Hoosier Baseball Season Officially Begins on Friday

    Go Hoosiers! Head Coach Tracy Smith begins his sixth season at the helm of the IU Baseball program
    Go Hoosiers!
    Head Coach Tracy Smith begins his sixth season at the helm of the IU Baseball program
    Go Hoosiers!

    Feb. 16, 2011

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana University baseball team opens the 2011 season this weekend (Feb. 18-20) by playing three games at the Caravelle Resort Invitational in Myrtle Beach, S.C. This marks the sixth year of the Tracy Smith Era and the 116th season of IU Baseball.

    There is no easing into to things to get this season started, as the opening-weekend opposition (Virginia Tech, Boston College and Coastal Carolina) combined for 125 wins last season. Virginia Tech and Coastal Carolina each qualified for the NCAA Tournament, with the Chanticleers advancing to the Super Regionals.

    Indiana will face the Hokies of Virgina Tech on Fri., Apr. 18 at Charles Watson Stadium. The Hoosiers then take on Boston College inside BB&T Stadium, home of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans minor league baseball team, for a 5 pm Saturday afternoon showdown. Indiana is then slated to wrap up the trip by facing host school and 20th-ranked Coastal Carolina in anotherm noon game held at Charles Watson Stadium.

    Can't make the trip to South Carolina to watch the Hoosiers? No worries, as has you covered. Check out the official website of IU Athletics for a live audio broadcasts and GameTracker live stats of all three games. Jeremy Gray will be on the audio call.

    Indiana is expected to send three lefties to the mounds as starters, in this order: Drew Leininger, Joey DeNato and Blake Monar. The Hoosiers will see plenty of southpaw tosses coming their way as well with all three foes listing left-handed starters on the probables against IU (Joe Mantiply, Virginia Tech; Nate Bayuk, Boston College; and Birmingham/del Pino, Coastal Carolina).



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    Indiana was picked to finish third in the first ever Big Ten Coaches Preseason Poll. Defending regular season and conference tournament champion Minnesota was tabbed the league's favorite while Michigan came in at No. 2.

    Individually, Alex Dickerson, Drew Leininger and Jerrud Sabourin have all received some preseason love from several sources. In addition to being named a preseason All-American by nearly every publication, Dickerson also made a clean sweep of all hitting superlatives voted on by nine of the league's 10 coaches in a survey. In that same survey, Leininger was tabbed as one of the Big Ten's "Top Three Starting Pitchers" and while Sabourin came in right behind Dickerson as the conference's second-best "Pure Hitter."

    The Hoosier duo of Alex Dickerson, Jerrud Sabourin and Josh Lyon are on a crash course with Indiana's career records book. They each have already cracked the top-10 in at least one career statistical category and are honing in on the top spot. (See below for complete rankings).

    Head Coach Tracy Smith and Hoosier Baseball joined the Twitterverse midseason last year, and can be followed on Twitter (@HoosierBaseball. Assistant Director of Athletic Media Relations/IU Baseball SID, Kyle Kuhlman, is also on Twitter. Find him at

    Over 20 twenty episodes of `Friday Updates,' a weekly video blog looking inside the Hoosier Baseball program, have been archived at Starting on Mon., Feb. 21, IU fans can tune into's newest weekly show, `Skip's Scoop,' airing each Monday throughout the 2011 season.

    2010 Freshman All-American Micah Johnson is picking up a new position this season after manning the hot corner for all 55 games last season. The sophomore from Indianapolis will be looked about to turn some double plays at second base this year.

    "He's going to have to make the cerebral change of moving from third to second, but he has the skill set to do that at this level, and also the next level," said Head Coach Tracy Smith before the season.

    Freshmen Dustin DeMuth and Ty Downing are wasting little time making an impact in Bloomington. Both first-year players are expected to battle for the right to be every-day starters. DeMuth is the front-runner to take Micah Johnson's place at third base while Downing is a in three-way heat with a pair of seniors for time behind the dish. Head Coach Tracy Smith has said, repeatedly, that DeMuth has the best infield arm he has ever coached.

    Head Coach Tracy Smith and his staff brought in five pitchers this season that might be mistaken for a basketball team. Freshmen Aaron Slegers and Eric Kartman come in measuring 6-foot-9 and 6-foot-8, respectively. Vincennes University transfer Chad Martin comes to Bloomington at a towering 6'7'' while freshman Ryan Halstead stretched the ruler to 6-foot-4. Rounding out the starting hoops line-up would be a "short" Reed Reznicek at 6'2''.


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