Valpo Comes to Sembower

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!
    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Entering the week with a 13-5 record, the Indiana baseball team hosts Valparaiso (6-8) at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29, at Sembower Field. The Hoosiers lead the all-time series against Valpo, 28-11-1, and have won the last four meetings between the two teams and 10 of the last 11, including a 6-4 victory in Bloomington last season on March 31.

    Follow the game live by clicking here. Additionally, the game will be broadcast on WIUS AM 1570. Click here to listen to the broadcast.

    Following Tuesday's contest, the Hoosiers open Big Ten play against the Wildcats of Northwestern. The teams will open the series with a 3 p.m. match up on Friday, April 1, before playing a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 2. The series concludes with a 1 p.m. matinee on Sunday, April 3. At Friday's game, head coach of the 2004 national champion Indiana men's soccer team, Mike Freitag, will sing 'Take Me Out To The Ballgame' during the seventh-inning stretch.

    Inside Valparaiso
    After sweeping a doubleheader from South Dakota State on Sunday, March 27, Valparaiso sits at 6-8 on the season. The Crusaders dropped SDSU, 2-1, in the opening tilt and came away with a 1-0 shutout in the nightcap. Both games were scheduled for seven innings.

    Senior Eric Brauer improved to 3-1 on the season, pitching six scoreless innings in the second game. Sophomore Josh Piazza is Valpo's leading hitter, batting at a .471 clip, ahead of junior Jon Rupno, who is hitting .447.

    Hoosier Report
    The Indiana baseball team split a doubleheader with Longwood on Saturday, March 26. IU took game one, 10-4, before dropping the second game by a 4-1 score.

    Josh Lewis pitched the opener, going seven innings to improve to 4-0 this season. The junior allowed three earned runs on five hits while walking a pair and striking out a career-high 10 batters. Senior Steve Nielsen pitched the final two innings, netting his second save of the season and the third of his career.

    Senior Joe Kemp closed out the contest going 4-for-5 to go along with three RBI, a pair of doubles and one run scored. Junior Reggie Watson (two runs), junior Jay Brant (two runs), senior Corby Heckman (one RBI, one run) and sophomore Josh Richardson (one run) each added two hits.

    Game two saw Hoosier starter Brad Davidson (2-1) suffer the first defeat of his collegiate career. The freshman tossed 4 2/3 innings, surrendering one earned run and punching out three. Longwood's second fifth-inning run was the first earned run Davidson gave up in his three starts, a span of 16 2/3 innings pitched.

    As well as scoring the Cream and Crimson's lone run, junior Jay Brant stole his team-leading 10th base and went 1-for-3, pushing his hitting streak to 12 games. Juniors Ryan Parker and Zach Boswell secured hits in the opener but went hitless in game two, snapping 15-game and 10-game hitting streaks, respectively.

    Lewis Racking Up the K's
    Along with improving to 4-0 this season, Josh Lewis turned in a career performance against Longwood on March 26. Pitching in the first game of the doubleheader, the junior struck out a career-high 10 Lancers, breaking his old high of seven vs. Northwestern on March 22, 2003. Lewis is tied for the Big Ten lead with four victories and has 30 Ks in 2005.

    Streaking Hoosiers
    Junior Jay Brant collected a hit in both games of the twinbill against Longwood on March 26 to push his hitting streak to 12 games. The streak is the third longest for a Hoosier this season behind junior Ryan Parker's 15-gamer and senior Joe Kemp's 14-game streak.

    Parker had his streak broken in game two against Longwood, and junior Zach Boswell had his 10-game streak stopped in the same game.

    Big Ten Leaders
    Following its 13-5 start, teams are staring up at the Hoosiers in the Big Ten's statistical rankings. With its .348 batting average, IU leads the conference in hitting. Its 3.72 team ERA is fourth, trailing Michigan (2.60), Illinois (2.79) and Ohio State (3.26).

    Individually, five Hoosiers lead the league in eight categories. Junior Jay Brant is the Big Ten leader in batting average (.442), runs scored (30) and is tied for the lead in hits (34), while junior Zach Boswell leads the conference in on-base percentage (.543) and is tied for the top spot in walks (14). Senior Joe Kemp is tied at the top with four home runs, and junior Reggie Watson is the league leader with four triples.

    On the mound, junior Josh Lewis is tied for the conference lead with four victories, and freshman Brad Davidson's 1.45 ERA is second in the Big Ten.

    The .400 Club
    Three Hoosiers are hitting over .400, contributing to the team's astounding .348 batting average. Junior Jay Brant leads the club, hitting at a .442 clip. Brant is followed by senior Corby Heckman (.438) and junior Zach Boswell (.431). Senior Joe Kemp and junior Ryan Parker are on the brink of .400, holding .397 and .392 marks, respectively. The group has helped Indiana outscore its opponents 151-79 on the season.

    Unhittable Duo
    Freshmen Chris McCombs and Brad Davidson have both raced off to impressive starts in the 2005 campaign.

    McCombs fired five innings against Vermont on March 18 without allowing an earned run. The Louisville, Ky., native has not allowed an earned run since the Memphis game on Feb. 26, a span of 13 innings pitched.

    Davidson tossed seven scoreless innings in the Hoosiers' shutout of Yale on March 14, pushing his scoreless streak to 12 innings.

    The Novelty, Ohio, native tossed 4 2/3 innings, surrendering one earned run against Longwood on March 26. The Lancers' first-inning run broke Davidson's streak and their second fifth-inning run was the first earned run he has given up in three starts, a span of 16 2/3 innings pitched.

    Big Ten Players Of The Week
    With their efforts on the Hoosiers' spring break trip, juniors Jay Brant and Zach Boswell earned Big Ten Player of the Week selections. Brant picked up his first career honor on March 15, and Boswell scored his first accolade on March 21. The duo joins Joe Kemp, who was selected the conference Player of the Week on March 1, as winners of the award in 2005. Kemp received the recognition for the second time of his career.

    Shooting Blanks
    The Indiana pitching staff recorded a pair of shutouts over spring break, blanking Yale, 8-0, on March 14 to go along with a 9-0 whitewashing of St. Francis-NY on March 21. With the shutouts, the Hoosiers now have four on the 2005 campaign, the most since the 2003 club recorded five.

    IU also shut out Arkansas-Little Rock, 16-0, on March 6, and closed out DePauw, 5-0, in its season opener on Feb. 22.

    Florida was very good to the Cream and Crimson, especially for three newcomers. Sophomore Joe Trucchio earned his first Division I win against Illinois State (March 15) and later in the trip picked up his first Division I save vs. Kent State (March 20).

    Offensively, freshmen Arden McWilliams and David Trager collected their first collegiate hits against St. Francis-NY (March 21). Trager also netted his first RBI against the Terriers.

    Close Encounters
    After three of Indiana's games 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 (March 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 (March 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 this week's action with a team-leading 0.56 ERA in 15 2/3 innings, and Davidson holds a 1.45 ERA in 18 23 innings of work.

    All-Tournament Team
    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 1,057 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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