February 16, 2000
INDIANA TRAVELS TO SAN DIEGO
Indiana (2-0) will travel West as the Hoosiers take part in the
second annual ARCO San Diego Collegiate Baseball Invitational
at Tony Gwynn Stadium. San Diego State, in conjunction with the
Greater San Diego Baseball Association, will host the event featuring
three midwest schools, two from the local area, and one collegiate
team from Mexico. In addition to the Hoosiers the field is comprised
of San Diego State, the University of San Diego, Oklahoma State,
Kansas State and CETYS Universidad from Mexico. By design, the
Invitational does not crown a tournament champion. All ticket
proceeds go to Children's Hospital in San Diego. The 1999 ARCO
Invitational presented Children's Hospital with a check in the
amount of $10,000.
The Hoosiers will face San Diego State on Friday, February 18
at 6 p.m. local time (9 p.m. est), then battle Oklahoma State
on Saturday at 2 p.m. local time (5 p.m. est) before facing Kansas
State on Sunday at 10 a.m. local time (1 p.m. est).
San Diego State enters the weekend with a 6-5 record with wins
over Hawaii-Halo, Oklahoma State and Tulane. Oklahoma State owns
a mark of 3-3 with victories over San Diego State and Grambling
State. Kansas State is 2-1 with victories against Oregon State
and Washington State.
Complete game results will be made available on the web at www.athletics.indiana.edu
following the event. They can be viewed and printed out by choosing
baseball from the main menu. Weekly updates and complete statistics
can be obtained at www.athletics.indiana.edu all season long.
Head Coach Bob Morgan
Bob Morgan is in his 17th season at Indiana. He has posted a
612-338-3 record while with the Hoosiers and owns a career mark
of 904-426-5. He currently ranks in the top ten nationally amongst
active Division I coaches in career winning percentage and in
the top 20 in career victories. Furthermore, Morgan has never
suffered a losing season in this is 25th year as a collegiate
Hoosiers Open Season With Victories
Indiana added two games to its schedule as it battled IUPUI and
IPFW to tune up prior to its trip to San Diego. The Hoosiers
posted a 10-1 win over IUPUI on February 12 at Sembower Field
and then defeated IPFW 7-6 on February 15.
Against IUPUI Rob Stastny connected a one-out solo home run in
the bottom of the fourth to break a 1-1 tie. Two batters later
Eric Blakeley drilled his first of two homers to give the Hoosiers
a 4-1 lead. Blakeley came back and hit a three-run shot in the
eighth inning as the Hoosiers scored four runs in their final
at bat. Blakeley finished the day with five RBI. Fred Graf posted
the victory on the hill.
Against IPFW Jason Williams connected on a one-out single
in the bottom of the ninth to drive in the winning run Indiana
did not own a lead until Blakeley crossed home plate with the
game-winner. Blakeley had reached base on a double, a double,
that after an IPFW miscue in the outfield, scored Blake St. Clair
with the tying run. Nick Vitielliss posted the victory on the
Quick Season Preview
The Hoosiers return four of their top five hitters, two front-line
starters, and one of the nation's top relief pitchers. A total
of 18 letterwinners are back for the 2000 season and a senior
class of eight players, including four pitchers, will provide
leadership for the Hoosiers.
Indiana will need to find a way to replace the power provided
by Doug Devore who left following his junior season, after being
drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Hoosiers will also need
to find starting pitchers to make up for the loss of Jason Torres
and Chad Smith, two of the team's top strikeout men.
A total of 15 true, or redshirt freshmen, will join the roster
this season as Indiana will look to move back into the top four
in the Big Ten after back-to-back fifth place finishes. The last
two years the Hoosiers have had the opportunity to advance to
the four-team Big Ten Tournament in the last weekend of the season,
but fell just short.
In Morgan's Words
"We have always been an aggressive team
on the base paths and I think that we will be even more aggressive
this season. We have a lot of good athletes on this team and
now it is our job to make them good baseball players."
"Our pitching and defense will be two strengths of this
team and I think that our hitting will develop throughout the
season. We have a lot of solid players on paper and now they
just need to prove themselves on the field."
"We will not have as much power as we have had in the past.
We will need some players to hit more for average this season.
