UPLAND, Indiana – Under new leadership the Indiana University South Bend baseball team opened up its 2017 season on Friday afternoon at Taylor University. A seven-run first inning cost the Titans as they fell to the Trojans by a score of 15-9 at Winterholter Field.
Trey Bickel (SR/Mishawaka, Indiana) got the nod for the Titans on opening day but had a tough outing going just two thirds of an inning allowing five runs on three hits while walking three.
The IU South Bend pitching staff combined to walk 13 batters in the loss.
Tanner Wesp (FR/Charlestown, Indiana) sparked the Titan offense in the top of the sixth inning as he launched a pinch-hit homerun over the left field wall to get IU South Bend on the scoreboard. Two batters later, Sammy Nieves (SR/Canovanas, Puerto Rico) added two more runs with a two-run blast of his own to bring the score to 10-3 in favor of the Trojans.
The IU South Bend offense stayed hot in the bottom of the seventh. Matt Miller (FR/Middlebury, Indiana) belted the Titans third deep ball of the game, a two-run shot, to pull the Titans within five runs of the Taylor lead. Brandon Papp (JR/Akron, Ohio) reached on a bunt single and would come around to score on a Chris Mangus (SR/Niles, Michigan) single to left field.
Miller closed out his 3-for-4 day with a solo blast to lead off the top of the ninth inning. Fry picked up two RBI with a single down the right field line and that would be it for the Titans as they fell 15-9 in their season opener.
The Titans and Trojans close out the three-game series tomorrow in a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m.