April 26, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
Indiana Baseball (19-23) resumes conference action this weekend, travelling to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan in a three-game series. The Wolverines sit in ninth place in the Big Ten with a 4-8 conference record, but remain just two games back of the fifth-place Hoosiers (6-6 Big Ten).
The series kicks off on Friday (Apr. 27) at 7 pm, and wraps up with a 6:05 pm start on Saturday and 1 pm first pitch on Sunday. Friday's series opener will be televised live on the Big Ten Network and IUHoosiers.com will be providing an audio broadcast and live stats for all three contests. Jeremy Gray will be on the call with the play-by-play. In-game updates can also be found on Twitter, simply follow @KKatIU.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCH-UPS
Friday, April 27 - 7:00 pm EST
LHP Joey DeNato (6-1, 2.43) vs. RHP Brandon Sinnery (3-3, 3.63)
Saturday, April 28 - 6:05 pm EST
LHP Kyle Hart (2-4, 3.21) vs. RHP Ben Ballantine (1-1, 3.44)
Sunday, April 29 - 1:05 pm EST
RHP Chad Martin (0-3, 5.97) vs. LHP Trent Szkutnik (2-3, 5.82)
Complete Weekend Notes
BIG TEN??? MORE LIKE BIG CLUSTER
Things are starting to tighten up in the Big Ten, with conference action just passing the halfway point. Purdue is running away with the regular season crown, but schools two through nine are seperated by just three games. The Hoosiers sit in the middle of the pack, one game out of second and two games ahead of ninth. The top-six schools advance to the Big Ten Tournament in Columbus, Ohio from May 23-26.
HOOSIER QUICK HITS
Head Coach Tracy Smith is just two wins away from 500 career victories (498-421)
Chris Webb (ESPN.com) picked Kyle Schwarber as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in his Midseason Awards
Sam Travis is hitting .429 w/runners on and .467 w/runners in scoring position; leading to a team-high 36 RBI
A SEASON AGO
Indiana opened conference play 2011 in Ann Arbor, taking two of three. Dustin DeMuth went 6-for-12, drove in three and slugged at a .667 clip for the weekend. Justin Cureton shined at Fisher Stadium as well, blasting a towering bomb in the series-clinching game three victory. JC came around to score four times in the series. Chad Martin worked his way back into the weekend rotation with his quality start on Sunday. A year ago at Michigan, he was the victim off a tough-luck loss after eating up eight innings and holding the Wolverines to a .214 batting average. Two earned runs was all the Wolverines neeed though it their 3-2 game two win.
HOOSIERS ALL OVER WEEKLY CONFERENCE HONORS
The Big Ten Conference awards a Player, Pitcher and Freshman of the Week each Monday throughout the season. Through the first 10 weeks of the year, a conference-best eight Hoosiers have been recognized by the league office. Sam Travis leads the way with four such laurels, winning back-to-back Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week accolades (March 26 & April 2). A complete list of Hoosier winners is below:
Chris Sujka: Freshman (February 27)
Kyle Schwarber: Freshman (March 5)
Joey DeNato: Pitcher (March 19)
Sam Travis: Player (March 26/April 2); Freshman (March 26/April 2)
Kyle Hart: Freshman (April 23)
Indiana and Purdue's eight honorees are followed by: Illinois (5), Northwestern (3), Nebraska (3), Michigan (2), Iowa (2), Ohio State (2), Michigan State (2), Penn State (2) and Minnesota (1).
FRESHMAN: HERE, THERE, EVERYWHERE
Fifty-three percent of Indiana's starters through 42 games have been freshmen (223 of 420; counting pitchers). The Hoosier youth increases even more when including only position players in the batting order (no pitcher/DH), with 59% of starts coming from freshmen. In fact, there are no senior position players on the IU roster and just two senior pitchers. Indiana's offensive production has been fueled by rookie Hoosiers:
PERCENTAGE OF OVERALL TEAM PRODUCTION COMING FROM FRESHMEN
Homeruns: 67% (20 of 30)
Runs Batted In: 65% (129 of 200)
Doubles: 62% (44 of 71)
Runs Scored: 58% (131 of 224)
Hits: 56% (208 of 372)
HOME AWAY FROM HOME
Chad Clark is loving life away from Sembower Field, batting .342 with three homeruns, 10 RBI, five doubles, three steals and a .526 slugging percentage in road games his season. Sam Travis has enjoyed playing in front of the away crowds as well, hitting .374 with a homer, 10 doubles, 16 RBI and a .463 on-base percentage. On the mound, Joey DeNato is unfazed by hecklers on the road. In six starts away from Bloomington, the sophomore lefty is 4-1 and owns a 2.04 ERA despite pitching in front of several raucous Friday night crowds under the lights against the opposing team's ace.
HOOSIERS IN THE PROS
There are currently 15 former Hoosiers playing professional baseball, 14 of which played under the tutelage of Head Coach Tracy Smith. A trio of IU alumni are one step away from the Big Leagues. Seth Bynum, Josh Phegley and Tyler Tufts have been assigned to Triple-AAA squads to start the spring.