We are also going to need some young players to step up right
"This team has an excellent work ethic and the players feel
good about themselves and that they can be a solid ball club
this year. We need to work hard during the non conference season
to get ready for those Big Ten wars."
Bottom of the Order Provides Offense
Indiana's seven, eight and nine hitters went 5-9 with three home
runs, six RBI and four runs scored against IUPUI. Against IPFW
those three spots 4-11 with three RBI.
On the Hill
The Hoosiers are expected to start Zach McClellan, Brad Edwards
and David Ferris in their three games in San Diego. McClellan
(3.0 innings) and Ferris (3.2) have both seen work this season.
Clause Brings Experience
Senior Benji Clause leads all active Hoosiers with 125 games
played. He enters the season coming off a career-high .308 season
at the plate last year and has swiped a team-high 37 career bases.
Edwards and Ferris Have Fine Control
Sophomore hurler Brad Edwards enters the season with a 2.37 strikeout
to walk ratio and averaging 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
Junior pitcher David Ferris has walked just 44 batters in his
89.2 career innings of work, just one walk every two innings.
Perfection at the Plate
Rob Stastny is a perfect 4-4 on the season as he went 2-2 against
both IUPUI and IPFW.
Battling for a Starting Job
Rich Berich got his first start at the DH position against IPFW
and responded with a 3-5 afternoon, the first three-hit performance
by a Hoosier this season.
St. Clair Hoping for Same Start
Last year junior Blake St. Clair got of the gates quickly as
he collected hits in his first six at bats and went 8-for-10
with two home runs, 11 RBI and eight runs scored in his first
three games. He was 1-3 against IUPUI and 0-2 against IPFW.
McClellan Near Perfection
Junior starting pitcher Zach McClellan has 10 wins in his 11
career decisions. Last year he posted a 7-1 mark, after a 3-0
record as a freshman.
McNab Looking to Repeat Performance
Sophomore outfielder Tim McNab led all Hoosier freshmen in hitting
last season with a .358 average, good for third overall on the
team. He went 1-4 against IUPUI and 0-4 against IPFW.
Gold Glove Williams
Senior outfield Jason Williams has not posted an error in his
107 career games as a Hoosier.
St. Clair Perfect on the Paths
Junior outfielder Blake St. Clair was a perfect 14-for-14 in
stolen bases attempts last season and entering this year has
been successful in his last 15 attempts.
Haegele One of the Big Ten's Best
Junior Dan Haegele earned third team All-Big Ten honors as he
closed out last season with a team-high .370 batting average
and a team best 25 stolen bases in 29 attempts.
Graf May Make Transition
Senior Fred Graf has 44 career pitching appearances and all but
two have come in a relief role. This season Graf may be looked
to as a starter for the Hoosiers. He got the start against IPFW
but lasted just 1/3 of an inning.
Otte Ranks in Top Ten in 1999
Junior pitcher Nick Otte posted an 8-1 mark last year. His eight
wins tied him for seventh on the Indiana single season charts.
He owns a strikeout to walk ratio of 2.43 and is averaging just
over one strikeout per inning pitched.
Indiana Looking to Quick Start in 2000
Last season the Hoosiers opened the season with seven straight
wins, won 12 of their first 13 games and 17 of their first 19.
Randle El Expected to Add to Hoosiers
2000 Heisman Trophy hopeful Antwaan Randle El joins the Hoosiers
in this his sophomore eligibility season. Morgan is expecting
Randle El to add to an experienced Indiana outfield.
"Antwaan is an excellent athlete. His addition has strengthened
this team. He has excellent skills and defensively can really
go get the baseball in the outfield. We will need to work some
of the rust off of his swing as he has not played baseball in
three years. He will be learning on the fly but I think that
he will be a real asset for this team this season,"
Hoping the Trend Continues
Indiana has continually seen its team ERA drop over the last
two seasons. In 1998 the Hoosiers posted a team ERA of 6.16.
Last year Indiana was tops in the Big Ten with an ERA of 4.86.
The Hoosiers did not allow an earned run against IUPUI and enter
the weekend with a team ERA of 2.00.
Freshman pitcher Carrington Fisk as the nephew of Hall of Fame
catcher Carlton Fisk.
