Big Ten Play Continues at Iowa
BLOOMINGTON, Ind -- Indiana takes its second straight Big Ten road trip this weekend as it travels to Iowa City, Iowa, to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes. The four-game series kicks off on Friday night under the lights at 6 p.m. Saturday's twin bill is set for a 2 p.m. start.* The series finale will be played on Sunday afternoon, beginning at 1 p.m. All games will be played at Duane Banks Field (3,000) on the Iowa campus.
*Saturday's doubleheader was originally set for 4 p.m., but has been moved to 2 p.m. due to the weather forecast.
The Hoosiers enter the weekend at 16-6 overall and with a 2-2 mark in Big Ten Conference games. IU earned a 2-2 split at the University of Illinois last weekend, but fell in its midweek game on Wednesday, 11-9, to Indiana State.
Sophomore Corby Heckman continues to lead the Indiana offense, despite having his 12-game hitting streak snapped on Wednesday against Indiana State. Heckman is hitting .397 and is tied for the team lead with seven doubles. Senior Vasili Spanos is the other Hoosier with seven doubles and ranks second on the club with a .333 average. Spanos has hit three home runs and driven in 18 runs, the most of any Hoosier. Junior Kevin Mahar has experienced an offensive surge of late as well and his average rests at .329. Mahar has collected five doubles and 14 RBI while stealing seven bases. In IU's last eight games, the Midland, Mich., native owns a .346 average.
On the mound, senior Jacob Cary has been leading the charge for the Hoosier pitching staff. Cary has worked a team-high 36.0 innings, sports a 5-0 record and a 2.25 ERA. In his last three outings, he has pitched a complete game. Cary is slated to start Friday night's game.
Senior Kevin O'Brien has been a bright spot in relief for Indiana. O'Brien has picked up a pair of wins and has a 2.16 ERA. The Patterson, N.Y., native also has 16 strikeouts in 16.1 innings pitched and is holding opposing teams to a .196 batting average.
A Grand Occasion -- Morgans Wins 1,000
Indiana head coach Bob Morgan collected his 1,000th career win as the Hoosiers shutout Illinois, 4-0, on Saturday, March 29, in Champaign. With the victory, Morgan joined an elite group of 11 other active Division I Coaches and 25 others in history to achieve the milestone. He is in his 20th season as Indiana's head coach and his 28th overall as a head coach.Coming into the 2003 season, Morgan also ranked 20th among active Division I Coaches with a .662 winning percentage. Morgan was honored for the achievement in a pregame ceremony prior to Wednesday's game against Indiana State.
Scouting the Opponent
Iowa enters the weekend 7-10 overall and with a 1-3 record in league play. Iowa opened up Big Ten action against Michigan last weekend on its home field. Iowa took game one, 9-6, but fell in the final three games of the weekend, 0-4, 5-9 and 4-20.
Junior Mike Best leads the Hawkeyes at the plate with a .365 batting average and 23 hits. Best also ranks eighth in the Big Ten for individual batting. Sophomore Jeff Gremley owns a .322 batting average and has collected seven RBI. Junior Chris Steele leads Iowa in RBI with 12 while batting .300 at the plate. Senior Lance Guyer leads the club and is third in the Big Ten for home runs with four. Junior Kyle Thousand leads the team with 10 stolen bases, which ranks second in the Big Ten. Thousand is also batting .317 on the year. As a team the Hawkeyes are hitting .281, fifth in the Big Ten.
Junior Ryan Mentkowski has pitched 26.1 innings for Iowa and leads the team in games started with five. Mentkowski is second among the Iowa pitchers in strikeouts with 17 behind junior Nathan Johnson who has collected 20. Junior Cory Hollenhorst is 2-2 on the season with 11 strikeouts and has picked off two runners, which ranks tied for first in the Big Ten.
Indiana and Iowa have met 99 times in series history with Iowa owning a 55-44 advantage over the Hoosiers. Last season the Hoosiers posted a 4-1 overall record over the Hawkeyes. During the regular season last year the IU went 3-1 in Bloomington against the Hawkeyes. Indiana won the first three contests, 10-7, 5-1 and 6-1, respectively, and dropped the final game of the weekend 13-17. In round one of the Big Ten Tournament Indiana defeated Iowa 7-4 in Minneapolis, Minn.
