IU To Open Season at SLU

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!
    This Week: Indiana at Southeastern Louisiana (Hammond, La.)
    Friday, Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. (CST)
    Saturday, Feb. 21 at 3 p.m. (CST)
    Sunday, Feb. 22 at 11:45 a.m. (CST)
    Games at Alumni Field

    First Pitch Set For Friday at Southeastern Louisiana
    The 108th season of baseball at Indiana University commences on Friday, Feb. 20, when the Hoosiers travel to Hammond, La., to face Southeastern Louisiana University. IU will play a three-game series with the Lions at Alumni Field. First pitch for Friday's game, the season opener for both teams, is set for 6:30 p.m. (CST). Game two is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 21, at 3 p.m. (CST). The finale, on Sunday, Feb. 22, will start at 11:45 a.m. (CST).

    2004 Season Preview Notes
    • Indiana returns five position starters and seven pitchers from last season's team that finished with a 34-22 record overall and a 16-15 mark in Big Ten Conference play. Though the Hoosiers finished sixth, they were just a half game out of third place.
    • In addition to the returning starters, Indiana will have two key players back from injury. Senior righthander Nick Vitielliss, a 2002 All-Big Ten selection, returns to the mound after missing all of last season with an injury. Junior Joe Kemp also sat out last season while rehabilitating from arm surgery. Kemp hit .284 and drove in 41 runs in 2002.
    • After a breakout season as a sophomore in 2003, junior Corby Heckman will make the move to third base. Heckman earned third-team All-Big Ten honors at second base last season after hitting .365 in Big Ten games and .372 overall.
    • Head coach Bob Morgan enters his 21st season at Indiana and his 29th overall as a head coach. Morgan is one of just 13 active Division I coaches to reach the 1,000 career victory milestone.
    • The Hoosiers' eight seniors, Chris Behrens, Seth Bynum, Ryan Donley, David Hughes, Kevin Mahar, Adam Pegg, Nick Vitielliss and Cody Wargo, will serve as team captains for the 2004 season.

    Quoting Coach Morgan...
    "I've felt good about our (preseason) practice sessions. Now, we're at a point where we need to get outside and play. Unfortunately, we aren't going to get outside before we play (at Southeastern Louisiana this weekend). In the past, we have been able to, but not this year.
    "Heading to Southeastern Louisiana, there is a concern on them having an advantage since they have been (practicing) outside since Jan. 5 I am concerned about us making the adjustment to playing outdoors. We will need to play hard and control the things that we can control. Our kids are really ready to play.
    "Southeastern Louisiana will be a strong test for us. They struggled last year, but have a number of junior college transfers that have come in. They did a good job with their recruiting. To play them this early in the season will really be a test for us, but we're looking forward to the challenge."

    Souting Southeastern Louisiana
    Southeastern Louisiana finished with an 18-35 record in 2003. Head coach Dan Canevari returns 11 letterwinners, three position starters and five pitchers, but welcomes 25 new players to the roster. Senior third baseman Anthony Girabaldi seems to be the Lions' best returning offensive threat. He led SLU with a .366 batting average, 15 home runs and 49 RBI in the 2003.
    Jeremy Mizell is the Lions' projected starter for Friday's game. Mizell finished with a 1-11 record, a 7.06 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 79 innings pitched.

    Probable Pitching Rotations
    Indiana's probable starters on the mound for this weekend's series are:

    Friday: Sophomore Josh Lewis (RHP)
    Saturday: Sophomore Chris Hynes (RHP)
    Sunday: Senior Nick Vitielliss (RHP)

    Southeastern Louisiana's likely starting rotation will be:
    Friday: Jeremy Mizell (RHP)
    Saturday: Rodney Story (LHP)
    Sunday: Paul Garner (RHP)

    An Indiana Series Sweep Would:
    • Give the Hoosiers a 3-0 record on the season
    • Make IU a winner in 13 of its last 16 season openers, dating back to the 1988 season.
    • Match the Hoosiers' 3-0 record to start the 2003 season
    • Move Bob Morgan's career record to 1022-526-6
    • Improve the Hoosiers' all-time record to 737-436-6 under Morgan

    An Indiana Series Win Would:
    • Give the Hoosiers a 2-1 record on the season
    • Move Bob Morgan's career record to 1021-527-6
    • Improve the Hoosiers' all-time record to 736-437-6 under Morgan

    An Indiana Series Loss Would:
    • Put Indiana's record at 1-2 to start the season
    • Give IU two losses in its first three games for the first time since the 1998
    • Move Bob Morgan's career record to 1020-528-6
    • Drop the Hoosiers' career record to 732-439-6 under Morgan

    A SLU series Sweep Would:
    • Leave Indiana winless (0-3) in its first three games for the first time since 1983 and the first time ever under Bob Morgan
    • Move Bob Morgan's career record to 1019-529-6
    • Drop the Hoosiers' all-time record to 731-440-6 under Morgan

    Hoosiers Versus The Southland Conference
    Indiana has a 2-2 record all-time against teams from the Southland Conference. The Hoosiers are 1-2 against Texas-Arlington, with the last meeting between the two teams in 1981. In 1996, Indiana defeated Texas-San Antonio, 12-9, in 10 innings.

    A Note About Sunday's Game
    Sunday's game between Southeastern Louisiana and Indiana on was adjusted from a 1 p.m. start time to 11:45 a.m. 
      The adjustment was made to allow the Hoosiers enough time to catch their 3:50 p.m. flight out of Louis Armstrong International Airport in Kenner. 
      Under NCAA rules, the game must be scheduled for nine innings.  Bob Morgan and Dan Canevari of Southeastern have agreed that no new inning of the game will begin after 2:15 p.m.  If the game is tied when the time limit comes up, the game will count as a tie and all statistics will be official. 

    Heckman Now At The Hot Corner
    Junior Corby Heckman, who received third-team All-Big Ten recognition at second base in 2003, will move to third base this season. Heckman fills the void at the hot corner left by four-year starter and IU All-American Vasili Spanos.
    After playing in just seven games as a redshirt freshman, Heckman enjoyed a breakout season as a sophomore. The Spencer, Ind., native hit .372 overall and .365 in Big Ten Conference play and ranked second on the team (behind Spanos) with 68 hits, 44 runs scored and 15 doubles.

    Returning From Injury
    Three Hoosier players who missed all or part of last season due to various injuries will return to the lineup as the 2004 season opens this weekend. Senior right-handed pitcher Nick Vitielliss sat out last season after undergoing arm surgery, as did junior utility player Joe Kemp. Sophomore Jay Brant also underwent offseason surgery prior to last year. Brant's recovery turned out to be slower than expected and he took a medical redshirt.
    In addition, junior right-handed pitcher Steve Nielsen may make his IU debut this weekend as well. Nielsen transferred to Indiana from Joliet Junior College last year, but also had arm surgery due to an injury he sustained over the summer.




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