Starting Pitching Should Be an Asset
Junior Zach McClellan and sophomore Brad Edwards give Indiana
two of the top young guns in the Big Ten. That duo, combined
with one of the conference's top closers, gives the Hoosiers
a solid foundation on the mound.
McClellan had a breakout season last year as he posted a 7-1
record, the eighth most wins in the Big Ten. He had 18 appearances
and seven starts and enters the season with a career mark of
10-1. Last year he worked 48.1 innings and struck out 26 and
started four games in Big Ten play.
"McClellan has great velocity on his pitches. Last year
he proved that he could pitch with anyone in the country and
keep us in any game. He has the opportunity to put up some great
numbers this season," Morgan said.
Edwards had a solid freshman campaign last season as he fanned
69 batters, the most among any returning pitchers, in 55.2 innings.
The left-hander made 11 starts last year, the most among returning
Hoosiers, and posted a 4-2 record. Edwards averaged 11.16 strikeouts
per game, the most among any hurler in the Big Ten and made six
starts in conference play.
"He should continue to improve, in this his sophomore
season. He increased his fast ball by four-to-five miles per
hour in the off season. Both he and McClellan give us two solid
Big Ten pitchers," Morgan said.
Last season the Indiana pitching staff was as solid as any in
the conference. The Hoosiers led the league in overall ERA (4.86)
and strikeouts (456) while the opposition hit a league-low .268
The third spot in the rotation will be held down by junior David
Ferris. Ferris has appeared in 28 games and made 11 starts in
his career, with nine of them coming last season. He posted a
3-2 record and fanned 54 batters in 55.1 innings in 1999. His
five Big Ten starts was second among returning pitchers.
"Ferris is a solid number three starter and he gives
us depth in the rotation," Morgan said.
Depth is a key to the entire Indiana staff. Morgan will look
to any one of four players to fill the final spot in the rotation.
Senior Fred Graf and junior Nick Otte bring some experience to
the table. Graf worked in eight Big Ten games last year and all
19 of his appearances on the season were in a relief role. He
has started just once in 42 career games.
Otte pitched in 17 games last year and made three starts. He
led the staff with eight wins (8-1) and ranked sixth in the Big
Ten. He owned a 4.26 ERA and fanned 43 batters while walking
just 14 in 38 innings of work.
Senior Tom Willerer or freshman Nick Vitielliss will also receive
an opportunity to fill the final spot in the rotation. Willerer
worked 18 innings in 14 games last season and owned a 4.00 ERA.
One of the Nation's Top Closers
Senior Chris Wilson anchors the bullpen after coming off an Indiana-record
eight-save season last year. Wilson appeared in a team-high 24
games and posted a 4-2 record in 39.1 innings of work. He struck
out 47 batters while walking just 16. Wilson can also play in
the field at first base if need be, though Morgan is counting
on him to close the door on the opposition.
"Chris is a real leader. Having him sitting in the bullpen
waiting is a real asset for us. His role is to come into the
game when the game is on line and he relishes that role,"
Behind the Dish
Catching will be one of the biggest questions as the Hoosiers
enter the season. Brandt Childs who started 43 games last year
graduated. Morgan will look to a junior, a sophomore and two
freshmen who have a combined 11 career starts and 64 at bats.
Junior Rob Stastny played in 26 games last year and made seven
starts with 39 plate appearances. He is a solid athlete with
some offensive punch in his bat.
"He could be a real asset for us offensively. We need
to work with him on his defense. If he can develop his throwing
arm he could be a solid receiver for us," Morgan said.
Sophomore Eric Farley played in 21 games last year and in his
16 at bats collected five hits. He, along with a pair of newcomers
in Kyle Davis and Kevin O'Brien, give the Hoosiers defensive
options behind the plate as all three possess strong arms.
"We will need to solidify this position before the Big
Ten season. Early on in the season I think that it will be catching
by committee," Morgan said.
Around the Bases
First base will be similar to the catching situation as Morgan
will look at a number of different players during the non conference
season. A redshirt freshman and a pair of sophomores will each
get a chance to earn the job.
