-- After a 2-2 weekend at Illinois, the Indiana Hoosiers return to the friendly confines of Sembower Field to host the Ohio State Buckeyes in a four-game series. The series opens on Friday at 3 p.m. Saturday's doubleheader is set for a 1 p.m. start and Sunday's finale will begin at 1 p.m.
On Friday, the IU Student Athletic Advisory Committee is hosting a cookout in the area between Sembower Field and the IU Softball Field, starting at 4 p.m. Kids from the local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club will join Hoosier student-athletes for an afternoon of baseball and softball. The Indiana softball is set to play Penn State at 4 p.m.
Indiana brings a 23-17 overall record into this weekend's matchup. The Hoosiers are 7-9 in Big Ten Conference games, leaving them tied for tied for seventh with Illinois. IU is one game out of sixth place, where Michigan State sits with an 8-8 record.
Ohio State is one of three teams tied for third with a 9-7 mark in league play, along with Penn State and Purdue. The Buckeyes sport a 20-17 overall record after an 8-1 midweek victory over Bowling Green in Columbus.
Heading into the weekend, Michigan and Minnesota are tied for first in the standings, both boasting 10-6 records.
Indiana (23-17, 7-9) vs.Ohio State (20-17, 9-7)
Fri., April 30: Indiana vs. Ohio State at 3 p.m. Bloomington, Ind. (Sembower Field)
Sat., May 1: Indiana vs. Ohio State at 1 p.m. (DH) Bloomington, Ind. (Sembower Field)
Sun., May 2: Indiana vs. Ohio State at 1 p.m. Bloomington, Ind. (Sembower Field)
As always, live udpates for all four games will be available right here on Indiana official athletic web site. Just click on the baseball live updates link for access.
Indiana currently leads the Big Ten Conference in team batting average, both overall and in conference games only. The Hoosiers are hitting .314 in all games, and have hit at a .326 clip against Big Ten foes.
Senior shortstop Seth Bynum paces IU and the Big Ten with a .416 overall batting average. Senior OF/DH Ryan Donley leads Big Ten by hitting a blistering .434 in 16 league games.
In addition to Bynum's .416 batting average, IU has six other players hitting better than .300, including Corby Heckman (.356), Kevin Mahar (.353), Joe Kemp (.349), Reggie Watson (.329), Ryan Donley (.326) and Josh Richardson (.319).
Bynum A Midseason All-American
Indiana shortstop Seth Bynumwas recently recognized in Baseball America magazine as a member of the its Midseason All-America team. In all of the four classes (seniors, juniors, sophomores freshmen), one player for each field position, a designated hitter and a utility player were listed, as well as five starting pitchers, a relief pitcher and utility pitcher. Bynum was selected as the senior team's shortstop.
In 99 at bats (at the time of the team was released), Bynum had 42 hits for a .422 batting average, the best of any shortstop on Baseball America's Midseason All-America team. Bynum, who was drafted by the Montreal Expos last June, was the only player to represent the Big Ten Conference.
Home Run Derby
Indiana has staged its own version of Home Run Derby on multiple ocassions this season, with its most recent barrage on Sunday, April 25, at Illinois. The Cream and Crimson hit five homers, including four in the eighth inning alone.
Cody Wargo blasted his third home run of the season, a three-run shot, to open the game's scoring in the second inning.
The Illini hit their first homer of the game in the sixth to pull within one run at 7-6. Illinois grabbed the lead with back-to-back solo home runs in the seventh inning to make it 8-7.
But the Hoosiers responded in the top of the eigth, scoring six runs. Corby Heckman answered with a solo home run of his own to start the inning. The junior blasted the ball out of the park in left, marking his fourth home run of the season and evening the score at eight. Ryan Donley pushed the Hoosiers back on top with the game's sixth home run, to right.
With two runners on base, Jay Brant hammered his fourth homer of the season to left field, and IU took a 12-8 lead. Seth Bynum went deep to left-center for the fourth home run of the inning.
A Look at the Buckeyes
Ohio State comes to Bloomington with a 20-17 record overall and a 9-7 mark in conference play. OSU defeated Bowling Green on Wednesday, April 28, in Columbus, 8-1.
Last weekend in Columbus, the Buckeyes lost three of four games to Michigan. The Wolverines took game one, 6-1, but Ohio State edged U-M in game two, 2-1. Michigan won game three, 8-4, and posted a 13-2 victory in the series finale.
Steve Caravati leads the Buckeyes with a .350 batting average and eight home runs. Drew Anderson is second with a .346 average and ranks first on the club with 13 doubles. Anderson is also a perfect 14-for-14 on the base paths. As a team, the Buckeyes hit at a .300 clip, which ranks fourth in the Big Ten Conference.
Ohio State's pitching staff has a combined ERA of 4.79 and has recorded 245 strikeouts to 137 walks. Trent Luyster, who leads the staff with four saves, owns a team-best 3.38 ERA and a 3-3 record in 16 appearances. Josh Newman is 5-4 in 10 starts and has pitched 65.1 innings. Newman's ERA rests at 4.55 and he leads OSU with 70 strikeouts. Mike Madsen is 5-3 on the season and has a 4.76 ERA in 56.2 innings of work.
Buckeye head coach Bob Todd is in his 17th year at Ohio State.
The All-Time Series With Ohio State
Indiana trails Ohio State in the all-time series, which dates back to 1902, 97-137-0.
