Hoosiers Set to Host Mastodons for Weekend Series
March 22, 2007
SETTING THE SCENE
LAST TIME OUT
In the opening game of the doubleheader, Fixler went 2-for-5 with 5 RBIs, including a go-ahead, bases-clearing double in the top of the ninth that gave IU a 5-3 lead. Bashore pitched 8 1/3 innings, allowing just four hits and two walks and striking out a career-high nine to improve to 2-1.
In the second game, the Hoosiers posted a seven-run fourth on six hits and a pair of Rattler errors. Seven different Hoosiers each had an RBI in the frame, with Ben Greenspan getting two hits in the inning. Reid Briglia added his first career triple in the frame. Evan Crawford and Fixler each had RBI singles in the fourth.
In the series' opening game on Friday, March 16, David Trager tied a school record with five hits and Chris Hervey added four in a 10-2 victory on Friday. Tyler Tufts pitched eight innings to garner his second win of the season as the Hoosiers improved to 6-8 on the season.
The three-game sweep wrapped up a 4-4 spring break swing through Florida with the Hoosiers winning the final four games of the 10-day trip. Indiana opened the eight-game affair with a sweep at the hands of top-ranked Florida State and followed by splitting a pair of 10-9 games against North Florida in Jacksonville.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES
SCOUTING THE MASTODONS
Offensively, IPFW is led by Jared Davis, who has a .351 average, one home run, and a team-leading eight doubles on the season. Davis has slugged .494 on the season and leads the squad with 20 RBIs. As a team, IPFW is hitting .289 with four longballs. Quentin Brown swiped three bases on Tuesday against Goshen College.
Pitching has been a struggle for the Mastodons, who have allowed more than 10 runs seven times this season and have an aggregate 8.94 ERA. Opponents are batting .355 against the Mastodons on the season. Donnie Sixt leads the starters with a 6.00 ERA and 28 Ks in 27 innings, while Carden has worked out of the bullpen to earn the team's only save this season.
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 45 steals on the year to its opponents' 22. Indiana has been successful on 37 of its attempts this year.
Means and Crawford sit 1-2 on the team in steals with 11 and eight, respectively, while Keith Haas is 5-for-5 on the season and Tyler Cox is 3-for-4. Four other Hoosiers have swiped two bases, while two have stolen one this season. Reid Briglia and Jon Fixler are the only players who have started more than three games that have not stolen a base.
HONORS FOR MEANS
Means, who has also been impressive defensively in his transition from right to center field, began his week with a career-high four hits in seven at-bats in a 16-inning affair against North Florida on Wednesday, March 15. In that contest he drove in a pair of runs, scored one and stole a base. He followed that up with a career-best three steals the next night against the Ospreys, going 2-for-5 at the plate. With the score tied 9-9 in the eighth and Josh Phegley on second with two outs, Means ripped a game-winning RBI single to left center to ice the victory.
In IU's three-game series against Florida A&M, the Avon Lake, Ohio, native opened the set with a 2-for-4 outing, swiping two bags and scoring two runs. In the final game of the series, the sophomore went 3-for-6, scoring three runs and driving in three to go along with his third game of the week with multiple steals, notching his 10th and 11th steals of the season. On the year, Means is hitting .349 with a team-leading 11 steals and 14 runs.
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 squad.
REIDING BETWEEN THE LINES
Briglia is in his first season on the field with the Hoosiers. He redshirted while at IU in 2004 before transferring to Rollins College for a year, playing fall ball for Rollins. He then returned to Indiana and redshirted as a transfer in 2006 before joining the Hoosiers this season.
FIXING A THREE-HOLE
Fixler has a .375 average this season while hitting third as compared to a .200 average when hitting sixth. Keith Haas has hit .325 in the three slot, while he is hitting .370 as a leadoff hitter. All other hitters batting third have gone a combined 0-for-10.
Bashore has gone 2-1 in his three starts and is leading the squad with 20 strikeouts and a 1.99 ERA in his 22 2/3 innings of work. Tufts has posted a sparkling 3.10 ERA in his 29 innings, and has been a groundball specialist, retiring 49 of the 116 batters he has faced on grounders. Ferrell has allowed opponents just a .218 average.
BIG TEN LEADERBOARD
As a team, the Hoosiers sit in third place in the conference with their 4.22 ERA on the season. Ohio State is over a run and a half better than second-place Minnesota with their 2.60 ERA. Matt Bashore's 1.99 ERA is currently sixth in the conference, while his .205 batting average against is third. Bashore is tied for sixth with his 20 strikeouts. He trails only Purdue's Tony Sedlmeyer among conference freshmen in ERA and leads conference rookies in batting average against.
SMITH A HOF FINALIST
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.
In his eight games in Florida, Haas put together a .387 average with 10 singles and two doubles on the trip. After a brief stint hitting third, Haas has returned to the leadoff slot. When leading off an inning, he has reached base 11 times in 18 opportunities, a remarkable 61.1 percent of the time, and is hitting .529 when leading off an inning to lead the team.
Haas led the team with a .353 average last season, spending most of his time in the leadoff spot. His 62 assists are tops on the team and he has helped the IU defense turn 18 groundball double plays already this season.
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 18 groundball double plays in 16 games. His 45 assists are second on the team behind Keith Haas.
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