Connect with us


Indiana baseball makes its debut in the top 25 after strong opening weekend



Indiana baseball
The Indiana baseball program cracked the top 25 polls on Monday after a 2-1 opening weekend, including a ranked win. (Indiana Athletics)

Following a strong start to the 2024 campaign, the Indiana baseball program finds itself in the top 25.

Indiana went 2-1 over the weekend with wins over No. 18 Coastal Carolina and George Mason. Its lone loss came to No. 12 Duke in the season-opener.

On Monday, Indiana cracked the top 25, coming in at No. 22 in the Baseball America rankings and No. 23 in the D1 Baseball rankings.

“Sometimes baseball is an ugly game and sometimes it’s a beautiful game. But it doesn’t matter what you think of it, you just have to find a way to win late,” Indiana baseball head coach Jeff Mercer said after the weekend. “In totality, to come out of here 2-1 and play three really good games. I don’t think you can ask for anything more.”

Indiana is coming off of a 43-20, its first 40-win season since 2013, and 3-seed in the NCAA Tournament. Indiana eventually bowed out in the regionals after a three-game battle with top-seeded Kentucky.

Coming into this season, Indiana returned a lot of key pieces including Big Ten Player of the Year and outfielder Devin Taylor and other preseason honorees in third baseman Josh Pyne, catcher Brock Tibbitts and outfielder Carter Mathison.

So, getting tested early was the idea for Mercer and Indiana.

It paid off.

“We want to be fundamental and tough late (in games),” Mercer said after the Coast Carolina win. “Duke and Coastal Carolina are both good teams. If you’re doing it right, you’re going to be in close games. That was the talk of the dugout.”

Indiana’s lone loss to Duke came at a 6-3 deficit. But, the ability to turn around just one day later and win 7-2 against another ranked opponent shows the ability Indiana baseball has.

While the bats were working, it was sophomore pitcher Connor Foley who turned in the best performance of the weekend. In his first career start against Coastal Carolina, Foley pitched 4.0 innings and had seven strikeouts while giving up just two hits.

Indiana’s pitching staff has a team era of 2.67 through three games.

Indiana returns to the diamond on Tuesday for a midweek matchup at home against Miami (Oh.). Indiana baseball then travels to Baylor for a three-game series this weekend.

Make sure to follow Hoosier Illustrated, part of the Full Ride Network, on Twitter @Indiana_FRN, Facebook and YouTube to stay up to date on all of the news, updates and coverage of Indiana University athletics. You can also listen to the Talking’ Bout the Hoosiers podcast on Spotify.

Looking for a place to get more Indiana content? Hoosier Illustrated has partnered with Tom Brady’s company ‘Autograph’ to streamline our coverage, so you can continue to do what you do best – follow IU sports. Use the CODE: Indianafr to get started today. For more info, you can start here

Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.