March 13, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Hoosier Baseball heads west this weekend for a three-game series at Long Beach State University. This marks the fourth different time zone IU has played in through the first five weeks of the season.
Both programs have rebounded emphatically from slow 2-5 starts with #16 Indiana (8-6) winning six of its last seven games while the Dirtbags (8-7) have taken six of their last eight contests.
FUN FACT: Blair Field is the home of the LBSU Dirtbags, and was used in the filiming of Space Jam.
IUHoosiers.com hops on the plane as well to provide free live audio broadcasts of all three games. Greg Murray, will be there to provide all the play-by-play action.
Twitter updates can be found by following the program's official account: @IUBaseballNews.
Indiana's staff earned run average of 2.91 is not only best in the Big Ten, but leads by a large margin. The next clostest team ERA entering the weekend nearly a half run back, Michigan's 3.40 clip. Staff ace Joey DeNato leads the charge with the conference's second-best individual ERA of 1.37; while the bullpen has certainly done its job as well evidenced by the Hoosiers 7-0 record when leading after six innings.
IMPRESSIVE WEEK FROM Kyle Hart
In the last calendar week, Kyle Hart accumulated two wins, a save and 12 strikeouts in 16 innings pitched. His ERA dropped over four runs as he hurled a combined 15 frames in a pair of midweek starts vs. Xavier and Kentucky. He split the two Ws by clinching a road series victory at Jacksonville, working the bottom of the ninth in IU's 7-6 rubber match to earn his first career save.
A QUANTITY OF QUALITY
Friday night starter Joey DeNato is one of 24 pitchers nationally to contribute a `quality start' (at least six innings with three or less earned runs) in each his first four starts this season.
BASE PATH THIEVERY
Casey Rodrigue broke loose during IU's road series victory at Jacksonville, stealing five bases in as many attempts; including a 3-steal day in game two. It marked the first Hoosier to swipe three bags in a game since Micah Johnson did so vs. Evansville on March 27, 2011. The Louisiana native led all of NJCAA D-II and D-III with 68 stolen bases for LSU-Eunice in 2013.