Hoosiers Set for Hawkeyes
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana plays at home for the second straight weekend as the Iowa Hawkeyes visit Sembower Field for a four-game Big Ten series, April 16-18. The series opens on Friday at 3 p.m. On Saturday, the Hoosiers and Hawkeyes will play a doubleheader, starting at 1 p.m. Game four is also set for a 1 p.m. first pitch on Sunday.
The Hoosiers are currently 19-12 on the season and hold a 3-5 record in Big Ten Conference games, which puts them in a tie for seventh place. Iowa is 8-19 overall and sits in last place in the Big Ten with a 1-7 record in league action.
During all four games, live updates can be found right here on Indiana's official athletic web site. Just click on the baseball live updates link for access.
IU has been idle since last Sunday, as its scheduled midweek game at Wright State was canceled due to weather conditions.
Indiana lost three of four games last weekend to Minnesota. The Gophers picked up wins in the first three meetings before the Hoosiers rallied back to take a 9-6 victory in Sunday's finale, avoiding a sweep.
Quoting Coach Morgan
"Our focus this weekend will be on Indiana. We have to go out and play well. We were dissappointed in our performance last weekend, and we feel we are better. We need to get good pitching, good defense and timely hitting. If we do that, we can beat anyone. We will worry about us because that's all we can control. We want to play hard and play well, with great focus, concentration and intensity."
"We got beat three of four by Minnesota, and that's something we'd like to do that on our home turf (winning three of four in a home series). When we're playing within the confines of Sembower Field, we need to take advantage of that. Hopefully we'll get some nice weather and a good crowd and we'll play well."
Quickly About the Hoosiers
Indiana is hitting .304 as a team, which ranks tied for first in the Big Ten with Michigan. In its last eight games, all of which were against conference teams, IU is hitting .289.
The Hoosiers are in the midst of what has turned into a nine-game homestand at Sembower Field. IU was scheduled for a midweek game at Wright State, but the trip was canceled due to weather conditions. The Hoosiers will host Miami (Ohio) next Wednesday.
Overall, the Hoosiers sport a 4.43 team ERA, a mark that is tied for first with Ohio State among league staffs.
The Hoosiers' 19 wins still rank as the most of any Big Ten team. IU's 12 losses are tied for the fewest among league teams with four other conference foes.
Indiana head coach Bob Morgan has a 1,038-538-6 record all-time. Morgan is part of an elite group of Division I baseball coaches who have more than 1,000 career games.
In Big Ten games, senior outfielder Kevin Mahar carries a team-best .393 batting average and has seven RBI. Overall, Mahar has hit 11 home runs, which ranks first among league hitters.
In Big Ten games, senior outfielder Ryan Donley and sophomore outfielder Reggie Watson have the second and third-best batting averages, respectively, behind Mahar. Donley is hitting .346 and Watson .344.
Freshman Matt Saba, who has pitched most of his innings in relief, currently leads Indiana and the Big Ten Conference with an 0.86 ERA. His ERA also ranks second nationally. Saba is 5-0 and has allowed just three earned runs in 31.1 innings of work.
Sophomore Josh Lewis leads IU with 43.0 innings pitched. Lewis owns a 4.81 ERA and a 3-3 record. Senior Adam Pegg is 3-2 and has worked a total of 35.2 innings. Pegg has a 3.79 ERA and two saves to his credit. Senior Nick Vitielliss, who is 3-2 with a 5.14 ERA, leads the Hoosiers with 27 strikeouts. Pegg and Lewis are tied for second with 25 punchouts apiece.
Aaron Reasland has compiled a 3-2 record and a 3.78 ERA. His three wins and 11 appearances pace the Hawkeye pitching staff. Nathan Johnson leads the staff with eight games started. He has a 2-2 record and a 4.34 ERA in a team-high 45.2 innings of work. His 35 strikeouts also pace Iowa.
The Hawkeyes are under the direction of first-year coach Jack Dahm. Dahm took the reins of the Iowa baseball program after spending 10 seasons as the head coach at his alma mater, Creighton University.
In game one, Chris Behrens relieved starter Josh Lewis with no outs in the fifth. Behrens allowed just one run and four hits over the final four innings. He logged four strikeouts as well.
In game three, Matt Saba relieved Brian Lortz after just one-third of an inning. With IU trailing, 7-0, Saba gave up just one run, which was unearned, in the first and then shut down the Gophers the rest of the way. He allowed eight hits and only one walk while striking out three in 6.2 innings of work.
In game four, Steve Nielsen earned his first save of the season. Nielsen pitched the final three innings, limiting Minnesota to four hits and single run. He walked one and struck out a pair.
Senior Kevin Mahar ranks No. 18 in the country with 0.37 home runs per game. Mahar has belted 11 home runs so far the season, five more than any other hitter in the Big Ten Conference. The Midland, Mich., product is also in the top 30 nationally with a .736 slugging percentage.
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