April 1, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
The Indiana University baseball team (16-8) begins Big Ten play on Friday, trekking north to Ann Arbor, Mich., for a three-game stint with the Michigan Wolverines (6-16). The two teams get it started at 3 pm on Friday, followed by 1 pm starts for Saturday and Sunday.
Indiana is expected to send LHP Blake Monar (2-1, 3.82) and RHP Chad Martin (1-0, 2.05) to the mound in games one and two, respectively. Meanwhile, the Wolverines' rotation looks like this: Fri., RHP Tyler Mills (1-2, 4.60), Sat., LHP Bobby Brosnahan (1-5, 7.39) and Sun., RHP Kyle Clark (1-2, 3.42). The IU Sunday starter is yet to be determined.
Despite the poor early season record for Michigan, the opening weekend presents quite the challenge for Indiana. The Wolverines were picked to finish second in the BIg Ten by the conference coaches in the preseason, temperatures not expected to crack 50 and Michigan averaged nearly 1,500 fans per game last season.
All three games will be streamed live online at BigTenNetwork.com (fee applies). A live audio broadcast and GameTracker live stats are also available for the series (both free of charge).
Adjacent to Ray Fisher Stadium is UM's softball facility, Alumni Field, where the Hoosier softball team will also be facing the Wolverines on Saturday and Sunday.
Complete Game Notes
The Hoosiers played their first 20 and a half games away from Sembower Field before finally playing the home opener on March 27. The road has been kind to IU, however, especially true road games in which the Hoosiers are a perfect 7-0 thus far this season.
BIGGER THE MOMENT, BIGGER THE PRODUCTION
Indiana has made winning games in the late innings commonplace. The Hoosiers have won eight games when either tied or trailing in the eighth inning. From the eighth inning and beyond, Indiana is nearly doubling up the opposition in run production, 47-25. The late inning heroics have played a large role in IU's 5-1 extra innings record.
CEMENTING HIS SPOT IN WEEKEND ROTATION
After spending the first two weekends working out of the bullpen in relief action, Chad Martin was inserted in the starting rotation against Morehead State and has shined in that role thus far. In three career starts for the Hoosiers, he has chewed up 17.2 innings with a 1-0 record and 0.51 ERA. More importantly, IU is 3-0 in games started by the 6-7 righty.
SABOURIN'S HEATING UP
One of the Big Ten's best hitters the past three seasons, Jerrud Sabourin, got off to a slow start in 2011 but has been turning it on as of late. Indiana's first baseman is fresh off an eight-game hitting streak. During that stretch he hit .387 with a team-high 12 RBI. Even when he's not recording a hit, Sabourin is drawing walks with an on-base percentage of .486. With 291 career hits, the San Diego, Calif., native is just 15 base knocks away from becoming IU's all-time hit king.
The Hoosiers have picked off 22 runners through the first 24 games of the season, the most in the Big Ten by a long shot. The next closest conference school has totaled seven pick offs. Indiana's Joey DeNato has pegged eight runners alone.
FAST OUT OF THE BOX
Freshman Dustin DeMuth is arguably the fastest Hooiser, evidenced by his team-leading eight infield hits through the first 24 games of the season. DeMuth is regularly timed getting down the first-base line in a blazing 3.64-3.65 seconds.
BIG TEN WEEKLY ACCOLADES
Hoosiers earned two of three Big Ten weekly awards on Monday (March 28). Micah Johnson was named the conference's Player of the Week and Dustin DeMuth grabbed Freshman of the Week honors.
It marks back-to-back weeks for Indiana nabbing the Player of the Week accolades after Alex Dickerson did so last week (March 21). DeMuth is also the second IU frosh to win that award as Ty Downing was selected exactly one month ago on Feb. 28.