BLOOMINGTON – In the end, for Indiana’s baseball team, it was the pitching.
It just wasn’t good enough.
Not against Kentucky’s powerhouse lineup, not against North Carolina State, not against Minnesota.
Kentucky ended the Hoosiers’ season and NCAA tourney bid with a 14-9 victory Sunday out of the loser’s bracket at the Lexington Regional.
IU (34-24-2) generated power with four home runs and a double, but that wasn’t nearly enough.
The Hoosiers’ struggling relief pitching was the difference in a 7-6 12 inning loss to North Carolina State in Friday’s regional opener. They came back for an 11-2 win over Ohio on Saturday, but couldn’t make it past the host Wildcats.
Indiana gave up 18 hits and its most runs since allowing 21 to Louisville in 2012.
IU relievers also couldn’t hold a pair of leads against Minnesota in the Big Ten tourney.
Still, IU reached the NCAA tourney for the fourth time in five seasons, the most of any Big Ten team in that stretch. It also earned the regional’s No. 2 seed behind Kentucky.
The Hoosiers also have a Fort Wayne area connection in pitcher Andrew Saalfrank, a former Heritage standout. He went 2-1 with a 5.58 earned run average as a freshman, with 43 strikeouts against 17 walks. His 40.1 innings ranked sixth on the team.