Baseball

    Baseball Set to Face FSU in Three-Game Set

    Go Hoosiers! Evan Crawford and the Hoosiers begin a 10-day trip to Florida against national power Florida State on Friday, March 9.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Evan Crawford and the Hoosiers begin a 10-day trip to Florida against national power Florida State on Friday, March 9.
    Go Hoosiers!

    March 9, 2007

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    SETTING THE SCENE
    The Indiana baseball team heads to the road for 10 days in Florida, beginning with a three-game set against national powerhouse Florida State. The Hoosiers are coming off a win in their home opener, as they shut out Butler 6-0 on Wednesday at Sembower Field. IU is now 4-4 on the season.

    LAST TIME OUT
    Josh Phegley hit three doubles and four Indiana pitchers combined for an eight-hit shutout, as the Hoosiers topped Butler 6-0. Evan Crawford added two hits to extend his hitting streak to eight games as IU improved to 4-4 on the season.

    Chris McCombs pitched six innings, allowing seven hits and striking out five to improve to 1-1 on the season. The trio of Jason Ferrell, Doug Fleenor and Danny Rosenbaum allowed just one hit and one walk over the final three innings to close out the game. Tyler Cox and Keith Haas each had two hits in the victory, while Andrew Means scored two runs and stole his team-leading third base of the season.

    The Hoosiers broke things open with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to make the score 6-0 on four hits and a walk. Cox got things going with his second infield hit of the day, and Means walked to move him up 90 feet. With two on and none out, Crawford dropped down a bunt to the pitcher, whose throw glanced off Crawford and into foul territory, plating Cox. Ben Greenspan followed with a pinch-hit RBI groundout, and two batters later, Phegley plated Crawford with a double down the right field line.

    Ryan Kruska picked up the loss for the Bulldogs to fall to 0-1 on the year, while Pauley led all Butler players with three hits. Dustin Bucalo and Chomicz each posted a pair of hits in a losing effort.

    THE ALL-TIME SERIES
    Indiana is 0-2 all-time against the Seminoles, with both games coming in Tallahassee back in 1956. The Hoosiers lost the first game 11-6 before falling in the second game by a score of 14-10 at the hands of FSU.

    MEDIA INFORMATION
    Indiana Athletic Media Relations Staff Assistant Matt Brady is the primary media relations contact for the Indiana baseball team. He can be reached at his office (812-856-0215), via cell phone (413-222-2788) or email (mlbrady@indiana.edu).

    SCOUTING THE SEMINOLES
    Florida State enters this weekend's series as one of the top teams in the nation, as it is currently 17-0 on the season after taking all three games of a series at home against Siena last weekend. FSU swept a three-game series with SEC power Tennessee earlier this season, and has also taken a road game against Florida already this year.

    The Seminoles have one of the top pitching staffs in the nation, with all three of their starters posting ERAs under 3.00 in at least 24 innings of work. Michael Hyde leads the way with a 2.17 ERA and a 5-0 record, while Ryan Strauss is 3-0 with a 2.62 ERA and Bryan Henry is 4-0 with a 2.63 ERA. Florida State has eight regular starters that are hitting over .400 on the season, led by Tony Thomas' .527 with 15 doubles. Jack Rye leads the team with three home runs, while Buster Posey's 25 RBIs are atop the squad.

    CRAW-DADDY
    Freshman Evan Crawford continues to impress in his brief time as a Hoosier. Crawford is hitting an even .500 with hits in each of his eight career games. In addition, Crawford is atop the squad with eight runs, 18 total bases, a .563 slugging average and a .514 on-base percentage. Crawford is second on the team with 27 assists and has also stolen one base so far in 2007.

    Crawford, a native of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, finished his senior year with a .462 average and 21 steals in 22 attempts. He has also been a stalwart defensively this year, helping IU turn 10 groundball double plays in eight games.

    DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE
    Freshman Josh Phegley had quite an outing against Butler, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and one run, with all three of his hits being doubles. Phegley has nearly half of the Hoosiers' doubles this season, with six of IU's 13 this year. He is second on the team with 16 total bases and a .516 slugging percentage. After going 1-for-11 in the opening weekend at the Wiregrass Baseball Classic, Phegley has gone 9-for-20 to improve his average to .323 on the season, as he has hit in the cleanup spot for most of his debut campaign as a Hoosier.

