Tracy Smith says IU will ‘regroup’ after CWS loss
OMAHA, Neb. — Indiana coach Tracy Smith says he won’t waste any time lamenting how close Sam Travis’ ninth-inning fly ball came to leaving the ballpark. Or how close Mississippi State closer Jonathan Holder came to throwing the ball away and allowing the tying run to score.
Fact is, the Hoosiers lost 5-4 on Monday night, and now they’re one loss away from seeing their first appearance to the College World Series end.
“I would say a loss is a loss is a loss,” Smith said. “It doesn’t matter how you lose them, by 20 or one, it’s still a loss. We’re not going to focus too much on that. We’re going to regroup.
“We’ve got a confident group. They’ve been confident all year. Our thoughts now are moving on to Oregon State.”
Indiana (49-15) will play the Beavers on Wednesday, with the loser going home and the winner meeting Mississippi State again Friday.
Chad Girodo (9-1) turned back Indiana after the Hoosiers had runners in scoring position in the fifth and seventh innings in addition to the ninth.
“You get the guys over and you don’t finish the deal, that seemed to be the story of our middle innings there, and it’s a credit to him,” Smith said of Girodo. “He really did an excellent job of executing his pitches, but we didn’t do a real good job of making his job difficult.”
Trey Porter’s go-ahead hit in the eighth didn’t end the drama.
Travis just missed tying the game when his fly to left-center bounced off the wall, just under the yellow line, and he ended up with a double. Scott Donley’s groundout made it a one-run game and brought on Bulldogs closer Jonathan Holder.
Michael Basil chopped the ball in front of the mound. Holder fielded it cleanly, but he short-armed his throw to first and Wes Rea had to pick it up on the bounce to end the game.