Hoosiers Set to Take on RedHawks
April 9, 2008
INDIANA (14-12) AT MIAMI (7-21)
McKie Field (1,000) Oxford, Ohio
THE FIRST PITCH
The Hoosiers head to Oxford for a night game against Miami University on Wednesday. Indiana skipper Tracy Smith will be squaring off against his alma mater and former team for the second time this season, as the Hoosiers took a 5-2 victory in the first meeting. The Hoosiers are coming off a series against Illinois in which the Fighting Illini rallied for a game one victory, then took games three and four with outstanding hitting to take three games in the series and vault themselves into second place in the conference. Miami enters the contest with a 7-21 overall record after a 13-7 loss to Cincinnati at McKie Field yesterday.
The last time the two teams met, defense and wildness were the story of the game as the Hoosiers won 5-2. The two squads combined for just six hits in the contest, with IU getting four of the six. There were more hit batsmen in the game than base hits, in fact, as six Hoosiers were beaned in the contest and two RedHawks were plunked as well. On the mound, Doug Fleenor allowed just one hit and one walk and struck out five in six innings of work to win his first game of the season.
Dan Simonds is in his third year at the helm of the RedHawks, where he served as Smith's assistant from 2000-04. He entered this season with a career mark of 84-83.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES
Head Coach Tracy Smith has been on both sides of the rivalry, and holds a 7-4 record combined as a head coach. As an assistant coach, he went 1-1, winning the 1996 matchup as an IU assistant but dropping a 5-2 contest in 1993 while at Miami. He has a 2-1 record as a head coach against the RedHawks.
SCOUTING THE REDHAWKS
Chris Nadeau and Tommy Nurre are both hitting over .300, at .354 and .319, respectively. Jordan Petraitis leads the team in doubles (10), triples (3), home runs (3) and is tied for the team lead in RBI (19). Evan Armitage sits atop the squad with his 20 runs and six steals.
BEHIND THE DISH
He furthered his quest for an All-Big Ten selection against the Illini, as he hit .500 with an .889 slugging percentage. The backstop hit four doubles and his third home run of the season over the weekend, driving in six runs for Indiana. His highlight of the weekend came in the opener, when he matched his season high with a 5-for-5 day. He hit a pair of doubles and three singles for the Hoosiers to match the school record for hits in a contest. He also notched five hits this season against Valparaiso, when he delivered five RBI and four runs scored and hit for the cycle - the first for a Hoosier since May 7, 2005.
Phegley has also been a standout behind the plate, as the backstop has displayed one of the best arms in the Midwest, if not the nation. Opponents have attempted just 35 steals against Phegley, and he has retired 14 of them. His 60.0 stolen base percentage against is second in the conference among everyday catchers.
The Terre Haute native has a summer in the Cape Cod League to thank for his improvements at the plate. Last summer, he was named a Cape League All-Star for the Wareham Gatemen.
Schutz has been scorching-hot in the last eight contests, as he leads the team with a .484 average and has posted a .742 slugging percentage and a .543 OBP to boot. He has five doubles, eight RBI and 10 runs scored over that time period. With that hot streak, he has entered the top 10 in the conference in average (seventh, .392), slugging (fifth, .578), OBP (seventh, .462) and RBI (eighth, 24). His .469 average in Big Ten games is second in the conference.
In his first career Big Ten series, against Minnesota, Schutz went 7-for-15 with three doubles, four RBI and three runs. His biggest hit came in the series finale, when he stroked a ninth-inning double high off the bags in right field of the Metrodome to bring home a pair of runs and give IU the lead over Minnesota. He followed that up against Illinois with an 8-for-17 weekend with a homer and a pair of doubles.
Schutz began the 2007 season as one of the top freshmen in the Big Ten, and was named to the AutoZone Classic All-Tournament Team after hitting .545 and slugging .727 for the weekend in Memphis. But his season came to a screeching halt in the seventh game of the season, when he collided with the outfield wall of Indiana State's Sycamore Field, breaking his collarbone and ending his season.
SHORE `NUFF Sophomore lefty Matt Bashore missed his scheduled start against Minnesota due to a nagging injury, but he showed no signs of rust in his return to the mound against Illinois. Bashore was dominant, allowing just four hits and three walks while striking out eight and giving up just one run in an 8-1 Hoosier victory.
He now has a 1.56 ERA, 49 strikeouts and a .187 batting average against in his 40 1/3 innings of work. He leads the conference in both ERA and Ks and is second in batting average against, as he has established himself as one of the frontrunners for Big Ten Pitcher of the Year. He is just one strikeout away from matching last year's total, which he needed 70 2/3 innings to accomplish. With 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings, he clocks in 28th in the country in that category as well.
Bashore was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week on March 17, the first Pitcher of the Week honor by a Hoosier since Nick Otte in 2001. Bashore had a career-high and Big Ten season-high 12 strikeouts in the Hoosiers' 7-0 win over Portland on Friday at the Pepsi/Johnny Quik Classic to propel the Hoosiers into a tie for first in the round-robin portion of the Classic.
Bashore pitched eight innings, allowing just six hits - three infield singles - in the game. His 12 Ks are the most by a Hoosier since current Colorado Rockies hurler Zach McClellan had 14 against Vermont on March 18, 2000.
THE FOUR TOPS
Crawford, Phegley and Schutz all have an average of .382 or higher as they all find themselves in the conference's top 10 in batting average. Despite a recent slump, Means clocks in 15th in the conference with his .354 average. The quartet has an aggregate .389 average on its 162 hits in 416 at-bats.
The foursome has been even more impressive in Hoosier victories this season. All four are hitting over .380 in games that IU has won, and the quartet has gone a collective 99-for-229 (.432 average) with 72 runs scored, 62 RBI and a .620 slugging percentage. Conversely, in losses, the top four hitters have scored just 26 runs and have driven in 19.
Crawford has been the extreme example, as his .500 average in Hoosier victories is best on the team, but he is just 11-for-35 (.239) in losses this year.
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