three walks in four innings of work, allowing three runs. Bierman is now 1-2 on the season, with a 4.05 earned run average.

"I thought there in the fourth he was really clean and I thought that was a good place to stop without having to go through the top of the lineup again,'' Mercer said.

Ty Bothwell, Indiana's traditional fourth starter, pitched the next four innings, allowing just two unearned runs. 

Indiana left fielder Drew Ashley went 0-for-3 with a walk, ending his 13-game hitting streak this season, but his streak of reaching base was extended to 39 games, dating back to May of 2019. Second baseman Paul Toetz, who had also hit safely in all 13 games this season, went 0-for-4. Fucci and Sam Murrsion each had two hits for Indiana.

Win the series

"I think you always have to keep perspective going on the road against a quality opponent,'' Mercer said. "We made a few errors, and it happens. I'm competitive and I want to win every game. I'm not thrilled with the loss, but it wasn't factor of effort or intent. I'm happy with the weekend.

"We're a better team now that we were two weeks ago, and I think I can confidently say that. And we have be better next week at Ohio State.''

The Hoosiers will be back on the road again this weekend, playing a four-game series at Ohio State. They will play on Friday afternoon at 3:05 p.m., play a doubleheader Saturday starting at 1:05 p.m. ET and wrap up the series on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET

Ohio State is 8-6 on the year, currently three games behind the Hoosiers.

Related stories on Indiana baseball

  • HOOSIERS OPEN SERIES WITH WIN (Friday): Tommy Sommer is sharp on the mound and the bats were hot in Indiana's 8-2 win over Michigan State on Friday.  Grant Richardson was 3-for-4 for the Hoosiers. CLICK HERE
  • BATS STAY HOT IN INDIANA  ROUT (Saturday): The top of the Indiana batting order went wild on Saturday, leading the Hoosiers to a 10-4 rout of Michigan State. CLICK HERE
  • FRESHMEN ADD POP TO LINEUP: Freshmen Paul Toetz and Kip Fougerousse are coming through at the plate, adding a lot of depth to the Hoosiers' powerful lineup. CLICK HERE
  • INDIANA SCHEDULE: Here is Indiana's complete 44-game regular season schedule, with links to all the game stories thus far. CLICK HERE

VIDEO: Complete Jeff Mercer postgame interview

Here is the complete postgame interview between Indiana coach Jeff Mercer and HoosiersNow publisher Tom Brew, live from East Lansing. 

Big Ten Standings

TeamWonLostPct.GB

Indiana

11

3

.786

---

Michigan

11

4

.733

0.5

Nebraska

11

4

.733

0.5

Northwestern

9

5

.643

2

Ohio State

8

6

.571

3

Rutgers

8

6

.571

3

Illinois

7

8

.467

4.5

Iowa

7

8

.467

4.5

Michigan State

7

8

.467

4.5

Maryland

5

9

.357

6

Penn State

4

10

.286

7

Purdue

3

11

.214

8

Minnesota

3

12

.200

8.5