HOOSIERS PUT EIGHT-GAME WIN STREAK ON THE LINE
March 8, 2000 HOOSIERS PUT EIGHT-GAME WIN STREAK ON THE LINE
Game Data The Hoosiers (11-3) will travel to Homestead, Fla. to face Pittsburgh, Illinois St., Quinnipiac, Marist, St. Francis and two other tournament games. Games begin on March 11 and continue through the 18th.
Competition Pittsburg is 3-3 currently, Illinois State brings in a 3-6 record, Marist is 3-1, St. Francis and Quinnipiac will be opening their seasons in Florida. In 1999, Indiana topped Pittsburg twice (9-1, 15-8) early in the year. Last season, the Hoosiers beat Marist 4-2 in mid-March. Indiana did not play Illinois State, St. Francis or Quinnipiac last season. IU is competing in the Homestead Challenge.
Head Coach Bob Morgan Bob Morgan is in his 17th season at Indiana. He has posted a 621-341-3 record while with the Hoosiers and owns a career mark of 913-429-5. He currently ranks in the top ten nationally amongst active Division I coaches in career winning percentage and in the top 20 in career victories. Furthermore, Morgan has never suffered a losing season in this is 25th year as a collegiate head coach.
In Morgan's Words "This will be a good test for us because we will play everyday, and it will be all baseball since they won't be in classes. We're looking to form a lot of team unity, but at the same time solidify that fourth pitching spot. Playing every day we can try some different things, and try to build some depth. We're hopefully going to solidify our catching and first base position."
Looking to Extend the Win Streak Indiana has won its last eight games. Last year the Hoosiers opened the season with a seven-game win streak. Indiana posted an 11-game win streak in 1997.
On the Mound Probable starting pitchers for the Hoosiers are as follows:
-Against Pittsburgh: Brad Edwards, 2-1, 7.2 ERA in 15.0 innings work.
-Against Illinois State: Zach McClellan, 1-1, 4.0 in 18 innings.
-Against Quinnipiac: Dave Ferris, 3-0, 1.4 ERA (19.1 innings)
-Against Marist: Fred Graf or Tom Willerer. Graf is 3-1 with a 3.54 ERA (20.1) and Willerer is 0-0 with 11.1 innings under his belt this season (2.38 ERA).
-Against St. Francis: Graf or Willerer.
-The last two games will likely be handled by Edwards and McClellan.
Swinging a Big Stick Indiana has collected 90 hits in its last eight games and is hitting .331 during its recent eight-game win streak. The Hoosiers have collected nine or more hits in each of those wins. Prior to the win streak Indiana had collected just 53 hits in 203 at bats (.261).
Middle Relief Spells Relief Over the last 25.1 innings Indiana relief pitchers have allowed just two runs on 13 hits and have fanned 19 batters.
Berich on a Hot Streak Senior designated hitter Rich Berich is riding an 11-game hit streak and is hitting .387 (19-49) over that time span. He has driven in at least one run in each of his last seven games.
Berich/St. Clair Leading the Way Senior Rich Berich and junior Blake St. Clair are leading the team in hitting this season. St. Clair is hitting .386 in 44 at bats while Berich is at .370 with 54 at bats. Berich is 13-32 (.406) during the Hoosiers' win streak.
Big Red Scoring Machine Over the current eight-game win streak, IU has outscored its opponents 67-26, with an average win margin of 5.12 runs. Prior to the win streak, the Hoosiers had outscored their opponents 41-30 in six games.
Sitting Them Down Indiana pitchers have struck out 95 batters in 98 innings of work this season. They have walked 39 for a strikeout to walk ratio of 2.44.
Hoping the Trend Continues Indiana has continually seen its team ERA drop over the last two seasons. In 1998 the Hoosiers posted a team ERA of 6.16. Last year Indiana was tops in the Big Ten with an ERA of 4.86. The Hoosiers currently own a team ERA of 3.12.
Randle El Playing His Role Indiana quarterback and 2000 Heisman Trophy candidate Antwaan Randle El has appeared in nine games this season, mostly as a defensive replacement or pinch runner. He earned his first start against DePauw and collected his first hit and RBI going 1-4 on the day. He has one hit in eight at bats this season and is 2-2 in stolen base attempts.
Who's on First Indiana will use the week to try some options in the field. The first base and catcher positions are two places where the Hoosiers have tried many options thus far. Closer Chris Wilson may see some action at first. According to Morgan, "He's a good hitter, and a good athlete, and a good target at first base, so hopefully he can help us there." In the infield, look for freshmen John Bestler and Vasilli Spanos to get tested this week.
Injury Update Catcher Eric Farley was hit in the eye region off a bunt attempt in batting practice in San Diego and suffered some swelling and blood on the eye. He has missed the last eight games and is expected to miss up to two more weeks of action.
Under Morgan's Guidance Not only has head coach Bob Morgan had success with wins and losses, but he has also seen 23 former players or assistant coaches move on from Indiana to coach at other collegiate and high school baseball programs.
Big Ten Season Opens March 24 Indiana will open its Big Ten season
on March 24 at Penn State. The Hoosiers will then host Michigan March 31,
April 1 and April 2 in their first weekend homestand of the year.
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