April 11, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - It's back to life on the road for Hoosier Baseball, traveling to East Lansing for a three-game series at Michigan State (18-11, 2-4 Big Ten). #12 Indiana (26-4, 8-1) enters the weekend atop the Big Ten standings and winners of seven consecutive conference series, dating back to 2012.
Dating back to last season, the Hoosiers have won seven consecutive Big Ten series, including four sweeps. Overall, Indiana has taken its last nine weekend series (topped Florida, 2013 and Georgia Southern, 2012) with a two-game split at the GSU Eagles in `13. Michigan State is the last team to seize a weekend series from IU, doing so a nearly a calendar year ago in Bloomington (April 13-15).
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCH-UPS
Friday, April 12 - 3:05 pm EST
Jr, LHP Joey DeNato (4-1, 3.10) vs. Sr., RHP Andrew Waszak (3-2, 2.89)
Saturday, April 13 - 1:05 pm EST
So., LHP Kyle Hart (5-0, 2.12) vs. Jr., RHP David Garner (4-2, 3.51)
Sunday, April 4 - 1:05 pm EST
r-So., Aaron Slegers (5-1, 1.41) vs. So., RHP Mick VanVossen (3-2, 3.33)
As a league, the Big Ten has five teams in the RPI top-65. Indiana leads the way at #8 with the Spartans next in line at #47. The B1G institutions include: Nebraska (53), Ohio State (60) and Illinois (65).
Complete Game Notes
TRIPLE PLAY QUICK HITS
Indiana owns the longest NCAA Division-I winning streak of 2013 with 18 straight (March 10-April 6)
IU has recorded a +128 run margin through 30 games (+4.3/game), outscoring the competition 226-98
Bart Kaufman Field's night game debut was played in front of a sell-out crowd (2,757)
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 #12 in this week's Baseball America poll this week. The Hoosiers are slotted top-15 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, sans triples, in the Big Ten. Don't sleep on the pitching, however, as the Hoosier hurlers' 2.40 team earned run average is second-best in the conference. For the "only thing that matters is wins and losses" crowd, don't fret. Indiana's 26-4 record (.867) 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. Entering the weekend, IU staff's 2.40 ERA is the eighth-lowest in the country. In addition, IU is slotted sixth in winning percentage (.867), ninth in batting average (.318), 10th in slugging percentage (.465), 15th in runs (7.5/game) and 20th in homeruns (0.8/game). Defensively, the Hoosiers are turning 1.3 double plays per game, good for the sixth-best twin killings clip in D-I baseball.
Individually, Justin Cureton has scored the fourth-most runs (42) in the country while Kyle Schwarber's .420 average ranks 15th. Scott Donley has driven in 39 runs, good for 16th in the national rankings. Pitching-wise, Scott Effross' 1.02 ERA rates him 12th-best.
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 7-1 in their new digs, outscoring the competition 55-17.
HOT START HOOSIERS
Indiana has scored in the first inning in 18 of 30 games this season, owning a 34-6 run margin in the opening frame.
JOHNNY BENCH AWARD WATCH LIST
Sophomore Kyle Schwarber was one of 48 catchers nation-wide to be selected for the Johnny Bench Award Watch List on March 11. The award is presented annually to the best collegiate catcher. The watch list will be narrowed down to the semifinalists, whom will be announced May 16.
Junior pitcher Ryan Halstead closed out Indiana's road win at Evansville on April 9, picking up the 17th save of his career. He is now just four shy of surpassing Chris Squires (2007-10) for the school record of career saves. Halstead is already tied with Squires for the best single-season mark all-time in IU history, earning nine saves as a freshman in 2011.