- After a successful opening week, where it posted a 3-1 record, the Indiana baseball team heads to Shreveport, La., for a four-game set at the Gent Classic. The Hoosiers will take on Arkansas-Little Rock (7-6) at 3 p.m. CST on Friday, March 4, followed by a match up against Centenary (4-5) at 6 p.m.
In its third game of the weekend, IU will again face Centenary at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 5. Indiana will cap off the Classic with a re-match against Arkansas-Little Rock at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 6.
Following this weekend's Classic, the Cream and Crimson return home for a contest against Xavier on Tuesday, March 8. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. at Sembower Field.
Opening Week Recap
Indiana opened the 2005 campaign with a 3-1 record, including a 2-1 mark at the Service Academy Classic in Millington, Tenn. After shutting out DePauw in its season opener, 5-0, the Hoosiers downed Indiana State, 5-4, in its first game at the Classic. Junior Jay Brant scored the winning run after senior Corby Heckman was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning.
IU followed the victory with an extra-inning thriller against Memphis. The Hoosiers plated three runs with two outs in the top of the tenth inning and held on for a 9-8 victory over the Tigers heading into the final game of the Classic.
In the finale, Indiana lost a 12-inning marathon to Navy, 6-5. The Hoosiers stranded junior Zach Boswell on third in the top half of the 12th frame, and Navy capitalized when Jared Munde was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to give the Midshipmen the 6-5 win.
Senior Joe Kemp and Boswell were named to the all-tournament team at the event, and IU finished in a four-way tie for first with Memphis, Missouri and Navy. Missouri claimed the championship by allowing the fewest runs (10) over the weekend.
Sizing Up The Competition
IU holds a 3-1 lead in the series against Centenary, sweeping a doubleheader the last time the two teams played on March 10, 1996. The Hoosiers won the opener, 3-1, and followed with a 4-1 victory in game two.
When Indiana meets Arkansas-Little Rock, it will mark the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
Kemp Named Big Ten Player Of The Week
Senior Joe Kemp was selected the Big Ten Conference Player of the Week for the period ending Feb. 27, the league office announced on March 1. The honor is the second of Kemp's career. He received the honor last season.
Kemp led Indiana to a 3-1 record opening the 2005 campaign. He closed out the four-game stretch batting .353 (6-for-17) with two home runs, seven RBI and five runs scored. Additionally, Kemp returned to the mound for the first time since the 2002 season and tossed a scoreless inning of relief in the Hoosiers' season-opening victory over DePauw on Feb. 22, and earned the win against Memphis on Feb. 26.
After posting a 2-1 record at the Service Academy Classic, senior Joe Kemp and junior Zach Boswell were selected to the all-tournament team. Kemp concluded the event 5-for-13 with two home runs, six RBI and four runs scored. In addition, the lefty picked up his first victory on the mound since the 2002 season, earning the win in Indiana's extra-inning triumph over Memphis.
Boswell crushed his first two home runs in a Hoosier uniform to go along with a pair of doubles and four runs scored. He ended the weekend 5-for-14 for a .357 average.
Senior right-hander Steve Nielsen provided the Hoosiers with some much-needed relief during the first week of the campaign. The Joliet, Ill., native appeared in three of the team's four games, pitching five innings without allowing a run or a hit and striking out seven while walking only one. Nielsen earned the victory in IU's win over Indiana State, tossing 1 2/3 innings with three strikeouts.
Along with Nielsen, sophomore newcomers Clint Crosier and Joe Trucchio have been impressive out of the pen. Crosier nailed down his first save in a Hoosier uniform with a scoreless inning in IU's 9-8 win over Memphis. Trucchio has only allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings in relief.
All three of Indiana's game were decided by one run, with two of them decided in extra innings, at the Service Academy Classic. The Hoosiers went 2-1 in the contests, knocking off Indiana State, 5-4, in their final at-bat and downing Memphis, 9-8, in 10 innings. Navy dropped IU, 6-5, in 12 innings in the final game of the Classic. Last season, Indiana went 3-8 in one-run ballgames.
Through the first four games, six Hoosier position newcomers have seen action, accounting for 10 starts. Junior Zach Boswell has started four games in left field, freshman Tyler Cox has gotten the call in three games at shortstop, freshmen Jon Fixler has started two games behind the plate, and freshman Brad Udoff started at designated hitter against Navy.
On the mound, six fresh faces have seen game action, including junior Adam Poole, who has started two games, and sophomore Clint Crosier, who earned a save against Memphis.
Kemp Streaking Along
With hits in each of the three games at the Service Academy Classic, senior Joe Kemp extended his hitting streak - carried over from 2004 - to 11 games. The Bowie, Md., native is batting .353 with two home runs and seven RBI on the season.
Six Hoosier pitchers combined to shutout DePauw in IU's season opener on Feb. 22. Sophomore Matt Saba picked up the victory with two shutout innings. The Indiana pitching staff combined for 14 strikeouts in nine innings, allowing only four hits. Junior Adam Poole pitched the opening two innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three of the seven batters he faced.
Sophomore Joe Trucchio pitched a pair of innings with two punch-outs, while freshman Brad Davidson, seniors Steve Nielsen and Joe Kemp combined to pitch the final three innings for the Hoosiers. Trucchio, Saba, Davidson and Nielsen each struck out two batters during their work, while Kemp added three Ks.
Shutting The Door
The Hoosiers' 5-0 shutout victory over DePauw was the first for Indiana since a 4-0 victory on March 4 of last season at Butler. It also was IU's first season-opening shutout since a 6-0 win against Findlay on Feb. 28, 2003, and first home season-opening shutout since Feb. 18, 2002, a 15-0 victory over Taylor.
Morgan In Openers
IU head coach Bob Morgan has built an impressive resume in his 22 seasons at Indiana. Along with ranking 11th among active Division I coaches with 1,047 career victories, Morgan has never lost a home opener, and 2005 was no different. The Hoosiers downed DePauw, 5-0, giving Morgan his 22nd consecutive victory to open the Sembower Field season. Morgan also improved his record in regular-season openers to 15-7.
Return To The Mound
For the first time since his sophomore season in 2002, Joe Kemp toed the rubber in a regular-season game. The fifth-year senior closed out IU's 5-0 season-opening victory over DePauw with a scoreless ninth inning. Kemp struck out three of the four batters he faced, walking one. In game two at the Service Academy Classic, Kemp notched his first win since 2002, as the Hoosiers defeated Memphis, 9-8, in 10 innings.
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. Fifteen new faces will join the Hoosiers with six pitchers, three catchers, four infielders and two outfielders added into the mix.
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.
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.
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 are seeing playing time at new positions this year. After receiving action at first and second base his first three seasons, senior Corby Heckman has moved to the hot corner as IU's third baseman.
In addition to patrolling right field, senior Joe Kemp has returned to the mound for the first time since his sophomore season 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.
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.
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.
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.