    HAAS BACK!
    Senior Keith Haas is at a new position - shortstop - but his returns over the first eight games have been reminiscent of the 2006 all-region selection's previous campaign. So far this season, Haas has hit .367 and has Indiana's only home run. His eight RBIs also are tops on the team.

    With Crawford's emergence as a solid leadoff hitter, Haas has hit in the three hole in each of the last five games. Haas led the team with a .353 average last season, spending most of his time in the leadoff spot. His 23 assists are tied for tops on the team with Crawford, and he has helped the IU defense turn nine double plays already this season.

    MACK THE KNIFE
    Freshman Sterling Mack has established himself as a regular starter in the outfield over the last two weeks. Mack has started four of the last five games for the Hoosiers, and has produced both offensively and defensively for Indiana.

    Mack has hit .333 in his limited at bats for the Hoosiers, going 5-for-15 on the year with three RBIs. Against Indiana State, Mack scored all three of the Indiana runs after getting on base to lead off the second, fourth and sixth innings. Mack, a native of Powder Springs, Ga., helped the Lovett School to the 2006 AA state championship last year.

    WHAT A RELIEF
    The Hoosier pitching staff has been strong this year on the mound, registering a 3.36 ERA and a 45/27 strikeout/walk ratio. Indiana picked up its first shutout of the season on Wednesday, as four hurlers blanked Butler 6-0 in an eight-hit shutout.

    Even more impressive has been the performance of the IU bullpen, as it has put together a 1.71 ERA on the season. Relievers have allowed just six earned runs on 25 hits and 12 walks in 31.2 innings pitched with 29 strikeouts.

    Four relievers - Joe Vicini, Jarrett Casey, J.T. Larson and Eric Arnett - still hold a 0.00 ERA on the season through eight games. The quartet has combined to pitch 12 2/3 innings and allow just two hits while walking five. Additionally, the four have struck out 11 opposing hitters this season.

    THEFTS APLENTY
    In his two years with the Hoosiers, head coach Tracy Smith has shown an affinity to be aggressive on the basepaths, and the 2007 Hoosiers have followed suit. IU has attempted 17 steals on the year to its opponents' nine. Indiana has been successful on 11 of its attempts this year.

    One interesting aspect has been the distribution of steals this season, as eight different players have swiped bags already this season with nine attempting steals. Andrew Merans (three) and Brian Lambert (two) are the only Hoosiers this season that have more than one steal. Keith Haas, Evan Crawford, Josh Phegley, Tyler Cox, Josh Richardson and Chris Hervey have also posted swipes this year.

    FOUR NAMED ALL-TOURNAMENT
    Four Hoosiers were named to the AutoZone Classic All-Tournament team for their performances over the weekend. Senior Keith Haas and freshmen Evan Crawford, Josh Phegley and Kipp Schutz were all honored as Indiana (3-3) took second place at the event with a 2-1 record.

    Haas hit the Hoosiers' only home run of the weekend, a three-run shot to deep left center in the ninth inning of IU's 16-7 win over Eastern Illinois. Haas hit .385 on the weekend, going 5-for-13 at the plate, and drove in five runs. He recorded a team-high 12 assists and added six putouts, taking part in all four of Indiana's double plays on the weekend.

    Crawford extended his hitting streak to six games with eight hits in the three-game set. He recorded multiple hits in each game, including a 4-for-6 performance against Eastern Illinois on Friday, March 2. Crawford tied for the team lead with four runs on the weekend, drove in three runs and stole a base. He is hitting a team-leading .520 for the year.

    Phegley hit .500 over the weekend, going 6-for-12 at the plate with three doubles. His four runs matched Crawford for the team lead, while he slugged .750 over the three games. Phegley also drew two walks and stole his first career base at the Classic.

    Schutz went 6-for-11, including two doubles, on the weekend. He hit .545 for the three games and slugged a whopping .727 over the weekend. Schutz scored three runs on the weekend, including two in the Hoosiers' 16-7 win over Eastern Illinois. His double in the fourth inning against Northern Iowa scored Indiana's first run of the contest en route to a 4-2 victory.

