Hoosiers Head to Florida for Spring Trip
Hoosiers Look to Extend Win Streak on Spring Trip
The Indiana baseball team will attempt to build on its six-game winning streak as it travels to Bradenton, Fla., for the annual spring break trip. The Hoosiers will play six games in eight days against Rhode Island, Duquesne, Columbia, Bucknell, Vermont and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
2004 Spring Trip (IMG Academy/Bradenton, Fla.): March 13-20
Schedule of Games
Saturday, March 13: vs. Rhode Island at 2:30 p.m. (IMG Filed AP-1)
Sunday, March 14: vs. Duquesne at 10 a.m. (Manatee Community College)
Tuesday, March 16: vs. Columbia at 10 a.m. (IMG Field AP-1)
Wednesday, March 17: vs. Bucknell at 10 a.m. (IMG Field AP-1)
Thursday, March 18: vs. Vermont at 2:30 p.m. (IMG Field AP-1)
Saturday, March 20: vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee at 3 p.m. (IMG Field AP-2)
About the Hoosiers
Indiana has won six straight games entering the trip, including a 5-0 record last week (March 1-7). The Hoosiers picked up midweek wins over Marian and Butler, and swept a three-game series from Cleveland State over the weekend.
Junior Corby Heckman paces the Hoosier offensive attack with a .477 batting average, 21 hits and 14 runs. Senior Kevin Mahar is second, hitting at a .400 clip, and sits tied for the team lead with 15 RBI. Senior Seth Bynum also has 15 RBI and owns a .383 batting average.
The Indiana pitching staff sports a combined 3.58 ERA and has recorded 77 strikeouts to just 39 walks.
Indiana's bats have come alive. Through the first seven games, the Hoosiers struggled to a .217 team batting average. Last week, IU collected five straight victories and improved its batting average 47 points to a .264 clip. Here's a look at the big difference makers in the Hoosier lineup, comparing batting averages through the first seven games to the current averages:
Thru 7 Current
Corby Heckman .370 .477
Seth Bynum .241 .383
Kevin Mahar .375 .400
Joe Kemp .192 .306
Reggie Watson .158 .238
Ringing up the Runs
In five victories last week, Indiana put 54 runs on the scoreboard, which is a striking contrast to IU's scoring output in previous weeks. In their first seven games, the Hoosiers scored only a total of 23 runs.
Mahar Pounds Five Homers
Senior outfielder Kevin Mahar hit more home runs last week than he had in his entire Indiana career. The Midland, Mich., product belted five home runs, including at least one four straight games. Against Marian College on March 2, Mahar his the first home run of the season by an Indiana player. At Butler on March 3, he broke up a scoreless tie with a solo shot in the seventh inning. He hit a third roundtripper in the opener of the Cleveland State series, and nailed two long balls in game two against the Vikings.
Mahar did not hit any home runs as a freshman in 2001. He played at Lincoln Trail JC in 2002 and hit three home runs total during his junior season in 2003 at IU.
Bynum's Big Week
Senior shortstop Seth Bynum is coming off an impressive week. Bynum hit .611 in five games and tied for the team lead with 11 hits. The Louisville, Ky., product drove in 10 runs and produced three extra base hits on his way to a .944 slugging percentage.
Bynum only struck out once, but drew four walks and was hit by a pitch. He was also a perfect 5-for-5 in stolen bases.
Heckman Pacing The Offense
Junior Corby Heckman is picking up right where he left off last season. In 2003, Heckman ranked first or second in batting average all season long. Currently, the Spencer, Ind., native ranks first on the team with a .477 average, 21 hits, 14 runs scored, two triples and .538 on-base percentage.
Pegg, Ragle Combine For Shutout
Senior Adam Pegg got the start on March 2, and responded by beating Butler for the second straight season. The righthander pitched seven innings and scattered six hits while recording five strikeouts. Sophomore Troy Ragle relieved Pegg in the eighth and notched his first save of the season. The lefty allowed just one Butler hit, walked one and struck out a pair.
