IU Set for Service Academy Classic

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!
    Indiana heads back out on the road this weekend for three games at the Service Academy Classic at USA Stadium in Millington, Tenn. The Hoosiers open play at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 27 against Murray State. On Saturday, Feb. 28, the Crimson and Cream will take on border rival Kentucky, and in Sunday's finale the team will face Navy at Noon.

    About the Hoosiers
    Indiana heads back out on the road this weekend for three games at the Service Academy Classic at USA Stadium in Millington, Tenn. The Hoosiers open play at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 27 against Murray State. On Saturday, Feb. 28, the Crimson and Cream will take on border rival Kentucky, and in Sunday's finale the team will face Navy at Noon.

    About the Hoosiers
    Indiana enters this weekend with a 1-3 record and looking for its first win away from home. To open the season, IU lost all three games in a series at Southeastern Louisiana (2-4, 11-12 and 1-9).

    -- As a team, Indiana has struggled at the plate in its first four games. The Hoosiers are hitting just .238 overall, and will be looking to improve that number this weekend.

    -- The Hoosiers have successfully stolen seven bases in eight attempts.

    --Indiana's pitching staff owns a combined 5.23 ERA and has 30 strikeouts.

    -- The Hoosiers own a combined 19-18 record all-time against their weekend opponents.

    --The 2004 Indiana team 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.

    The Opposition:

    Scouting Murray State
    Murray State brings an 0-3 record into the weekend after dropping a three-game series at Alabama-Birmingham, Feb. 20-22. The Blazers took game one, 15-8, and won game two, 10-5. In the finale, the Throughbreds fell, 6-5 in 12 innings.

    Murray State hit .256 as a team and belted five home runs. The pitching staff compiled a 8.13 ERA and recorded 25 strikeouts.

    Rob McDonald is in his first season as the head coach at his alma mater.

    The All-Time Series with Murray State
    Indiana holds a 4-3 advantage in the all-time series the `Breds, including three straight wins. IU picked-up a three-game sweep at Murray State in 2000. Murray State's last victory in the series was on March 13, 1983.

    Scouting Kentucky
    Kentucky owns a 4-2 record entering the weekend. In addition to wins over Kent State and Georgetown College, the Wildcats split four games with Eastern Michigan in Lexington last weekend.

    UK owns a .349 batting average as team. The Wildcat pitching staff has compiled 6.83 ERA and 67 strikeouts.

    Kentucky is under the direction of first-year head coach John Cohen.

    The All-Time Series with Kentucky
    Though Indiana and Kentucky have played 29 times, Saturday's game marks the first meeting between the border rivals since 1999, when the Hoosiers claimed a 7-2 win in Bloomington. The IU-UK series dates back to 1903. The two teams split a pair of games that season. The Wildcats won the first meeting, 8-5, and the Hoosiers were victorious in the second game, 4-3.

    Scouting Navy
    The Midshipmen come into the Service Academy Classic with a 1-6 record. Navy has dropped games to Duke (2), Maryland-Eastern Shore (2) and Old Dominion (2). Its lone win is over ODU.

    Navy is hitting at a .244 clip as a team. It's pitching staff has compiled a 5.87 ERA to go with 27 striekouts. The Midshipmen also have 11 stolen bases in 15 attempts.

    Navy's head coach is Steve Whitmyer.

    The All-Time Series With Navy
    Indiana won the only meeting between the two teams on March 18, 1995, 5-1.

    Pegg Has Strong Relief Outing
    Adam Pegg showed impressive leaderhsip as he turned in an impressive relief outing in game one against Southeastern Louisiana State on Feb. 27. The senior righthander came on in the fourth, worked four innings and allowed just one hit. In addition, he recorded three strikeouts.

    Heckman at the Hot Corner
    After a breakout season as a sophomore in 2003, junior Corby Heckman has made 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.

    Vitielliss Back In Action
    Senior righthander Nick Vitielliss returned to the mound for the Hoosiers on Sunday, Feb. 22. Vitielliss was a second-team All-Big Ten selection 2002, but missed the 2003 season after undergoing arm surgery. The Waldorf, Md., product pitched two innings and gave up four hits and two earned runs.

    Five players made their Indiana debut over the weekend at Southeastern Louisiana. Freshman infielder Josh Richardson came in to pinch hit in game two and starter at second base in game three of the series. Freshman Rashard Graves pinch ran in game one. Freshmen Byron Banks and Doug Fleenor and junior Steve Nielsen all pitched in relief in game two.

    Morgan In Grand Company
    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.

    Seniors to Serve as Hoosier Captains
    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.

    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.

    On Deck
    The Hoosiers are scheduled to play five games next week. IU returns to home for a contest with Taylor Unviersity on Monday, March 1, at 2 p.m. Indiana then makes a trip to Indianapolis to battle with the Butler Bulldogs on Wednesday, March 3. IU is back in Bloomington over the weekend for a three-game series with Cleveland State, March 5-7.

    Last Time Out:
    On a chilly afternoon at Sembower Field, the Indiana defeated DePauw in its home opener, 6-3, on Feb. 24.

    The Cream and Crimson got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first. Sophomore centerfielder Reggie Watson led off with a single up the middle. Watson stole both second and third base and then came around to score on a passed ball. Junior rightfielder Joe Kemp drew a walk and stole second base. Senior leftfielder Ryan Donley got on base with a single and then moved to second on a throwing error, and Kemp crossed home plate for the 2-0 lead.

    The Hoosiers added three more runs in the second. Senior DH Kevin Mahar singled to left field, and stole second base. Junior catcher Kurt Weigle and freshman second baseman Josh Richardson drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Mahar scored on Watson's sacrifice fly. Senior shortstop Seth Bynum nailed a base hit through the left side to score Weigle. Junior third baseman Corby Heckman collected the first of his two hits and plated IU's third run of the inning with a single to center field.

    DePauw got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth. With one out, relief pitcher Byron Banks struck out Mike Gonzalez, but a passed ball allowed him to go to first. After Jon Gratz's single, both runners moved a base on a wild pitch. Banks walked Adrian Norris to load the bases. Indiana picked Gonzalez off at third base, but Hunter Slade's hit to right-center scored Gratz. The Tigers managed a second run when Norris came home on a passed ball.

    The Tigers added another run in the seventh when Matt Deahl scored on Zach Harris' double to deep center field.

    The Hoosiers added an insurance run in the eighth. Heckman led off the frame with a single to left-center . Jay Brant was inserted to pinch run for Heckman and promptly stole second base. Three batters later, Brant stole third, and DePauw's attempt to cut him down resulted ina throwing error and Brant came home from run No. 6.

    Freshman Matt Saba earned the win on the mound in his Indiana debut. Saba pitched three innings, gave up three hits, no runs and no walks, while striking out a pair. Junior Brian Lortz, who worked the final two innings, earned the first save of his career.




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