IU to Host Big Ten Leader Minnesota
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana baseball team returns home to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers this weekend. The four-game, Big Ten series is only the Hoosiers' second at home this season. Minnesota, ranked No. 27 in this week's Collegiate Baseball News Poll, visits Bloomington with the a league-leading 12-2 record in Big Ten action. The Hoosiers are currently in third at 9-7.
Due to weather conditions, the four-game set will now open on Saturday, April 26, with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Games three and four are now scheduled for Sunday, April 27, with the first pitch throw at 11 a.m. All games will be played at Sembower Field on the IU campus and admission is free
In addition, Live Updates will be available on Indiana's official web site, IUHOOSIERS.COM. There will be a link on the front page of the site and on the baseball page.
Indiana comes into the weekend with a 26-12 record overall and a 9-7 mark in conference games. The Hoosiers played two midweek games after splitting a series at Ohio State last weekend. IU defeated Taylor University, 18-0, on Tuesday in Bloomington, but fell at Miami (Ohio), 8-5, on Wednesday afternoon.
Senior Vasili Spanos has the hot bat for Indiana. In the Hoosiers' 16 Big Ten games, Spanos has a .453 average, a conference-best 46 total bases and an impressive .868 slugging percentage. Overall, he is hitting at a .495 clip, which ranks third among Big Ten hitters, and has 36 RBI, 14 doubles and eight home runs. The third baseman leads the conference in all games with a .718 slugging percentage.
Sophomore Corby Heckman ranks second on the club with a .377 batting average, 46 hits and 11 doubles. He also has 29 runs scored and 16 RBI.
Senior Jacob Cary has enjoyed an impressive campaign thus far. After seven straight wins to open the season, Cary (7-1) took his first loss last Friday in the series opener at Ohio State. The Bruceville, Ind., native sports a 3.45 ERA, which ranks ninth among league pitchers, and has thrown five complete games.
Junior Chris Behrens threw the first complete game of his career in game four against the Buckeyes. After allowing just one earned run in the contest, a 6-3 victory, Behrens lowered his overall ERA to 2.43.
Senior Ryan Smith has made a staff-high 16 appearances on the mound in his role as Indiana's closer. Smith is 4-1 with five saves in 20.2 innings pitched. He needs just two more saves to become IU's all-time leader.
As a team, Indiana sports the Big Ten's second-best ERA of 3.91 in all games, just behind Northwestern at 3.90. In conference games, the Hoosier staff owns a 5.20 ERA, which ranks sixth. IU is hitting .279 overall and .263 in Big Ten games.
Leading Minnesota at the plate is Luke Appert. Appert leads the Big Ten and the Gophers with a .415 batting average, a team-high 56 hits and 33 RBI. He has scored 35 times for Minnesota this season, which ranks tied for third in the Big Ten. Appert is also tied with Andy Hunter (.372 batting average) in home runs with three.
Freshman Glen Perkins is the reigning Big Ten pitcher of the week after pitcing his first career complete-game shutout in the series opener against Illinois. Perkins struck out a career-best 15 batters in the victory. He holds a 4-0 record in Big Ten action with a 2.03 ERA. Overall Perkins is 5-1 on the season, striking, out a team-high 63 batters (second in the Big Ten) and has a 2.83 ERA (third in the Big Ten).
C.J. Woodrow is second on the team in strikeouts with 43. Woodrow has started in nine games for the Gophers, completing 46.1 innings and has a 4-3 record and a 4.86 ERA.
Senior third baseman Vasili Spanos is in the midst of a career-best 14 game hitting streak. The streak is also the best on the team this season.
During that streatch, the River Forest, Ill., product is hitting .467 with five doubles, five home runs and 17 RBI.
In its last 13 games, the Hoosiers have hit a total of 11 home runs. An impressive mark compared with the nine homers Indiana hit in its initial 25 games. Vasili Spanos has gone deep four times in the Hoosiers' last 12 games.
Senior Jacob Cary's streak of five consecutive complete games ended last Friday night as the Hoosiers dropped a 9-3 decision to Ohio State. The loss was Cary's first of the season as his record fell to 7-1.
Beginning with IU's 5-1 win over Bradley on March 15, Cary's string of complete games ran through April 11 as the Hoosiers defeated Michigan State in their Big Ten home opener. On March 29, the Bruceville, Ind., 4-0 shutout at Illinois in Indiana's league opener and head coach Bob Morgan's 1,000th career win.
Cary's seven wins are the most of any Big Ten pitcher this season and ranked ninth nationally in last week's NCAA statistics.
The Indiana record for complete games in a season is nine, held by former Hoosier Chad Smith and set in 1998.
Check back soon