Sophomore Michael Woodside played in five games last season and
had four at bats. His classmate Gibran Hamdan is in a similar
situation as he appeared in six games a season ago and had seven
Redshirt freshman Joe Sadler will also see time at first.
"Sadler has some pop offensively, he needs to work on
his defense while Hamdan brings a lot of defense to the table.
Woodside provides help both offensively and defensively,"
Sophomore Mark Minor saw a lot of action at first base in his
46 games last season, but Morgan would like to see more of him
at shortstop or third base this year.
There are no question marks at second base. Senior Benji Clause
played in 40 games last season and has 125 career games under
his belt. He hit a career-high .308 last year, scored 41 runs
and stole 15 bases. He has swiped 35 bases in his career. But,
it is his improved defense that should be a key this season.
"Benji has worked on, and improved his defense and throwing
in the off season. He is a hard worker and brings his lunch pail
to practice every day. He is one of those guys that needs to
be more consistent at the plate. We are counting on him this
season," Morgan said.
Sophomore Eric Blakeley is one the Hoosiers' top athletes according
to Morgan and should be one of the anchors defensively up the
middle at shortstop. Kevin Mahar will be a contender for some
relief at second base.
"He has improved his throwing and he can run and has
some pop in his bat. He will need to work on his consistency
at the plate," Morgan said.
Blakeley played in 23 games last season and collected a .314
batting average. He can also play second base, backing up Clause.
Freshman John Bestler showed strong defensive skills in the fall
and should give the Hoosiers depth at shortstop.
Junior Dan Haegele will be given the first opportunity to win
the third base job. The team's top hitter from a season ago spent
much of the year as the Hoosier's designated hitter. He put up
solid numbers in 1999 to earn All-Big Ten third team honors as
he hit .370 while playing in, and starting all but one game.
He collected 39 RBI with 10 doubles and three homeruns and led
the team in runs scored with 59. He will be one of the key run
manufacturers as he led the team with 29 stolen bases last year.
"Dan is the toughest out in our lineup. He is this team's
best overall hitter and one of the top players in the conference,"
Morgan said. "He had a solid season last year and we
will look for the same from him this year."
Minor can also fill the role of the team's third baseman. He
hit .263 last season with three homeruns and 22 RBI. Freshman
Vasilli Spanos had a solid fall season and according to Morgan,
with continued improvement, should see some playing time this
year. Sophomore Nick Evans, a good hitter, could also see time
at third base or as a designated hitter.
Experience & Excitement in the Outfield
A threesome of veterans and a 2000 Heisman Trophy hopeful make
up the Hoosier outfield, an outfield that is rich in defense
and deep in experience. The trio of senior Jason Williams, junior
Blake St. Clair and sophomore Tim McNab combined to play in 130
games, drive in 86 runs and hit 15 home runs last year. Indiana
quarterback Antwaan Randle El joins the Hoosiers on the diamond
this season after playing both football and basketball last year.
Randle El was a draft pick of the Chicago Cubs out of high school.
McNab will patrol center field for the Hoosiers. Last season
he hit .358 in 35 games and hit four home runs and drove in 15.
"Tim has a great arm and he covers a lot of ground,"
Williams, a former transfer from Indiana State, hit .335 last
season and drove in 31 runs in 51 games. He has plated 67 runs
in his two seasons with the Hoosiers.
"Jason had an outstanding season last year in center
field but we feel that he will better in left field," Morgan
said. "We will look for him to continue to improve offensively
and be a solid Division I hitter."
St. Clair was fourth on the team with eight home runs and ranked
second with 40 RBI. He hit .346 and was a perfect 14-of-14 in
"Blake seems to be a better fit in right field. He has
gotten bigger and stronger in the off season and is becoming
more aggressive both offensively and defensively. He is really
coming into his own and turning into an excellent player in the
Big Ten," Morgan said.
Morgan will also try to find playing time for senior Rich Berich,
a player he feels is one of the Hoosier's stronger hitters. Along
with Berich, classmate Kory Sietz, sophomore Vince Volpe, and
freshman Carlton Bragg add depth to a strong outfield.
Under Morgan's Guidance
Not only has head coach Bob Morgan had success with wins and
losses, but he has also seen 23 former players or assistant coaches
move on from Indiana to coach at other collegiate and high school
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