Feb. 24, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
The second weekend of the 2011 IU Baseball season pits the Hoosiers (1-2) against some stiff competition at the Kleberg Bank Classic in Corpus Christi, Texas. Indiana begins by playing host Islanders of Texas A&M Corpus Christi, followed by games versus #14 Connecticut and Oregon State.
TAMCC owns an unblemished 5-0 mark thus far, including an 8-7 victory at #6 Texas earlier this week. The Huskies, meanwhile, went 1-2 at the Big Ten/Big East challenge last week and the 2006 and 2007 national champion Beavers split their opening weekend at 2-2.
Though the dulcet voice of Jeremy Gray will not be heard this weekend on IUHoosiers.com due to a scheduling conflict with IU Women's Basketball, no worries as TAMCC will be providing live video and GameTracker for all contests of the Kleberg Bank Classic.
Fans can also follow along via Twitter. Log on to www.twitter.com/HoosierBaseball and/or www.twitter.com/KKatIU for updates and general commentary on the team.
Whataburger Field will be the venue this weekend, a 5,400-seat home to the Corpus Christ Hooks, Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros.
Complete Game Notes
Sophomore first baseman Trace Knoblauch, a native of Houston, Texas, is on the travel roster this week and headed back to the Lone Star State. While Knoblauch will get to see some friends and family, all the Hoosiers will be reunited with a familiar face. Texas A&M Corpus Christi Director of Athletic Media Relations Matt Brady served as the IU Baseball sports info contact for five years before moving to Texas this fall.
GOING STREAKING IN THE QUADS
Dating back to last season, junior outfield Alex Dickerson is riding a 20-game hitting streak. Not only has he gotten a hit in each game this season to extend the streak, he's done so right away with a hit in the first inning of all three games.
Alex Dickerson is known across the country for his offensive outbursts, but the Poway, Calif., native flashed his defensive prowess during the opening weekend with a pair outfield assists. No play was bigger in the Indiana's 2-1, 16-inning win over #18 Coastal Carolina than Dickerson's dart from left field gunned out a man at home for the third out of the 12th inning.
NOT WAITING THEIR TURN
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.
The freshman duo did not disappoint the opening weekend. DeMuth batted .333 while starting all three games at third base and making several marvelous plays at the hot corner The LaPorte, Ind., native's biggest moment came in the top of the 16th inning against #18 Coastal Carolina when he laced the go-ahead RBI-single into centerfield. Downing was also vital in the Hoosiers 2-1 upset of the Chanticleers, catching all 16 frames.
IGEL'S PERFORMANCE GARNERS NATIONAL PUB
Junior left-hander Matt Igel's stellar play in the Hoosiers' 2-1, 16-inning road victory over #18 Coastal Carolina did not go unnoticed by the national media. CollegeBaseball360 selected him as one of five semifinalists for their `Primetime Pitcher of the Week' award.
Igel played a huge role as Indiana gutted out a the four-hour-and-31-minute marathon, picking up a win over a top-20 opponent. He came into the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning with the score tied at 1-1 and a Chanticleer in scoring position. After quickly disposing of the next batter to end the threat, Igel remained on the mound for the next four innings. In total, the Vincennes, Ind., native worked the bump for 4.1 shutout innings, allowing just three hits. Igel combined with two other Hoosier relievers for 11 straight innings of shutout baseball.
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 CollegeBaseballInsider.com 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."
SCHOOL RECORDS ARE LOOKING FRAGILE
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 page four for complete rankings).
IU BASEBALL BLOSSOMS INTO SOCIAL BUTTERFLY
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 www.twitter.com/KKatIU. Indiana Baseball can also be found on Facebook.
FRIDAY UPDATES ARCHIVED, SKIP'S SCOOP BEGINS
Over 20 twenty episodes of `Friday Updates,' a weekly video blog looking inside the Hoosier Baseball program, have been archived at IUHoosiers.com. Starting on Mon., Feb. 21, IU fans can tune into IUHoosiers.com's newest weekly show, `Skip's Scoop,' airing each Monday throughout the 2011 season.
MICAH MIGRATING TO MIDDLE INFIELD
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.
YOU GOT NEXT?
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''.
HITTING IN THE GRIDIRON
Members of the Indiana Basbeall team have already won one championship this season, taking home the Intramural Flag Football title of the most competive division on campus for the second straight season. Quarterbacking the back-to-back champion "Team Baseball" flag football squad has been IU Baseball Head Coach Tracy Smith.