Hoosiers Await Spartans

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!
    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Hosting its third Big Ten series of the season, the Indiana baseball team welcomes Michigan State in a four-game series on Saturday-Monday, May 7-9, at Sembower Field. IU enters the contest with a 22-22 overall record and a 5-15 Big Ten mark, while MSU sits at 17-22 and 6-10 in league play.

    The teams will open the series with a 3 p.m. start on Saturday, May 7, before playing a doubleheader at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 8. The series concludes with a 1 p.m. finale on Monday, May 9.

    Follow all four games live by clicking here. Additionally, Saturday's and Monday's games will be broadcast live. Click here to listen to live coverage between the Hoosiers and Spartans.

    Hoosier Report
    The Cream and Crimson come home for its third Big Ten series at Sembower Field, facing off with the Michigan State Spartans. After drubbing IU-Southeast, 16-2, on Wednesday, April 27, the Hoosiers took the series opener in Columbus, Ohio, this past weekend before falling in the final three games of the set.

    In game one versus Ohio State, center fielder Reggie Watson collected four hits and junior right-hander Josh Lewis earned his sixth win of the season as IU captured a 10-1 victory.

    Watson closed out the game 4-for-5 with a couple of runs, one double and one stolen base. Along with the junior, Joe Kemp produced a big night. The senior right fielder went 2-for-5 with three runs driven in, two runs scored and his team-leading eighth home run.

    Kemp gave the Cream and Crimson an early lead it would never relinquish when he took an offering from Dan DeLucia (2-4) over the right-field wall for a 2-0 lead in the first. The Bowie, Md., native's blast extended his hitting streak to seven games, and it plated Watson, who opened the ballgame with an infield single.

    Lewis (6-3) held OSU to one unearned run on five hits to go along with seven punchouts and three walks en route to his career-high sixth win.

    Joe Trucchio relieved Lewis, and the sophomore cruised through the final three innings for his third career save. The righty shut Ohio State down, retiring nine of the 10 batters he faced and giving up just one hit and no base on balls as well as striking out two.

    Against IU-Southeast, senior Corby Heckman and Kemp each had a pair of runs scored and four RBI. Heckman was 3-for-4, while Kemp was 2-for-4, leading the 17-hit attack. Junior Jay Brant and Watson, along with sophomore Josh Richardson and freshman Tyler Cox each crossed home plate twice. On the mound, sophomore Matt Saba earned his fourth victory in five decisions this season.

    Inside Michigan State
    Michigan State travels to Bloomington with a 17-22 overall mark and a 6-10 record in the Big Ten. The Spartans were swept in a four-game series against intrastate rival Michigan this past weekend. Prior to its series against the Wolverines, MSU disposed of Indiana Tech (14-7) on Tuesday, April 26, and knocked off Central Michigan, 9-8, on Wednesday, April 27.

    The Spartans rank sixth in the league with a .300 batting average but are struggling on the mound and in the field. Holding a 5.53 ERA, Michigan State is last in the conference in team pitching, and its .945 fielding percentage also ranks at the bottom of the Big Ten.

    Leading the way at the plate is Ryan Bashman. The sophomore left fielder is batting a team-best .356 and is atop the club with 33 RBI, a .548 slugging percentage, a .458 on-base percentage, and he is tied for the team lead with six home runs.

    In addition to Bashman, sophomore right fielder Adam Tripp cards a .321 average with six home runs, 24 RBI and a team-high 33 runs. Sophomore catcher Sean Walker is the third Spartan slugger to blast six long balls on the season.

    On the mound, relievers Jeff Gerbe (3.12 ERA) and Drew Mahan (3.18 ERA) carry two saves apiece into the weekend. Tim Day is the Spartans' No. 1 starter, entering the set with a 4-4 record. The junior right-hander maintains a 4.78 ERA with two complete games in nine overall starts. Day has tossed 58 1/3 innings to go along with 29 strikeouts and only 11 bases on balls.

    Lewis Sets Career High
    Earning the victory in IU's 10-1 win over Ohio State on April 29, hurler Josh Lewis set a new career high with his sixth win. The junior also has a career-best 50 strikeouts and is on his way to setting a new career mark in innings. He currently sits at 62 2/3 innings pitched, 3 1/3 shy of the 66 frames he threw last season.

    Topping The Leaderboard
    When it comes to offense, the Cream and Crimson are unmatched in the Big Ten. Entering this weekend's series, teams are staring up at the Hoosiers in the Big Ten's hitting statistical rankings. With its .324 batting average, IU leads the conference in addition to topping the league with 327 runs, 497 hits, 85 doubles, 18 triples and 183 walks.

