IUHeads to Florida
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The 6-3 Indiana baseball team embarks on a seven-game, eight-day spring break trip to Bradenton, Fla., on March 12-19. IU opens the trip on Saturday, March 12, facing Bowling Green at 10 a.m. Below is a look at the entire spring break schedule:
3/12 - IU vs. Bowling Green - 10 a.m.
3/13 - IU vs. Bucknell - 2:30 p.m.
3/14 - IU vs. Yale - 10:30 a.m.
3/15 - IU vs. Illinois State - 2:30 p.m.
3/17 - IU vs. Columbia - 10:30 a.m.
3/18 - IU vs. Vermont - 2:30 p.m.
3/19 - IU vs. Kent State - 2:30 p.m.
The Hoosiers enter their spring break with a 6-3 overall record after an 11-10 loss to Butler on Thursday, March 10. Prior to the contest against the Bulldogs, IU earned the championship at the Gent Classic in Shreveport, La., following its 16-0 victory over Arkansas-Little Rock on Sunday, March 6. Five Hoosier pitchers combined for the shutout with freshman Brad Davidson earning the victory after throwing five innings of two-hit ball. The win was the first of Davidson's collegiate career in his first start.
In the tournament opener on Friday, March 6, the Cream and Crimson pounded UALR, 9-4. Junior Josh Lewis scattered eight hits in six innings, allowing only one run, to lead the team to victory. Senior Corby Heckman went 4-for-5 with one RBI, one run and two stolen bases, while senior Joe Kemp was 2-for-4 with two RBI, one run, one steal and one triple.
Indiana went on to defeat Centenary with two runs in the top of the ninth in the second game on Friday. Freshman Tyler Cox laced a single to left center to score Heckman and tie the game at 3-3, and Kemp hit a ground ball to shortstop David Kiefer, who dropped it, allowing sophomore Josh Richardson to cross with the game-winning run. Senior Steve Nielsen came in and pitched a perfect ninth inning to pick up his second career save, and freshman Chris McCombs pitched three innings of scoreless relief to claim his first career win.
IU's lone loss at the event came to Centenary the next night. The Gents dropped the Hoosiers 11-3, but it was not enough to keep Indiana from claiming the championship.
Heckman concluded the weekend hitting .692 with nine hits in 13 at-bats. He also added three RBI and three stolen bases. Jay Brant turned in a huge performance at the Classic, batting .412 (7-for-17). The junior belted his first two home runs of the season to go along with six RBI, six runs scored and three stolen bases. In addition, junior Ryan Parker hit .412 with one home run, five RBI and three doubles.
Sizing Up The Competition
Bowling Green - The Cream and Crimson open its trip with a match up against Bowling Green on March 12 at 10 a.m. The Falcons enter spring break with a 2-1 mark.
Bucknell - On March 13, Indiana will take on Bucknell at 2:30 p.m. The Bison travel to Florida at 0-6. Yale - The Hoosiers meet Yale on March 14 at 10:30 a.m. Coming into the spring break trip, the Bulldogs hold an 0-3 record.
Illinois State - In its fourth game of the trip, IU goes head-to-head with Illinois State at 2:30 p.m. on March 15. The Redbirds leave for Florida at 4-5.
Columbia - After a day off on March 16, the Cream and Crimson return to the field to face Columbia on March 17 at 10:30 a.m. The Lions are 0-3 entering the trip.
Vermont - Game six features a battle between Indiana and Vermont at 2:30 p.m. on March 18. The Catamounts will see their first action of the year in Florida.
Kent State - The Hoosiers conclude their seven-game trip against Kent State with a 2:30 p.m. start time on March 19. Prior to their arrival in the Sunshine State, the Golden Flashes are 4-5.
