- The Indiana baseball team opens its 2005 campaign at Sembower Field on Tuesday, Feb. 22, with a 3 p.m. battle against the DePauw Tigers. Bob Morgan is 21-0 in home openers and 14-7 in season openers as Hoosier head coach.
IU leads the all-time series 99-18-2 and has won the last 15 meetings between DePauw. Last season, the Hoosiers downed the Tigers, 6-3, in their home opener. Senior Corby Heckman went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and sophomore Matt Saba pitched three scoreless innings for his first collegiate victory.
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After Tuesday's opener, Indiana heads on its first road trip of the year when it travels to Millington, Tenn., for the Service Academies Classic. The Hoosiers will take on Indiana State at 1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 25, in their opening game before taking on Memphis at 4 p.m. and Navy at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
In 2004, the Tigers captured a school-record 28 wins with only 14 losses. DePauw went 13-3 in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC). The Tigers were picked to finish second in the SCAC East Division in the 2005 coaches preseason poll.
Some New, Some Old
Despite losing nine letterwinners, including three players to the pros, the 2005 Indiana baseball team is a mix of youth and experience. Seventeen letterwinners return led by right fielder Joe Kemp, center fielder Reggie Watson, and infielders Jay Brant, Corby Heckman and Ryan Parker. All five were starters on last season's ballclub and will attempt to lift the Hoosiers back into the upper echelon of the Big Ten.
Along with the returning players, Indiana will enjoy a youth movement. Seventeen new faces will join the Hoosiers with eight pitchers, three catchers, four infielders and two outfielders added into the mix.
Hoosiers Name Tri-Captains
Joe Kemp, Corby Heckman and Reggie Watson have been named tri-captains for this year's team. Kemp is a senior right fielder that also will see action as the team's closer. Heckman, a senior, will start the season at third base after seeing time at first and second base last year. Watson is a junior center fielder who started 52 of 53 games last season.
Morgan in Openers
IU head coach Bob Morgan has built an impressive resume in his 21 seasons at Indiana. Along with ranking 11th among active Division I coaches with 1,044 career victories, Morgan has never lost a home opener. He is looking for his 22nd consecutive victory to open the Sembower Field season, and his second straight home-opening victory against DePauw on Feb. 22. Morgan is 14-7 in regular-season openers.
Sizing Up the Competition
As was the case in 2004, the Hoosiers first home challenger is DePauw. IU knocked off the Tigers, 6-3, last season and has recorded 15 straight victories against its Southern Indiana counterpart. Indiana looks for its 100th victory in the overall series, as the Hoosiers maintain a 99-18-2 advantage.
Indiana opens the Service Academies Classic against a familiar foe, Indiana State. In the overall series, IU holds a 38-32 advantage. Last year's meeting between the teams was canceled due to inclement weather, marking the first time since 1987 the clubs did not meet.
After battling ISU, the Hoosiers face off against the Memphis Tigers for the first time in the program's history before taking on the Naval Academy. Indiana leads the overall series, 2-0, against the Midshipmen following last season's 5-4 victory at the Classic. Senior Corby Heckman drove in the winning run in the 11th inning to secure the win.
Coaching Staff Update
The players are not the only new look to this Hoosier team, an entirely revamped staff has been added by head coach Bob Morgan. Clay Eason arrives from North Carolina State, where he was director of baseball operations, and primarily works with the pitchers. Eason was an All-American pitcher at N.C. State and was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1997.
Chris Moore is in his third season at IU and his first season as assistant coach. Moore serves as the team's hitting coach. Prior to being named an assistant, Moore spent two seasons as IU's volunteer assistant coach.
Replacing Moore as volunteer assistant is Ted Tom. Tom oversees the outfielders and will coach first base. He just completed his playing career at Shawnee State University.
Kemp Streaking Along
Joe Kemp brings a seven-game hitting streak into the 2005 campaign, the longest streak on the squad entering the season. The Bowie, Md., native finished 2004 with a .317 batting average along with seven home runs, a team-leading 16 doubles and four triples, and 35 RBI.
McFarland's Daily Double
In addition to his duties on the baseball diamond, sophomore Graeme McFarland has returned to the IU football team. After leaving the team in 2004, McFarland will attend spring practice and play under new head coach Terry Hoeppner along with fulfilling his duties as a pitcher with the baseball team. McFarland appeared in a pair of football games in 2003, throwing for 152 yards in his only career start at Minnesota.
Same Faces, New Places
A pair of veterans will see playing time at new positions this year. After receiving action at first and second base his first three seasons, senior Corby Heckman will move to the hot corner and start the season as IU's third baseman.
