March 23, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
Big Ten play has arrived for Indiana Baseball, and it brings with it a 10-plus hour bus trek to Happy Valley for a three-game series with the Penn State Nittany Lions. The Hoosiers (8-13) enter the weekend after a pair of midweek wins over Eastern Kentucky while PSU (4-14) earned a victor over Pittsburgh in their lone midweek affair.
WEEKEND SCHEDULE & PROBABLE ROTATIONS (All games being streamed live online at BTN.com)
Friday, March 23 - 6:05 pm EST (WHCC 105.1 FM)
LHP Joey DeNato
(3-1, 1.64) vs. RHP John Walter (0-3, 4.23)
Saturday, March 23 - 2:05 pm EST
LHP Drew Leininger (2-2, 5.09) vs. LHP Joe Kurrasch (1-1, 3.22)
Sunday, March 24 - 1:05 pm EST
LHP Kyle Hart (0-1, 3.51) vs. RHP Steven Hill (0-2, 5.12)
Indiana has not faced the Nittany Lions since 2009, a series victory in Bloomington. The last time IU traveled to State College was in 2008 for a four-game series in which they were swept by Penn State.
Penn State holds a 38-28 all-time advantage on the Hoosiers, including a 21-11 edge in games played on the Penn State campus.
Both squads have been road warriors this season with Indiana playing its first 20 games on the road and the Lions traveling for their first 17 contests. Both instituations won their home openers this week.
Jeremy Gray will be on the call for the broadcasts all weekend long. Friday night's game can be heard live in Bloomington on WHCC 105.1 FM; and all three games will be aired online at IUHoosiers.com. In addition, GameTracker live stats can also be found at IUHoosiers.com
Complete Weekend Notes
TRAVIS FINDS A WAY TO GET ON
Freshman Sam Travis
has reached base in all 21 games this season and is currently riding an eight-game hitting streak. And when his teammates get on base, Travis excels moving them along. With runners aboard, the 40th Round Draft Pick of the Cincinnati Reds is hitting .438 entering the weekend series at Penn State.
DEMUTH HEATING UP
In the last 10 games, sophomore Dustin DeMuth has started to find the same groove which guided him to Freshman All-American honors and totaling 85 hits (second most in the entire Big Ten) as a freshman. In the recent stretch DeMuth is batting .324 with two doubles, two triples, seven runs scored and five runs batted in. The LaPorte, Ind., native is also reaching base at a .419 clip in the last contests.
EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT
The Hoosier offense has sputtered at times early this season, but when the bats are hitting they've got some pop. Indiana ranks in the conference's top-two for all extra-base hit categories. Nine triples are tops in the Big Ten while the Hoosiers' 38 doubles and 14 homeruns are both second-best in league totals.
A year after Joey DeNato nearly picked off more baserunners than any other team in the Big Ten single-handedly and Indiana's team total dwarfed the next closest school; the Hoosiers' are back at top, pegging six runners so far. In addition, IU has gunned out 12 stolen base attempts (tied for the second most in the Big Ten).
DENATO EARNS SECOND CAREER B1G PITCHER OF THE WEEK HONOR
Sophomore Joey DeNato was named Pitcher of the Week in the Big Ten for the week ending March 18. The California native had a stellar homecoming, tossing a complete-game three-hitter in a 3-1 win over Loyola Marymount during the team's spring break trip. DeNato retired 15 consecutive batters between the second and sixth innings and threw just 101 pitches.
It marked the first time IU held the opposition to three hits or less since March 10, 2009 (Northwestern).
FRESHMAN: HERE, THERE, EVERYWHERE
Fifty-two percent of Indiana's starters through 21 games have been freshmen (110 of 210; counting pitchers). The Hoosier youth increases even more when including only position players in the batting order (no pitcher/DH), with 58% of starts coming from freshmen. In fact, there are no senior position players on the IU roster and just two senior pitchers. Indiana's offensive production has been fueled by rookie Hoosiers:
PERCENTAGE OF OVERALL TEAM PRODUCTION COMING FROM FRESHMEN
Homeruns: 71% (10 of 14)
Doubles: 65% (24 of 37)
Runs Batted In: 64% (57 of 89)
Hits: 58% (104 of 179)
Runs Scored: 58% (61 of 106)
Triples: 56% (5 of 9)
HOOSIERS ON THE BIG TEN NETWORK
The Big Ten Network's spring broadcast schedule was released last week, and at least three Indiana baseball games will be aired nationally on the network. In addition, there is a wild card game during the last weekend fo the regular season and the BTN.com live streaming schedule will be finalized soon.
The Hoosiers' games on BTN include:
Friday, Apr. 27 - Indiana at Michigan
Sunday, May 6 - Nebraska at Indiana
Sunday, May 13 - Indiana at Northwestern
SOCIAL MEDIA OPTIONS FOR IU BASEBALL
Indiana Baseball has several social media options for fans this season:
@HoosierBaseball - Head Coach Tracy Smith's personal account.
@KKatIU - Game updates, random stats and team notes.
@jfgray - Radio broadcaster for baseball/Assistant Athletics Director
Search "Indiana Hoosiers Baseball Team" to find the program's official Facebook page.