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Aaron

IU Louisville Baseball: A game for pride and confidence

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Given where we are at this is the game left of least importance. It would be awesome to win, but even if we win out and sweep four games in the Big Ten Tourney I think we are a two seed in NCAA's going on road. If we lose out, we go on road as three seed in NCAA tournament and there is little difference between a two and a three seed other than who bats last first game and it switches each time. 

With all that said given the tourney being regionally based (there are no 'higher' or 'lower' two and three seeds), the chances of going to Louisville for the NCAA tournament are pretty decent, so a win would be a nice boost of pride and confidence even though we would not see them until second game of the tourney at earliest. Overall nothing has signified the rise of this program the last seven years more than our ability to compete with Louisville. Since 2013 we are 9-2 against them and have not lost at home since 2012 vs. the Cards. Prior to 2013, we lost 11 of 13 to them right after McDonnell took the program off to elite status.

We really need to focus on sweeping a bad Rutgers team this weekend which would give us a decent chance at Big Ten title (we need Nebraska who is a pretty good team to wins two of three at home vs. UM). 

For Louisville game though with pride on the line and a possibly 'we are legit moment' (although I think we already proved that last weekend) we are facing a really good hitting team. They bat .296 as a team and have 6 guys over .300 and 8 guys over .280. Their pitching while not elite is nothing to sneeze at. The thing they struggle with is finding a good second and third weekend starter (which could be in play if we go to UL for Tourney) after their ace goes. They have tons of great arms in the bullpen and it will be a bullpen day for them so should be interesting. 

UL is actually better on the road then at home but given our propensity to own them over last few yrs. we have a decent chance. They are ranked 9 and us 25 which is about right and having the home field that is not a big difference. With that said we need to put tomorrow in perspective and would gladly trade a sweep of Rutgers and a possible conference title for a loss tomorrow.

Game is at 7pm on ESPNU and I will be on the board posting throughout while watching both tomorrow and Thursday. This will probably be my last 2 times this year on the board during a game (although I plan to write recaps) as I will most likely be at games Friday and Saturday and throughout NCAA tourney and am busy throughout Big Ten Tourney. 

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Despite what these uninformed announcers are telling us IU has a lot of work to do to host a Regional as I noted above. Even winning out not enough possibly. Its not 0% but probably 5% and to have a prayer cant lose again including in Big Ten Tourney and that's a really strong shot. Bierman got UL 1-2-3 in first.

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Inning finally over but honestly all you can do is tip your cap. Two seeing eye singles through the right side, a perfectly placed slow rolling infield single between 1st and pitcher, a weak flair behind first for single and a high chop hit to slowly for a double play.

Frustrating but not sure you could of done anything differently. Just lucky placement by uof6. 

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Now IU makes a horrible mistake on D (something they have been a lot better at recently) as an easy double play ball is tossed into left field on what should of been an inning ending double play. 2nd and 3rd one out. Sommer pitching this inning BTW.

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5-0 after 2.5. I would say this is a red flag for our pitching against top teams but weak hits that really were not Bierman's fault and a horrible error cost Sommer the 3 runs. Honestly not sure we could be down 5-0 in a game under the same circumstances again if we tried.

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First hit of night on a Cross single grounded through right side but nothing else. 5-0 U of 6 after 3.

Going back to the benching this is the type of 'insert expletive' that Lemonis never made players accountable for and why they never got better. Mercer is not going to stand for poor fundamental play anymore which I gurantee you will help us see some much better player development moving forward as we have already seen.

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