May 14, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The eighth ranked Indiana Hoosiers (36-12, 19-2 Big Ten) enter the final weekend of the regular season and a three-game series with Minnesota (26-20, 12-9 Big Ten) looking to clinch the Big Ten regular season title outright after clinching a share of the title last weekend at Penn State. Indiana has won 24 of its last 26 games, including nine in a row after a 7-2 victory at No. 5 Louisville on Tuesday.
The win against the Cardinals gave the Hoosiers a sweep of the three games between the two teams this season. It was also the fourth straight victory over UofL and the sixth in the last seven meetings between the two programs.
The Hoosiers are looking for the sixth Big Ten regular season crown and the second in as many seasons after claiming the conference's regular season and tournament titles last year on the way to an appearance in the College World Series. Additionally, the 19 wins in Big Ten play are a program-best and the most by any Big Ten team since the league schedule was shortened to 24 games in 2009.
In 18 home games this season, IU is 16-2 at Bart Kaufman Field this season and rank in the top 30 nationally in average attendance. With the ballpark in its second season, the Hoosiers are 35-5 at the friendly confines.
Junior 1B Sam Travis was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Tuesday, the 11th weekly award for an IU player this season. It was the sixth weekly award from the conference in Travis' career.
Probable Starting Pitchers
Thursday, May 15 - 8:05 pm ET (TV: BTN)
Sr., LHP #23 Joey DeNato (11-1, 1.91) vs. Sr., RHP #40 Alec Crawford (4-1, 4.01)
Friday, May 16 - 8:05 pm ET (TV: BTN)
So., RHP #21 Christian Morris (4-3, 2.15) vs. Jr., RHP #28 Ben Meyer (4-3, 2.43)
Saturday, May 17 - 3:05 pm ET (TV: BTN)
Sr., LHP #27 Brian Korte (2-0, 2.43) vs. Jr., RHP #44 Neal Kunik (2-1, 2.31)
DID YOU KNOW?
Senior Dustin DeMuth leads all NCAA active hitters - regardless of division - with 302 career hits.
Senior LHP Joey DeNato leads all NCAA Division I active pitchers with 35 career victories and ranks second in career innings pitched (345.0).
Junior Sam Travis ranks ninth among all NCAA active hitters with 159 career RBI.
Travis also leads the Big Ten with 448 chances in the field this season and has yet to commit an error.
Junior Kyle Schwarber ranks 10th among active Division I players with 169 runs scored.
The Hoosiers' team ERA of 2.30 ranks ninth in the country this season
Over the last 16 games, the IU bullpen has pitched a total of 56.0 innings, giving up seven earned runs on 35 hits and 58 strikeouts.
In Big Ten play, Indiana has outscored its opponents by a 145-43 margin.
CLINCHING AT LEAST A SHARE OF BIG TEN
After posting a three game series sweep at Penn State last weekend, Indiana clinched at least a tie for the Big Ten regular season crown. With a three game lead and three games left in the Big Ten season, the Hoosiers just need one victory over Minnesota to clinch the title outright. Nebraska and Illinois are both three games back entering their series against each other in Lincoln this weekend.
When Casey Rodrigue drew a two out walk in the top of the ninth inning and the Hoosiers holding a 4-2 lead against No. 5 Louisville, it brought Kyle Schwarber to the plate with a chance to extend the lead. On the ffith pitch of the at-bat, he launched one of the longest home runs in his collegiate career, clearing the 50+ foot tall batter's eye in center field at UofL's Patterson Stadium. The 3-run shot gave the Hoosiers a 7-2 lead and a season sweep of the Cardinals.
ACTIVE HIT STREAKS
Sam Travis and Kyle Schwarber are both riding 11-game hit streaks into the series with Minnesota. Travis is hitting .408 (20-49) with five home runs, 15 RBI and 16 runs scored during the streak. Schwarber is connecting at a .409 (18-44) clip with four home runs, 12 RBI, 19 runs and .864 slugging percentage.
Brad Hartong has a 12-game hit streak going, batting .511 (23-45) with 21 RBI and nine runs scored.
Senior LHP Joey DeNato has etched his name firmly at the top of most pitching lists at Indiana. He is the career record holder for wins (35), strikeouts (277) and innings pitched (345.0). He is a Big Ten best 11-1 this season with an ERA of 1.91. In 13 starts this season, he has posted a quality start in 11 (6.0 IP and 3 ER or less). He is 7-0 in Big Ten play with a 1.90 ERA and combined for three shutouts.
TRAVIS TRUMPS ALL
Junior 1B Sam Travis is hitting .368 overall this season , second on the team, and .391 in Big Ten play. He leads the Big Ten in hits (74) and RBI (52). In Big Ten games, he has registered seven home runs and a team-best 25 RBI to go with 24 runs scored. The right-handed power hitter also has a pair of multi-home run games to his credit this season. Last weekend at Penn State, he hit a home run in each of the three games after the teams entered the weekend without any home runs allowed at Medlar Field in Happy Valley.
SCHWARBER IS SCHWINGIN' IT
Junior C/OF Kyle Schwarber has continued to anchor the heart of the IU lineup, slotting into the No. 2 spot in the batting order after spending some time early in the year in the leadoff spot. He's hitting at a .347 clip with ten home runs to go with 34 RBI and a team-best 54 runs scored. The left-handed hitting catcher also leads IU with a .632 slugging percentage. Defensively, he has also committed just three errors in 315 chances (.990).
HOT CORNER ON A HOT STREAK
IU third baseman Dustin DeMuth is swinging a hot stick lately, despite seeing his 16-game hit streak come to an end in the series finale at Iowa. During the hit streak, he hit .452 with 12 RBI and 13 runs scored. In addition, DeMuth has reached base successfully in 45 consecutive contests entering the final series against Minnesota. The senior, who was selected in the 8th round of the MLB draft last season and elected to return to Indiana, leads the team with a .389 batting average in all games. In Big Ten play, that average increases to .467. Over the three games at Penn State, he hit .727 with four runs scored and four RBI.
MORE FROM MORRIS
Sophomore RHP Christian Morris has quietly put together an outstanding season as the "Saturday starter" for the Hoosiers this season. While his record is 4-3, his ERA stands at 2.15 for the season (16 ER in 67.0 IP). He needed just 82 pitches to cruise through 7.0 innings at Penn State last weekend for his fourth victory. Over his last 10 starts, he has allowed two or less earned runs in eight of those starts. In the other two starts, he allowed just three earned runs.