Indiana's 3-1 loss to Nebraska Saturday guaranteed the Hoosiers a result that's happened just twice before in a little more than four previous seasons at Bart Kaufman Field—a series loss.
The Hoosiers managed just five hits and committed two errors as they dropped their second game in a row to the visiting Cornhuskers. Junior starter Brian Hobbie picked up the loss after going six innings and allowing three runs, two of which were earned, off seven hits and a walk.
Hobbie wasn't the issue, head coach Chris Lemonis said. It was more a problem of Indiana's bats being unable to touch Nebraska starter Derek Burkamper or relievers Matt Waldron and Luis Alvarado with any sort of consistency.
"We haven't swung the bats well at all," he said. "I think that's a little bit of it. We've faced some good arms, but we've just got to play better."
A walk, two errors and a groundout turned into the first Nebraska run of the day in the top of the first inning to put Indiana behind early. The Hoosiers managed to get four opportunities to match with runners in scoring position by the sixth inning but failed to get anything going.
That's become a trend too often this season for Lemonis's liking. Indiana's offense has shown flashes of brilliance but has a tendency to fall in on itself from time to time as it did Saturday.
"We're not competing as an offense," Lemonis said.
Nebraska tacked in another run in the sixth that Lemonis can't help but think shouldn't have gone on the board to begin with. The Cornhuskers only managed to plate a run because a would-be double play early in the inning turned into a fielder's choice with junior shortstop Colby Stratten unable to make a clean throw to first base.
Indiana clawed back for its lone run of the day in the sixth inning with a well-hit double to left-center by senior outfielder Craig Dedelow to plate freshman first baseman Matt Gorski. The rally continued for IU, at one point having runners on first and third with nobody out, but junior designated hitter Matt Lloyd hit a liner to first base that turned into an unfortunate double play with sophomore third baseman Luke Miller out of position becuase of his secondary lead.
He wound up being tagged out, and junior outfielder Logan Sowers struck out one batter later to end what could have been the momentum-changing inning the Hoosiers needed.
"I go back to pitch selection a little bit," Lemonis said. "Just trying to get a good pitch to hit in that scenario. It feels like to me we're trying to do a little bit too much."
Nebraska wound up regaining its two-run advantage just one inning later as Hobbie (2-2) exited the game. He picked up the loss but was mostly sound, relying on a mix of three pitches throughout the afternoon.
"I thought Brian looked really good," Lemonis said. "We didn't help him a lot."
IU will send out sophomore Pauly Milto (1-2, 3.98 ERA) in the Sunday game against Jake Meyers (4-1, 2.01) with IU looking to avoid the sweep.
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