Hoosier Baseball Set to Open Season at No. 34 LSU

    Go Hoosiers! Andrew Means and the Hoosiers head to Baton Rouge, La., to take on SEC power LSU for a three-game series.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Andrew Means and the Hoosiers head to Baton Rouge, La., to take on SEC power LSU for a three-game series.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Feb. 21, 2008

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    The Indiana baseball team opens its 2008 campaign with a three-game series at Southeastern Conference foe LSU. The Hoosiers finished 19-35 in 2007 with one of the youngest rosters in the nation, as 19 freshmen and six sophomores took the field for Indiana last season. IU returns six starters in the field and nine of its 12 pitchers from last season.

    The Tigers are ranked 34th in the nation after posting a 29-26-1 record in 2007 and finishing fifth in the SEC's West division.

    Tracy Smith is in his third season as Indiana baseball's head coach. In his two years at the helm of the Hoosiers, IU is 41-69. In 2007, Smith led one of the youngest teams in the country, with 19 freshmen and six sophomores, to a 19-win season. He has also been instrumental in the development of junior centerfielder Andrew Means, who earned second team All-Big Ten honors for the Hoosiers after hitting .369 with 30 RBIs, 32 runs and 27 stolen bases. In 11 years as a head coach, Smith has a career record of 358-289-1

    Paul Mainieri is in his second season at the helm of LSU after spending 12 seasons with Notre Dame. The LSU alum is in his 26th year as a collegiate head coach and is 893-518-5 in his career.

    This weekend's series will be the first meeting between the Hoosiers and Tigers in the history of the two programs. Indiana is 26-30-2 all-time against the Southeastern Conference, with over half those games coming against Kentucky. Indiana's last game against an SEC foe came when the Hoosiers and Wildcats squared off on Feb. 28, 2004, with UK taking a 10-2 victory.



    After bringing in one of the top recruiting classes in the nation, LSU enters the 2008 season ranked 34th in the nation by Baseball America. LSU returns 18 letterwinners a season ago, led by 2007 Freshman All-SEC selections Blake Dean and Sean Ochinko and 2006 All-SEC Second Teamer Michael Hollander. On the mound, Golden Spikes Watch List selection Jared Bradford (10-4, 4.41 ERA in 2007) leads the way, with junior college transfer Jordan Brown and southpaw Ryan Byrd providing strong support.

    This weekend's three-game set at LSU is just the beginning of what is a very tough schedule for the Hoosiers in 2008. Indiana will play 14 games against five different teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2007.

    In non-conference action, eight of Indiana's first 12 games will pit them against teams with winning records in 2007, including NCAA participants Austin Peay and Fresno State. Over spring break, IU will take on a tough field at Fresno State's Pepsi JohnnyQuik Invitational, as the Bulldogs and Hoosiers will be joined by Gonzaga, New Mexico State, Utah and Portland. Indiana also has conference series against NCAA squads Michigan and Minnesota and will play a pair of games with College World Series participant Louisville.

    For the first time, college baseball has a universal start date in 2008. While this will have little to no effect on the Hoosiers, who have started at roughly this time of the year nearly every season, southern schools will be starting this late for the first time in many years. For LSU, this marks the latest the Tigers have started their season since 1985 when they opened at Central Florida on Feb. 22.

    For the first time, Indiana Baseball fans will be able to listen to the Hoosiers online, as IU will offer free Internet-only audio broadcasts for all 56 games during the 2008 season. Fans can listen to the Hoosiers live through

    "This is a great opportunity for our program," head coach Tracy Smith said. "We are building a baseball culture here in Bloomington and allowing our fans in Indiana and around the country to listen to Indiana Baseball is a big part of that."

    Fans can access the audio broadcasts by going to the baseball page and clicking here and choosing the game from the schedule. All times are Eastern on the broadcast schedule and are subject to change. The broadcasts are streamed through Stretch Internet.

    Assistant Director of Athletics Media Relations Matt Brady will be call the action for all road games, while Adam Spolane will handle play-by-play duties for home contests. Broadcasts will start approximately 10 minutes prior to first pitch.

    Stretch Internet, based in Mesa, Ariz., provides streaming and other Internet services to more than 150 colleges, universities, professional teams and radio stations while reaching an audience of more than 50,000 users per month. Founded in 2002 by a former college sports information director, Stretch Internet is devoted to customer service and providing a first-class, high quality experience for its clients and their extended communities.


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