    Contributing to the team's offensive dominance, Hoosier players hold the top three spots in runs (junior Jay Brant, junior Reggie Watson and senior Joe Kemp) and total bases (Brant, Kemp, junior Zach Boswell) and the first and second slots in hits (Brant and Watson).

    Lortz Short On Luck
    In his last three starts, senior Brian Lortz has pitched three gems but has come up as the tough-luck loser in al
    l three games. Against Illinois (April 23), the right-hander took a 3-0 lead into the top of the seventh and retired the first two batters in the inning. However, the next three men reached, and Drew Davidson blasted a grand slam for the Illini victory.

    Prior to the U of I game, Lortz gave up two earned runs in 7 1/3 innings in a 3-2 extra-inning defeat versus Iowa (April 16) and in his last start against Ohio State (April 30), he surrendered just two earned runs in six innings as the Hoosiers fell 3-0.

    The Noblesville, Ind., leads all Hoosier starters with a 4.25 ERA in nine starts this season to go along with 32 punchouts and only 15 bases on balls.

    Richardson Ripping It
    Along with the arrival of Big Ten play, Josh Richardson has seen a sharp increase in his batting average. The junior has posted a .391 mark, the sixth highest in the league. Richardson also ranks in the top 10 with 27 hits (5th), and .a .440 on-base percentage (9th).

    Richardson has lifted his overall average to .341 and has recorded a hit in 13 of his last 16 games.

    Big Ten Leaders
    Individually, three Hoosiers lead the league in seven categories. Junior Jay Brant is the Big Ten leader in runs (62), hits (69), doubles (16), total bases (100) and stolen bases (23). Senior Joe Kemp reclaimed the top spot in the conference with his 50 RBI, and junior Reggie Watson is deadlocked for the league lead with five triples.

    In league games only, Watson sits atop the Big Ten with 23 runs and 11 stolen bases. On the mound, junior
    Josh Lewis is tied for third in the conference with six victories, fifth with 62 2/3 innings pitched and sixth with 50 strikeouts.

    Hynes Back On The Mound
    For the first time this season, sophomore Chris Hynes toed the rubber against Ball State on April 19. The right-hander tossed 2/3 of an inning versus the Cardinals. It was Hynes' first appearance since suffering an injury in the opening series of the 2004 season.

    Career Firsts For Trio
    Three pitchers earned career firsts last week against Miami (Ohio) on April 13 and Iowa on April 17. Facing the Hawkeyes, junior southpaw Adam Poole pitched two innings and gave up a pair of runs en route to his first victory as a Hoosier, and freshman right-hander Chris McCombs scored his first career save. McCombs came in for Poole and tossed the final four innings of one-hit ball, surrendering one earned run and striking out three.

    In the victory over Miami, senior Joe Kemp fired a scoreless ninth to earn his first career save. Returning to the rubber for the first time since 2002, Kemp has made six appearances on the season and holds a 1.69 ERA.

    Streaking Hoosiers
    Junior Jay Brant had his 19-game hitting streak snapped against Minnesota (April 8), failing to collect a hit in two at-bats after leaving the game in the fifth inning with a broken jaw. The Indianapolis native's run was the team's longest this season, besting junior Ryan Parker's 15-gamer and senior Joe Kemp's 14-game streak.

    During the run, Brant hit a remarkable .488 (40-for-82) with two homers, 19 RBI, 34 runs and eight doubles. He also stole 12 bases in 13 attempts in the stretch.

    Ironman Returns To Field
    In the series opener against Minnesota (April 8), junior Jay Brant suffered a broken jaw and was forced to leave the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. However, the junior was back in the line up the next two days, playing the final three games of the series in left field instead of his normal second base spot.

    Upon his return, Brant wrapped up the series 5-for-11 with one RBI, five runs, two steals, one double and one triple.

    Lewis Racking Up The K's
    Josh Lewis turned in a career performance against Longwood on March 26. Pitching in the first game of the doubleheader, the junior struck out a career-high 10 Lancers, breaking his old high of seven vs. Northwestern on March 22, 2003. Lewis followed that performance with eight more strikeouts against Northwestern (April 3), earning his fifth victory in five decisions in the team's Big Ten opener. In the two starts, the Mt. Airy, Md., native struck out 18 batters while walking only two in 13 1/3 innings.

    Season-Best Performance
    Picking up season-high offensive totals, Indiana earned a 24-9 victory over Shawnee State on March 30. IU registered season-bests in hits with 22 and runs with 24, eclipsing the
    previous highs of 21 hits and 17 runs set against Illinois State on March 15.