Heckman On a Hot Streak
Corby Heckman is coming into his own in his second season at Indiana. The infielder is leading the team with a .397 batting average, 29 hits and seven doubles. He also owns the team's longest hitting streak of the season,12 consecutive games, from March 12-30. In addition, he has been on base in the last 13 games.
Cary Acting as The Staff Ace
Senior Jacob Cary is settling into the role of the ace of the IU pitching staff to this point in the season. The No. 1 stater, Cary is a perfect 5-0 this season with a 2.25 ERA in 36 innings of work. He has pitched complete games in each of his last three outings, including a five-hit, 4-0 shutout of Illinois in Indiana's Big Ten opener and head coach Bob Morgan's 1,00th career win. Cary's ERA ranks fourth among Big Ten Conference pitchers. The Bruceville, Ind., has not given up a run in his last 13 innings pitched and allowed only one run in his last three outings.
Smith Closing In on Another Record
Senior pitcher Ryan Smith set the IU single-season record for saves last season with nine. Smith now has his sights set on the career mark. He has already collected four saves this season, bringing his career total to 13, the second-most on the IU career charts. The Indianapolis, Ind., native needs two more to tie former Hoosier Chris Wilson and three more to take over the lead. Smith is currently 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA. He has made 10 appearances and pitched 15.0 innings.
Indiana's 13-2 start in 2003 is the best since it achieved the same record through 15 games during the 1999 season. The last time the Hoosiers started the season with a better record was in 1989 under Coach Morgan. That club began its season with a 14-1 record through 15 games and was 19-1 through 20 contests.
Spanos In the Record Books
Vasili Spanos' name already litters the Indiana record books and he is working his way up the career charts in 2003. Spanos is currently in sixth place on the IU career home run chart with 35 long balls. He is also ninth with 156 RBI and eighth with 81 extra-base hits.
The 700 Club
With three wins in Bradenton, Fla., on opening weekend, head coach Bob Morgan moved won his 700th game at IU. Morgan is already the winningest coach in school history and sports a record of 712-419-4 in his 20 seasons as the Hoosier skipper.
Donley Goes Deep
Junior outfielder Ryan Donley is capable of hitting for power and he has shown it of late. Donley has hit home runs in two of the last three games he has played in . In a pinch-hit effort, he hit a ball out in the second game of the Illinois series. The Oregon, Ohio, product also went yard on Wednesday against Indiana State, giving him two homers this season and a total of three for his career.
The Stellar Sixth
Indiana's most productive inning this season has been the sixth - by far. The Hoosiers have posted 39 runs, more than double the number they have scored in any other inning. In addition, the Hoosiers have held their opponents to just 10 runs in the sixth frame. IU's second-most productive inning has been the fourth, where it has scored a total of 18 runs.
The Need for Speed
Coach Bob Morgan saw the Hoosiers' team speed as one of its strong suits prior to the season and they are certainly coming through in the stolen base department. In 22 games, IU has stolen 35 bases in 41 attempts, a success rate of nearly 85 percent. Mark Calkins (7-for-7) and Kevin Mahar (7-for-8) lead the Hoosiers in that category.
Indiana's longest winning streak of the 2003 season is six games, a stretch that came between March 9 and 18.
Mark Calkins is the only Hoosier to start all 22 games this season. He paces IU with 20 runs scored and 88 at bats.
The Hoosiers are 2-0 in night games this season.
IU is 14-5 against right-handed pitchers and 2-1 versus lefties.
Jacob Cary's five wins this season are the most of any Big Ten Conference pitcher.
For the first time all season, Indiana will spend a week playing at home. On Wednesday, April 9, the Hoosiers will take on Valaparaiso at 3 p.m. Michigan State will visit Bloomington for IU's first home Big Ten series of the season next weekend, April 12-14. Friday's game is set for a 3 p.m. start. Saturday's doubleheader is scheduled for 1 p.m. and Sunday's contest is also a 1 p.m. start.
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