Indiana-Ohio State in 2003
Last season in Columbus, the Hoosiers fell behind in the weekend series, 0-2, but rallied back to win games three and four. Here's a look at the scores from the 2003 series:
2003 Series Scores
Game 1 (April18): Ohio State 9, Indiana 3
Game 2 (April 19): Ohio State 13, Indiana 12 (8)
Game 3 (April 19): Indiana 13, Indiana 2
Game 4 (April 20): Indiana 6, Ohio State 3
The Hoosiers return both pitchers who earned victories over the Buckeyes last season in Columbus. Josh Lewis gave IU a complete game-effort in three after limiting OSU to five hits. He walked three and struck out three in the win. In game four, Chris Behrens captured the victory, also pitching a complete game. Behrens allowed just five hits over nine innings and gave up only one earned run. He walked four and struck out five.
Seth Bynum leads Indiana and the Big Ten (in all games) with a .416 batting average, 62 hits, 44 runs scored, 95 total bases and 49 RBI. Junior infielder Corby Heckman ranks second on the team with a .356 batting average, a .438 on-base percentage and 38 runs scored.
In conference play, Ryan Donley paces the offensive attack with a .434 batting average and a .604 slugging percentage, whlie Bynum is second with a .383 batting average. Kevin Mahar is hitting .364 in league play, and Reggie Watson sports a .361 average against conference opposition.
Senior Adam Pegg, who has pitched mostly in long relief, leads the pitching staff with a 3.27 ERA, a 3-2 record and three saves. Pegg has pitched 44.0 innings and has produced an opponent-low batting average of .242. Pegg's ERA ranks eighth among league pitchers.
Senior Nick Vitielliss is next with a 4-2 record and a 4.72 ERA. Vitielliss has pitched a team-high 53.1 innings and recorded a team-high 35 strikeouts, while walking just nine batters. Sophomore Josh Lewis holds a 3-5 record and a 5.19 ERA in 52.0 innings of work. Lewis has 34 strikeouts on the season.
The Hoosiers own a staff ERA of 4.85 in all games and a 5.69 ERA in Big Ten Conference games.
The Hoosiers have scored 57 runs in the third inning this season, the most of any frame. By contrast, IU has scored just nine runs in the ninth inning, the fewest of any inning.
Indiana has given up the most runs in the fourth, allowing a total of 40 in the inning this season. The Hoosiers have held opponents to just 13 runs in the eighth inning.
Home Run Hoosiers
Indiana has hit 44 home runs in 2004 with 16 games remaining on its regular season schedule, two more than it did all of last season. Eleven different players have gone yard at least once for the Hoosiers, and eight have homered at least three times. Kevin Mahar leads the club with 11 dingers, Joe Kemp and Seth Bynum have five apiece, and Corby Heckman, Ryan Donley and Jay Brant have nailed four.
The school record for home runs by a team in a season is 82 by the 1992 team. Current IU assistant coach Jeff Calcaterra was played on that team and hit three homers during that season.
Here's a look the top five teams in school history in the home run category:
1. 82 1992
2. 81 1985
3. 67 1986
4. 61 1991
5. 57 1996
Seth Bynum hits .486 and Ryan Donley hits .438 with runners on base.
Kevin Mahar sports a .433 batting average against left-handed pitchers.
Bynum advances a base runner nearly 60 percent of the time.
Twenty-four of Mahar's 43 RBI have come with two outs.
Bynum leads the team with a .520 batting average when runners are in scoring position.
The Cream and Crimson is 4-4 in games decided by one run, 3-5 in games decided by two runs and 13-7 in games decided by five or more runs.
Corby Heckman and Seth Bynum lead the club with 18 multiple-hit games, and Bynum paces IU with 16 multiple-RBI games.
Bynum boasts the team's longest hitting streak having hit safely in the last 10 games.
Bynum also hits .506 in the Hoosiers' 23 wins, while he has just a .290 batting average in IU's 17 losses.
The Hoosiers' longest winning streak of the season was eight straight games, from March 17 to March 31.
Mahar has the highest batting average in IU's home games at .436. Seven of his 11 home runs have been hit at Sembower Field as well.
Freshman Settling into The Starting Lineup
Josh Richardson has started the last eight games at third base for Indiana, and his bat is paying dividends. During that stretch, Richardson sports a .429 batting average, which has helped to raise his overall average to .319. In five games last week, the Silver Spring, Md., product led the team, hitting at a .533 clip. He had eight hits, scored five runs and drove in three runs.
Seth Bynum has started at shortstop in each of the 94 games he has played in at Indiana. Bynum saw action in 54 of IU's 56 games as a junior in 2003. In 2004, he is the only Hoosier player to play and start all 40 games.
Team Speed A Strength
The Hoosiers have successfully stolen 68 bases in 83 attempts in 40 games this season, a success rate of nearly 82 percent. With 16 games remaining on its regular season schedule, IU closing in on matching its total from 2003, 76 in 56 games. Twelve different players have at least one stolen base on their stat line.
Big Ten's Best Base-Stealers
Seth Bynum and Reggie Watson lead the Big Ten Conference with 18 stolen bases apiece. Bynum is 18-for-20 on the base paths, while Watson is 18-for-22 in all games and also leads the league with eight steals in 10 attempts in conference games only.
The tandem's 18 steals are the most by a Hoosier since Kennard Jones, who is currently in the San Diego Padres organization, had 22 during the 2002 season.