Vitielliss Off To a Good Start
Senior hurler Nick Vitielliss has performed well in his return to the hill. After earning All-Big Ten honors in 2002, Vitielliss was forced to miss all of last season while recuperating from arm surgery. The 6-5 righthander has made three starts and pitched a total of 13.0 innings. He sports a 2.77 ERA and has allowed four earned runs. With a 1-1 record on the season, Vitielliss is 9-2 in his last 11 decisions and has a 12-6 career record overall.
Against Kentucky on Feb. 28, Vitielliss pitched five innings, and gave up just three hits and no walks while striking out three. The only run he allowed was unearned. In game two against Cleveland State, Vitielliss scattered seven hits and allowed two earned runs in six innings of work. He fanned five batters and did not issue a single walk.
Lewis On Top of His Game
Sophomore Josh Lewis sports the best ERA among Indiana's starting pitchers and has worked the most innings on the staff. The Mt. Airy, Md., product owns a 1.06 ERA in 17 innings pitched, and leads the team with 12 strikeouts. He has started three games on the hill, allowed just two earned runs and is limiting IU opponents to a .203 batting average.
Wearing Out the Base Paths
Indiana has stolen 25 bases in 30 attempts through 12 games this season. Seth Bynum leads the team with six stolen bases in six attempts, while sophomore Jay Brant has been successful on all five of his attempts.
By contrast, Indiana has allowed its opponents only 10 stolen bases in 15 attempts.
Indiana has won six straight games, dating back to a Feb. 28 loss to Kentucky in at the Service Academy Classic in Millington, Tenn.
After not hitting a home run in any of its first seven games, Indiana has had at least one roundtripper in the last five.
Senior outfielder Kevin Mahar is in the midst of a team-best 11-game hitting streak this season, having hit safely in the each one of the Hoosiers' games except the season opener.
Junior outfielder Joe Kemp owns an eight-game hit streak, the second-best on the team, while senior shortstop Seth Bynum has had a hit in each of IU's last six games.
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.
Indiana has seven players who have made their debut in a Hoosier uniform this season. In addition to junior college transfer Steve Nielsen and redshirt freshman Bobby Segal, true freshmen Josh Richardson, Michael Nilles, Rashard Graves, Matt Saba, Byron Banks and Kyle Exline have officially started their IU careers.
A LOOK AT THE OPPOSITION
Rhode Island: The Rams are 3-7-1 on the season. Rhode Island is hitting .275 as a team and the pitching staff sports a 6.30 ERA (as of March 9). Head coach Frank Leoni is in his 12th season at URI. Indiana is 2-1 all-time against the Rams.
Duquesne: Duquesne owns a 2-3 record. The Dukes are hitting .184 overall and have a combined 5.86 team ERA (as of March 9). Head coach Mike Wilson is in his 11th season at Duquesne. The Hoosiers and Dukes have never played before.
Columbia: Columbia is 0-4 on the season. The Lion pitching staff holds a 9.64 ERA, and Columbia is hitting .217 overall (as of March 9). The Lions are coached by Paul Fernandes, who is in his first season at the school. The Hoosiers own a 2-0 edge in the all-time series with Columbia.
Bucknell: Bucknell's record is 4-3 on the season. The Bison are hitting at a .265 clip as team, while the pitching staff sports a 8.05 ERA. Head coach Gene Depew is in his 23rd season Bucknell. IU is 2-0 all-time against the Bison.
Vermont: The Catamounts, who won the America East Conference in 2003, are 0-2 on the season. As a team, Vermont is hitting .262, while the Catamount pitching staff owns a 8.36 ERA. Indiana is 3-0, all-time against Vermont, including last season's 4-3, 12-inning victory in Bradenton.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee: Wisconsin-Milwaukee's season record stood at 1-2 following a three-game series to open the season at Kansas. The Panthers will play at three-game set at Saint Louis before heading to Florida. UWM hits .336 as a team and the pitching staff owns a 12.24 ERA (as of March 9). The Panthers and the Hoosiers are playing for the first time ever.
IU is back at home on March 23 to face Indiana Wesleyan at 3 p.m. That contest is the first of six consecutive home games against Chicago State, Wright State (3) and Valparaiso.
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