The Indiana State Baseball team will have their work cut out for them on the second weekend of the Snowbird Classic after an 0-3 start last weekend in Port Charlette, Florida. ISU will take on the other half of the teams starting Thursday with Nebraska-Omaha then Dartmouth Friday, Omaha again Saturday and finally finishing the weekend with Chicago State Sunday.
Omaha will be ISU’s first chance to bounce back after the poor start to the season. Omaha comes into the weekend 2-1 on the season after posting 16 runs through the first three games on the tournament. ISU’s hopes of winning their first matchup rely on their ability to score runs with runners on base. ISU struggled with that last weekend when they left an average of 11.6 runners on base per game. The Sycamores started with only one run in game one but they were able to score six Sunday against No. 24 Ohio State.
The first game, as well as Saturday’s second matchup between ISU and Omaha, will both come down to pitching, which both teams have shown to be inconsistent in. ISU showed last weekend that there were some kinks to work out in their defense which was to be expected due to the large number of new faces in the starting lineup. However, one face has shown to be very good at the plate so far, redshirt freshman infielder Dominic Cusumano has hit well with a .571 batting average and eight hits.
Game two against Dartmouth will be the first game of the season for the Big Green. ISU will have the advantage of having some games under their belt coming into Saturday’s matchup.
Last season Dartmouth went 15-26 and only won eight of their 21 conference games. Redshirt senior pitcher Collin Liberatore might have the opportunity to bounce back after a shaky start to the season where he allowed six runs on four hits.
ISU’s final game of the weekend will be against a fellow winless team, Chicago State. CSU has started its season with a 0-4 start with an average of three runs per game. ISU should be able to put runs on the board if they can capitalize on pitching woes that CSU has had.
The Cougars have given up double-digit runs in two of their last four games thus far. With ISU batters able to get on base already this season, it will take smart opportunity hitting to get runners in.
The competition on the first weekend was tough on ISU as it was shown in their less than the desired start. This second weekend shows promise with some more favorable competition. ISU will have to continue to work on finding the right fit for new defensive players to bring down their errors. When that happens, the Sycamores have the potential for a successful finish to the Snowbird Classic.