IU To Open Season at SLU
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)
Check back soon