Below is a look at how the Hoosiers have fared all-time against each of their spring break opponents:
Bowling Green: IU leads 3-0
Bucknell: IU leads 2-1
Yale: IU leads 3-1
Illinois State: ISU leads 1-0
Columbia: IU leads 3-0
Vermont: IU leads 4-0
Kent State: IU leads 1-0
Parker On A Tear
Junior Ryan Parker is off to a big start early in the 2005 campaign. Following his 5-RBI performance against Butler on March 10, Parker moved into the team lead with 13 RBI on the season. In addition, the Hilliard, Ohio, native leads the club with a .462 batting average, 18 hits, five doubles, a .795 slugging percentage and a .543 on-base percentage. Parker also enters the spring break riding a seven-game hitting streak.
Senior Joe Kemp had his 14-game hitting streak snapped against Arkansas-Little Rock on March 6, but junior Reggie Watson pushed his streak to 11 games with two hits against Butler on March 10. The Cincinnati native has picked up a hit in all nine of the team's games this season and closed out the 2004 campaign with hits in his final two games.
Redhot At The Plate
With a .322 batting average, the Cream and Crimson is off to a redhot start at the plate. Seven batters are above the .300 mark led by junior Ryan Parker, who is hitting at a .462 clip. Additionally, the team has pounded out 16 doubles, seven triples and outscored its opponents 66-47 on the season.
One of the reasons the Hoosiers are off to a 6-3 start is their aggressiveness on the basepaths. Indiana has attempted 26 stolen bases this season, nearly an average of three per game, and has been successful 17 times, nearly an average of two per game. Seven different players have swiped at least one base with senior Joe Kemp leading the team with seven steals.
Pitching In Control
Along with its aggressiveness on the bases, the Hoosier pitching staff has provided a boost during the team's quick start. Six different pitchers have tallied victories, and the staff holds a 4.29 ERA. In 84 innings, IU pitchers have struck out 69 batters and walked 46 while holding the opposition to 79 hits and 40 earned runs.
Right-hander Steve Nielsen continued to dominate coming in from the bullpen at the Gent Classic. The senior nailed down the Hoosiers' 4-3 come-from-behind victory over Centenary on March 4. Nielsen threw a perfect inning to claim his second career save. Pitching in 6 1/3 innings this year, Nielsen has not allowed a hit and has struck out seven while surrendering two runs. Nielsen earned the victory in IU's win over Indiana State on Feb. 25, tossing 1 2/3 innings with three strikeouts.
Additionally, Clint Crosier has recorded a 2.57 ERA in seven innings. The sophomore pitched four hitless frames against Centenary on March 6, surrendering one run, and he earned his first career save against Memphis on Feb. 26.
After 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 played another one-run contest at the Gent Classic followed by a one-run battle against Butler. IU rallied with two runs in the top of the ninth inning to beat Centenary, 4-3 on March 4 before falling 11-10 against Butler on March 10. The Cream and Crimson is now 3-2 in one-run ballgames. Last season, Indiana went 3-8 in one-run games.
Breaking Into The Win Column
A pair of freshman earned their first career victories at the Gent Classic. Freshman Chris McCombs fired three scoreless innings, giving up one hit with two punchouts against Centenary (3/4) as the Hoosiers rallied for a 4-3 win.
Davidson joined McCombs after throwing five scoreless innings in IU's 16-0 win over Arkansas-Little Rock (3/6). The Novelty, Ohio, native held the Trojans to two hits in addition to striking out six batters.
On the season, the duo has given the pitching staff a huge lift. McCombs enters the spring break trip with a team-leading 0.84 ERA in 10 2/3 innings, and Davidson holds a 2.57 ERA in seven innings of work.
With its 16-0 shutout over Arkansas-Little Rock on March 6, the Hoosiers now have two shutouts this season. Against the Trojans, five pitchers combined for the whitewashing, with freshman Brad Davidson pitching five innings to garner the victory.
Six Hoosier pitchers combined to shut out 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.
Kemp Honored By Big Ten
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 accolade 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.
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 1,050 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.
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