    Additionally, sophomore Bobby Segal registered his first career hit, RBI and run in the ballgame. The Indianapolis native cleared the bases with a pinch-hit triple to left center field and scored on an infield single by freshman David Trager.

    Big Ten Players Of The Week
    With their efforts on the Hoosiers' spring break trip (March 12-20), juniors Jay Brant and Zach Boswell earned Big Ten Player of the Week selections. Brant picked up his first career honor on March 15, and Boswell scored his first accolade on March 21. The duo joins Joe Kemp, who was selected the conference Player of the Week on March 1, as winners of the award in 2005. Kemp received the recognition for the second time of his career.

    Shooting Blanks
    The Indiana pitching staff recorded a pair of shutouts over spring break (March 12-20), blanking Yale, 8-0, on March 14 to go along with a 9-0 whitewashing of St. Francis-NY on March 21. With the shutouts, the Hoosiers now have four on the 2005 campaign, the most since the 2003 club recorded five.

    IU also shut out Arkansas-Little Rock, 16-0, on March 6, and closed out DePauw, 5-0, in its season opener on Feb. 22.

    Florida was very good to the Cream and Crimson, especially for three newcomers. Sophomore Joe Trucchio earned his first Division I win against Illinois State (March 15) and later in the trip picked up his first Division I save vs. Kent State (March 19).

    Offensively, freshmen Arden McWilliams and David Trager collected their first collegiate hits against St. Francis-NY (March 20). Trager also netted his first RBI against the Terriers.

    Breaking Into The Win Column
    A pair of freshman earned their first career victories at the Gent Classic. Freshman Chris McCombs fired three scoreless innings, giving up one hit with two punchouts against Centenary (March 4) as the Hoosiers rallied for a 4-3 win.

    Brad Davidson joined McCombs after throwing five scoreless innings in IU's 16-0 win over Arkansas-Little Rock (March 6). The Novelty, Ohio, native held the Trojans to two hits in addition to striking out six batters.

    All-Tournament Team
    After posting a 2-1 record at the Service Academy Classic (Feb. 25-27), senior Joe Kemp and junior Zach Boswell were selected to the all-tournament team. Kemp concluded the event 5-for-13 with two home runs, six RBI and four runs scored. In addition, the lefty picked up his first victory on the mound since the 2002 season, earning the win in Indiana's extra-inning triumph over Memphis (Feb. 26).

    Boswell crushed his first two home runs in a Hoosier uniform to go along with a pair of doubles and four runs scored. He ended the weekend 5-for-14 for a .357 average.

    Shutting The Door
    The Hoosiers' 5-0 shutout victory over DePauw (Feb. 22) was the first for Indiana since a 4-0 victory on March 4 of last season at Butler. It also was IU's first season-opening shutout since a 6-0 win against Findlay on Feb. 28, 2003, and first home season-opening shutout since Feb. 18, 2002, a 15-0 victory over Taylor.

    Morgan In Openers
    IU head coach Bob Morgan has built an impressive resume in his 22 seasons at Indiana. Along with ranking 11th among active Division I coaches with 1,066 career victories, Morgan has never lost a home opener, and 2005 was no different. The Hoosiers downed DePauw, 5-0, on Feb. 22, giving Morgan his 22nd consecutive victory to open the Sembower Field season. Morgan also improved his record in regular-season openers to 15-7.

    Return To The Bump
    For the first time since his sophomore season in 2002, Joe Kemp toed the rubber in a regular-season game. The fifth-year senior closed out IU's 5-0 season-opening victory over DePauw (Feb. 22) with a scoreless ninth inning. Kemp struck out three of the four batters he faced, walking one. In game two at the Service Academy Classic, Kemp notched his first win since 2002, as the Hoosiers defeated Memphis, 9-8, in 10 innings on Feb. 26.

    Hoosiers Name Tri-Captains
    Joe Kemp, Corby Heckman and Reggie Watson have been named tri-captains for this year's team. Kemp is a senior right fielder that also will see action as the team's closer. Heckman, a senior, will start the season at third base after seeing time at first and second base last year. Watson is a junior center fielder who started 52 of 53 games last season.

    McFarland's Daily Double
    In addition to his duties on the baseball diamond, sophomore Graeme McFarland has returned to the IU football team. After leaving the team in 2004, McFarland attended spring practice and play under new head coach Terry Hoeppner along with fulfilling his duties as a pitcher with the baseball team. McFarland appeared in a pair of football games in 2003, throwing for 152 yards in his only career start at Minnesota.




      Check back soon
      Indiana Sports Properties