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BLOOMINGTON -- Will Coursen-Carr is back.
For one game, at least.
The Indiana sophomore pitcher and former South Side standout, who has battled control problems all season, made his first appearance in nearly four weeks during Friday night's 10-2 NCAA regional victory over Youngstown State.
Coursen-Carr recorded the final four outs in relief as the Hoosiers rolled to their 31st win in 34 games. He ended the game with a strikeout.
In his last appearance, on May 4, Coursen-Carr threw five pitches, walked one and hit a batter.
“That was a huge positive,” coach Tracy Smith said. “Last year that kid put us on his back in the post season. He has really struggled. That's no secret.”
Last year Coursen-Carr was 5-0 with a 1.93 earned run average. He won clinching games in the Big Ten tourney, NCAA regional and NCAA super regional.
This year he is 2-2 with a 3.68 ERA, 25 walks and 22 strikeouts.
Because of a slight arm injury, Coursen-Carr has altered his delivery into more of a sidearm motion.
"I want to do whatever I can do to help the team," he said, "even if my stuff is not as sharp as I want to be.”
Added Smith: “He made some adjustments. He dropped down. We worked on that this past week. I'm glad the scenario presented itself for us to take a look at it.
“It's one thing to do it in practice, it's another to do it in the game. That was electric stuff. We'll try to build on that. If we get that guy back, that's a weapon.”
Smith had suggested Coursen-Carr might not pitch in the postseason because of the emergence of pitchers such as Brian Korte, Jake Kelzer and Evan Bell. But when the opportunity arose, Smith didn't hesitate and Coursen-Carr delivered.
“It was great to see that,” IU pitcher Scott Effross said. “We're happy for him. We knew he had it in him. It took a little time to get it there. You could see what he was doing, His stuff was electric. If he does that moving forward, it's big for us.”
It's also big for Coursen-Carr, who hopes to help the Hoosiers, the No. 4 national seed, reach the College World Series for a second straight season.
"It's cool get to do this two years in a row, especially for a Big Ten team that had never gotten this far or been a national seed before," he said.