In addition to patrolling right field, senior Joe Kemp will return to the mound for the first time since his sophomore season and serve as the team's closer. Kemp fired 15 2/3 innings as a freshman and made one appearance, picking up a victory, on the mound as a sophomore.
Three Hoosiers Selected All-Big Ten
Three Indiana Hoosiers were selected to the 2004 All-Big Ten team. Senior shortstop Seth Bynum (first team), senior left fielder Kevin Mahar (second team) and sophomore center fielder Reggie Watson (third team) were honored for their outstanding play.
Bynum ranked in the top 10 among Big Ten players in nearly every offensive category in 2004 on his way to becoming the lone Hoosier to earn first team honors. Mahar was awarded second team accolades after leading all conference hitters with 14 home runs and a .652 slugging percentage. Watson was one of three outfielders on the All-Big Ten third team in just his first season as a starter at Indiana.
Parker Tabbed Academic All-American
Indiana sophomore Ryan Parker was named to the Academic All-America second team, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced on June 1. This came on the heels of Parker's selection to the CoSIDA Academic All-District V team. He was the designated hitter on the 11-man team. Parker became the second IU baseball player ever to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America honors, joining Joe Hillman, who collected first team honors in 1988.
Five Hoosiers Earn Academic Honor
In 2004, five Hoosiers were selected to the Academic All-Big Ten team. Indiana's Academic All-Big Ten team was comprised of senior David Hughes, juniors Jay Brant, Ryan Parker and Dan Pezley, and sophomore Bobby Segal.
Hoosiers in the Pros
A pair of Indiana baseball players were selected on the second day of the 2004 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft. Cody Wargo was drafted in the 27th round by the Baltimore Orioles and Joe Kemp went to the Texas Rangers in the 42nd round. Seth Bynum and Kevin Mahar signed with the Montreal Expos and the Texas Rangers, respectively, prior to the draft.
Entering the Record Book
There were several additions to the Indiana baseball record book in 2004. Below is a look at some of the achievements:
Reggie Watson's 15 stolen bases in Big Ten play put him in a tie for third place place in school history for stolen bases in a league season.
Seth Bynum's 30 RBI in Big Ten games ranked second in school history on the conference season chart. Additionally, his 17 extra-base hits in Big Ten games ranked third, his 73 total bases ranked fourth and his 26 runs scored ranked fifth in IU history for a conference season. Bynum also moved into a tie for seventh place all-time with 65 RBI in 2004.
Indiana's 57 home runs during the 2004 season tied for the fifth-most in a season in school history. The team matched the 57 dingers hit by the 1996 Hoosiers.
Kevin Mahar's 14 home runs in 2004 ranked tied for eighth on the single-season home run chart in the IU record book (Mike Sabo, 1988).
Moving Up the Career Charts
After only two seasons, Reggie Watson is already in the top 20 in Indiana history with 34 career stolen bases. Watson was a perfect 9-for-9 in a limited role as a redshirt freshman in 2003. In 2004, the Cincinnati product swiped 25 bases to bring his career total to 34, which puts him in 18th place on the IU career charts. His 25 stolen bases overall and 15 in conference play also were the most of any player in the Big Ten in 2004.
Along with Watson, Joe Kemp moved into the school's top 20 in triples (tied for 12th with nine), slugging percentage (18th at .488) and extra base hits (tied for 19th with 53). Corby Heckman is tied for 16th on the all-time list with a .489 slugging percentage.
Big Ten Leaders
Seth Bynum closed out his Hoosier career with a monster senior season. Bynum ranked second in the Big Ten in batting average (.387), slugging percentage (.674), RBI (65), runs scored (54) and total bases (132). The Louisville native also sat in the top 10 in seven other offensive categories.
Joining Bynum with an impressive 2004 campaign, senior Kevin Mahar led the league with 14 home runs and a .652 slugging percentage, while Reggie Watson led the league with 25 stolen bases. Mahar also was tied for fourth with 52 RBI and sixth with 120 total bases. In addition, Joe Kemp tied for fourth in the conference with four triples and was ninth with a .537 slugging percentage.
Indiana continually showed its power at the plate during the 2004 campaign. The Hoosiers hit 57 home runs in 2004, a mark that tied for fifth in school history. Here's a look at some long-ball tidbits:
Eleven different players went yard at least once for the Hoosiers and eight homered at least three times.
Kevin Mahar led the club and the Big Ten with 14 dingers, while Seth Bynum was second on the club with 10. Joe Kemp had seven and Ryan Donley finished with six.
The Hoosiers had three games with five or more home runs last season. On April 18, IU collected a season-high seven home runs against Iowa. IU hit six home runs against Chicago State on March 24, and belted five long balls, including four in one inning, on April 25 at Illinois.
The school record for home runs by a team in a season is 82 by the 1992 team.