    BASHORE BAFFLES
    Freshman Matt Bashore delivered a gem on the mound in IU's 4-2 victory over Northern Iowa, tossing 7 1/3 innings in his first collegiate start. Bashore allowed five hits and three walks in the contest while striking out four and allowing just one earned run. More impressively, Bashore got better as the game went on, allowing just two walks and a hit batsman over his final 3 1/3 innings of work. At one point, Bashore retired 12 Panthers in a row and pitched 1-2-3 innings in the 5th, 6th and 7th.

    The Tipp City, Ohio, native was an all-area selection and earned honorable mention all-state in his senior season for Tippecanoe High School.

    CLOSING TIME
    Freshman Eric Arnett pitched the final 1 2/3 against Northern Iowa, striking out two, to earn his first career save. Arnett came on with runners on first and second in the eighth inning, and promptly induced a 4-6-3 double play to end the UNI threat. Arnett then struck out two of the final three batters he faced, with an infield single sandwiched in between. The Pataskala, Ohio, native went 9-2 with a 1.52 ERA in his senior campaign.

    SMITH A HOF FINALIST
    Former Hoosier Mike Smith has been named to the official ballot for the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. More than 300 candidates were originally nominated to be on the ballot, and Smith is one of just 26 players to make the cut on the final ballot.

    The former shortstop hit .369 in his IU career, smashing 47 home runs and driving in 185 runs in his four years. In 1992, Smith posted one of the best seasons in NCAA history, hitting .490 with 27 home runs and 95 RBIs to lead the nation in all three categories. He remains the only player in college baseball lore to win the triple crown. Smith earned first team All-America laurels following his 1992 campaign.

    HE MEANS BUSINESS
    Sophomore Andrew Means has had a solid start for the Hoosiers after making the transition from right field to center. Means has been brilliant defensively, and has also put together a .310 average with a double and a triple on the season. The speedster leads the team in steals as well, going 3-for-3 on the basepaths this year.

    The sophomore is also a wide receiver on the Indiana football team. In 2006, he made 20 catches for 263 yards and a touchdown for the Hoosiers. Last season, the two-sport athlete hit .301 with 16 stolen bases for the Hoosier baseball team.

    OFFENSIVE OUTBURST
    When the Hoosiers exploded for 16 runs and 20 hits against Eastern Illinois, each marked the highest total in the Tracy Smith era for the Hoosiers. Indiana posted two innings - the third and the ninth - of six runs or more and batted around in each inning. In the top of the third, the first eight men reached base safely, six getting on by way of hits.

    TUFTS ENOUGH
    Sophomore Tyler Tufts had a sparkling 2007 debut, pitching a complete-game six-hitter for the Hoosiers. Tufts allowed just one walk in the contest and struck out two for his third career complete game.

    Perhaps the most impressive attribute about Tufts' start was his ability to induce ground balls from the Georgia Southern bats. Tufts recorded 16 ground-ball outs to just five on fly balls. That helped him get out of trouble in a few innings by allowing his defense to turn two with runners on.

    ARE YOU NEW HERE?
    The 2007 Hoosiers will look quite different from their 2006 counterparts, largely due to the fact that 19 of the 34 players on the roster were not playing for IU the year before. Eighteen of the 19 players are freshmen for IU. So far, freshmen Evan Crawford and Josh Phegley have started all eight games for IU, while three other freshmen have started at least four games this year. On the Hoosier staff, eight of 12 players who have pitched this season are freshmen.

    MR. BASEBALL TO BLOOMINGTON
    Tracy Smith's first recruiting class of 19 features six players from the Hoosier state, including Indiana's Mr. Baseball, Terre Haute's Josh Phegley.

    "I think it was important for our program to go out and make a statement," Smith said. "They always say in recruiting that you have to control your state. Josh was important for us, because he was the one that said yes. He got the pipeline started. Once he said yes, the other guys fell in line. The fact that the honor was bestowed upon him, it kind of legitimized the message we were trying to deliver. I think it is an important message, that Indiana has arrived, we are going to keep the good players in the state of Indiana, and Josh is certainly one of those."

    Phegley hit .592 with 13 home runs, 16 doubles and 50 RBIs a year ago for Terre Haute North, earning him all-conference and all-state honors. Additionally, the catcher was named the Indiana Defensive Player of the Year.

     

     

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