April 4, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The first night home game in Indiana University Baseball's 119-year existence will take place this Friday (April 5) evening at 6:05 pm, the start of a three-game weekend series with the Fighting Illini of Illinois (18-7, 1-2 Big Ten). Post-game fireworks will begin immediately after the conclusion of the series opener. Saturday and Sunday's contests are set for 2:05 pm and 1:05 pm first pitches, respectively.
#16 Indiana (23-3, 6-0) enters the weekend first place in the Big Ten standings, owners of an NCAA-best16-game winning streak and winners in 21 of the last 22 games.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCH-UPS
Friday, April 5 - 6:05 pm EST
Jr, LHP Joey DeNato (3-1, 3.41) vs. Sr., RHP Kevin Johnson (4-1, 1.89)
Saturday, April 6 - 2:05 pm EST
So., LHP Kyle Hart (4-0, 2.27) vs. So., RHP John Kravetz (3-0, 3.82)
Sunday, April 7 - 1:05 pm EST
r-So., Aaron Slegers (5-0, 1.08) vs. TBD
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION
The Fighting Illini are off to a solid start, winning 18 of the first 25 games, including a three-game sweep at Baylor. Illinois is coming off midweek victory over SEC foe Missouri. Indiana's pitchers and catchers will have their hands full as the Illini lead the conference with 54 stolen bases in 61 attempts.
TRIPLE PLAY QUICK HITS
Indiana has won 16 straight games and 21 of the last 22 games
IU owns a +122 run margin through 26 games, outscoring the competition 204-82
The Hoosiers 22-3 start and 16-game winning streak are both the best in school history
DEEPER LOOK INTO THE WINNING STREAK
Following Wednesday's victory at Xavier, the Hoosiers own the longest current winning streak in the country at 16 games. A win on Friday vs. Illinois would pull IU even with Mississippi State for the longest stretch overall as the Bulldogs opened 2013 17-0 before suffering a defeat. All three phases - hitting, pitching and fielding - have all come together during the last 16 contests. Indiana is batting at a .345 clip, fielding .966 and posting a team earned run average of 2.06 on the hot streak, resulting in a 137-45 runs advantage. Complete statistics during the winning streak can be found on page 7.
NATIONALLY RANKED HOOSIERS
Baseball America tabbed the Hoosiers as the 24th-best team in the country on March 11, marking the first time in school history Indiana has been nationally ranked. IU is up to #16 in this week's Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper polls. The Hoosiers are slotted top-18 in all five of the major college baseball polls (see rankings on next page).
BIG TEN'S ELITE, STATISTICALLY SPEAKING AND RECORD WISE
The Hoosier lineup is potent and deep, leading to Indiana sitting atop of every major offensive statistical offensive category in the Big Ten. Don't sleep on the pitching, however, as the Hoosier hurlers' 2.34 team earned run average is also a conference-best. For the "only thing that matters is wins and losses" crowd, don't fret. Indiana's 23-3 record (.885) is also the B1G's best.
HOW THE HOOSIERS STACK UP ON THE NATIONAL LEVEL
Indiana is posting numbers worthy of top-20 NCAA rankings as well. At the start of the week (NCAA only releases national stats rankings once a week), IU staff's 2.24 ERA was the fourth-lowest in the country. In addition, IU was slotted fourth in winning percentage (.880), eighth in batting average (.324) & slugging percentage (.466), ninth in runs (7.8/game) and 16th in doubles (2.24/game). Defensively, the Hoosiers were turning 1.32 double plays per game, good for the fifth-best twin killings clip in D-I baseball.
Individually, Kyle Schwarber's .431 average, 1.2 RBI/game and 1.16 runs/game ranked 14th, 20th and 20th, respectively, on the national level. Scott Donley's 1.36 RBI/game ranked seventh and Justin Cureton's 1.36 runs/game were sixth (Cureton's 14 steals slotted him 22nd). Pitching-wise, Scott Effross' 0.94 ERA rated him 11th-best and Aaron Slegers wasn't far behind at 20th with his 1.08 ERA.
HOME SWEET HOME
Bart Kaufman Field opened with a bang, as Indiana blew up Miami (OH) 15-runs-to-1 in the facility debut. Hoosier success has continued with a sweep over Penn State and 6-2 besting of #10 Louisville. Indiana is now 5-0 in their new digs, outscoring the competition 43-9.
HOT START HOOSIERS
Indiana has scored in the first inning in 15 of 26 games this season, owning a 28-4 run margin in the opening frame.