Cardinals, Sycamores Visit Sembower Field
April 21, 2009
Louisville at Indiana
Indiana State at Indiana
THE LAST TIME...
Dan McDonnell is in his third season at the helm of Louisville after a long tenure as an assistant at Mississippi. He was named the 2007 National Coach of the Year after leading the Cardinals to the College World Series in his first season. Indiana State is in year three under Lindsay Meggs, who brings a 52-59 record at the helm of the program. Meggs has over 600 wins in his career, as he led Division II Chico State to a pair of national championships and over 500 wins in his 13 years.
EA IS IN THE GAME
Against Penn State over the weekend, Arnett got by far the best run support of his Big Ten campaign, and used the opportunity to induce more groundballs, as he allowed five hits and three walks over 6 2/3 innings of work. He still struck out seven Nittany Lions in the victory.
The win improved him to 8-1 on the season and 4-0 in the Big Ten. He is already tied for seventh on IU's single-season list with his eight victories and his four conference wins are just one off the school record. He lowered his Big Ten leading ERA to 1.94 on the season and dropped his conference mark to a microscopic 1.30. Arnett has allowed just 20 hits and nine walks in his 34 2/3 Big Ten innings this season.
Over his last five starts, Arnett has kept the opposition to two runs or fewer each time, as he has put up a 5-0 record with a 1.30 ERA and a .168 batting average against (24 hits in 41 2/3 innings).
Arnett delivered his third straight complete game at Iowa, hurling a two-hitter with a career-best 11 strikeouts. He earned Big Ten co-Pitcher of the Week honors for his performance. It is the junior's first weekly honor from the conference.
After an impressive Big Ten opener against Minnesota, Arnett somehow outdid himself against Illinois. The junior pitched a brilliant game on Saturday to outduel U of I hurler Ben Reeser. Arnett became the first Hoosier to pitch 10 innings in a game when he picked up his sixth win of the season with a 1-2-3 10th.
Arnett did not have a typical offseason, as he tried out for the basketball team and earned a roster spot. He served as a key post player during practice for the first 2 1/2 months of the season. Due to scholarship limitations, he could not play in a game, but practiced with the team until early January.
SPLIT OR BETTER
Indiana's string of eight series without a loss is more than twice as long as the longest in the Big Ten. Over the last eight conference series, the Hoosiers have a 19-8 record (.704), the best of any Big Ten team.
It is also the longest stretch that Indiana has gone without a series loss since the 1996-97 seasons. After losing the final series of the 1995 season to Purdue, Indiana earned a split or better in all seven series in 1996 and the first weekend of 1997. The 1996 team, which featured IU skipper Tracy Smith as an assistant coach, finished second in the Big Ten and won the Big Ten Tournament for IU's only NCAA appearance.
Dickerson is a staple among the league's top 10, both overall and just in conference games. He is third in the league with 11 home runs and his 102 total bases lead the conference. His .390 average (third), .699 slugging percentage (third), 41 RBI (seventh) and 57 hits (T-second) are all among the conference's top 10.
Dickerson has already dented Indiana's record books in his debut campaign, as his 11 bombs have matched IU's previous record, set by Mike Sabo in 1985. He is only 17 RBI shy of Phil Dauphin's (1988) freshman mark of 58 as well. IU has never had a player named Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
The Poway, Calif., native has also developed a penchant for hitting key home runs. In the opening weekend against Minnesota, he drilled a go-ahead, two-run homer in Indiana's 3-2 victory. Then in the second game against Illinois, he hit his eighth homer of the year in the top of the 10th to give IU a 2-1 victory. He added a two-run shot in the series finale and was named co-Big Ten Player of the Week for his efforts against the Illini.
IT MAY SOUND CLICHÉ
Indiana has hit better than any other Big Ten team in non-conference affairs (.349), but Indiana is just 10-15 in those contests. On the contrary, IU is 8-3 in conference play, but the offense has hit just .289, which is the sixth best mark in the Big Ten.
On the other hand, on the mound and in the field, the Hoosiers have been second to none, as IU is first in the Big Ten in both earned run average and fielding percentage for conference contests. Indiana's 3.73 ERA is nearly half a run better than the closest competition (Michigan State, 4.21) and the .243 batting average against by Hoosier hurlers leads the Big Ten as well.
The defensive improvement has been even more stark, as IU's .977 fielding percentage in conference games leads the way, but Indiana has just a .949 fielding percentage in non-conference affairs. Infielders Vince Gonzalez and Tyler Rogers are yet to make an error in conference play, as the starting infield has just four errors in the Big Ten. The foursome has made 23 miscues in 25 non-conference games.
RIGHT WHERE HE LEFT OFF
Phegley enters the week sixth in slugging (.652) and third in on-base percentage (.480). His 44 RBI are third in the conference and with nine longballs, he is sixth in the Big Ten. The junior has not seen very many pitches to hit, as he is fourth in the league with 26 walks. His 38 runs also place him fourth in the conference.
Phegley posted his fourth career five-hit game against Morehead State, hitting three home runs and adding a double and single for six RBI. The huge game vaulted Phegley to his second career Big Ten Player of the Week mention and he was named to the College Baseball Foundation's National All-Star Lineup for Week Four.
Phegley, who was a unanimous first team Preseason All-American at catcher this season, has played all over the field this year. The majority of his time has been spent behind the dish, but he has also appeared at third base and in both left and right field for the Hoosiers.
Following IU's spring trip, Phegley offered his services to Coach Smith as a closer as well. The Terre Haute native was a pitcher in high school and made his debut on the mound against Cincinnati, striking out one in a perfect inning.
THE 400 CLUB
The 2008 season was a significant upward turn for the Hoosiers, as Indiana made its first Big Ten Tournament appearance since 2004 by rallying for a sixth-place finish in the regular season. IU then eliminated Ohio State, Illinois and Penn State at the conference tournament before falling in the semifinals to Purdue.
Smith amassed a 317-220-1 (.590) record with Miami and a MAC regular-season mark of 152-95 (.615). He led the RedHawks to eight straight 30-win seasons, marking only the second time the program had accomplished that feat, and he finished his career in Oxford ranked third on MU's all-time wins list.
Sabourin was on fire early in the season, as his average got all the way up to a conference-leading .538 early in the Spring Trip. He started the season with hits in each of the first 13 games, but has fallen back to the stratosphere since then. Still, he has a team-leading 11 doubles on the year and has recorded 19 multi-hit games so far this season. He matched his career high when he had a four-hit game against Le Moyne on March 8.
The San Diego native began the year hitting fifth, but has hit second in the order since early March. He has scored 25 runs since moving into the two-hole, and has posted a sturdy .331 average and a .373 on-base percentage. Ten of his 11 doubles and all three of his homers have come while hitting second for IU.
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