May 15, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - It's a four-horse race for the 2013 Big Ten Baseball Championship and two of the contending schools face off in Columbus, Ohio for the final series as #15 Indiana visits the Buckeyes of Ohio State starting on Thursday. The Hoosiers own a one-game edge on OSU and Nebraska while Minnesota also has a shot to be crowned regular season champs.
With the Big Ten Tournament slated to start next week, all conference series will run Thursday-Friday-Saturday this week. Indiana and OSU are scheduled to start at 6:35, 6:35 and 4:05 PM on each day, respectively.
While Ohio State leads the all-time series, 157-104, recent success has gone in favor of Indiana with wins in five of the last six meetings against the Buckyes.
The Big Ten Network is all over the three-game set, broadcasting the Friday and Saturday contests live on BTN and streaming Thursday's series opener online. Hoosier fans can also follow along via IUHoosiers.com's live audio broadcast, GameTracker live stats and in-game updates through the team's official Twitter page (@IUBaseballNews).
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCH-UPS
Thursday, May 16 - 6:35 pm ET
Jr., LHP Joey DeNato (7-1, 2.67) vs. r-Sr., RHP Brad Goldberg (6-1, 3.41)
Friday, May 17 - 6:35 pm ET
So., LHP Kyle Hart (7-2, 3.07) vs. Sr., LHP Brian King (7-5, 2.82)
Saturday, May 18 - 4:05 pm ET
r-So., RHP Aaron Slegers (8-1, 1.96) vs. Jr., RHP Jaron Long (6-5, 3.68)
Complete Game Notes
TRIPLE PLAY QUICK HITS
Indiana's 38 wins are the most ever over Division-I opponents in school history (previous record was 33)
Indiana strung together a school-record 18-game winning streak from March 10-April 6
IU has recorded a +172 run margin through 50 games (+3.4/game), outscoring the competition 340-168
IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT
With a 15-6 conference record entering the final weekend, Hoosier Baseball controls its own destiny for a Big Ten regular season title. It would mark Indiana's first regular season championship since 1949. If IU sweeps Ohio State, the outright crown is sealed (first since 1932). But if Indiana simply takes 2-out-of-3 from OSU, then some help will be needed:
IF INDIANA WINS THE SERIES TWO-GAMES-TO-ONE:
- one or more Minnesota losses vs. Illinois would clinch a share of the Big Ten regular season title
- one or more Minnesota losses AND one or more Nebraska losses vs. Michigan would clinch the outright title
If Indiana were to win just one game at Ohio State, a share of the Big Ten regular season title could still be obtained with one or more losses from BOTH Minnesota and Nebraska.
TEAM USA BASEBALL, GOLDEN SPIKES & JOHNNY BENCH AWARD
Sophomore catcher Kyle Schwarber has been selected to join USA Baseball's 2013 Collegiate National Team. He will be one of 24 college players to don the Stars and Stripes this summer. He becomes the fourth Hoosier to be selected to Team USA, and second under the tutelage of Head Coach Tracy Smith. Alex Dickerson (2010) was the other Coach Smith product to earn a spot on Team USA, joining Mickey Morandini (1988) and Bob Scafa (1993). Schwarber is also one of 60 players to be selected by USA Baseball for the Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list. The Golden Spikes Award is given annually to the country's top amateur baseball players. Schwarber was one of 48 catchers nation-wide to be selected for the Johnny Bench Award watch list as well, presented annually to the best collegiate catcher.
NATIONALLY RANKED HOOSIERS
Baseball America tabbed the Hoosiers as the 24th-best team in the country on March 11, marking the first time in school history Indiana has been nationally ranked. IU is slotted #15 this week by Baseball America and Perfect Game. (complete rankings listed in sidebar). The Hoosiers have ascended as high as 12th during the 2013 campaign.
Dustin DeMuth ON A TEAR
Junior third baseman>Dustin DeMuth is riding a 10-game hitting streak and has reached base successfully in 19 consecutive contests, last failing to do so on April 12. In the last 10 games he is batting at a .568 clip and has totaled three homeruns, two doubles and eight RBI. Overall in 2013, the LaPorte, Ind., native has placed himself in contention for the B1G batting crown. He ranks second (fifth nationally) with a .413 average, giving chase to Illinois' Justin Parr at .430.
BIG TEN'S ELITE, STATISTICALLY SPEAKING AND RECORD WISE
The Hoosier lineup is potent and deep, leading to Indiana sitting atop of every major offensive statistical offensive category, sans triples, in the Big Ten. Don't sleep on the pitching, however, as the Hoosier hurlers' 2.58 team earned run average is also tops in the conference. For the "only thing that matters is wins and losses" crowd, don't fret. Indiana's 38-12 record (.760) is also the B1G's best.
HOW THE HOOSIERS STACK UP ON THE NATIONAL LEVEL
Indiana is posting numbers worthy of top-25 NCAA rankings as well. Entering the week, IU staff's 2.52 ERA was the seventh-lowest in the country. In addition, IU was slotted 13th in winning percentage (.776), 17th in slugging percentage (.450), 18th in batting average (.308), 20th in homeruns (40) and 23rd in scoring (6.9 runs/game). Defensively, the Hoosiers had turned 55 double plays, good for the sixth-best twin killings clip in D-I baseball.
Individually, Kyle Schwarber was slotted seventh with a .692 slugging percentage and 11th with 13 homeruns. Meanwhile,>Dustin DeMuth's .417 batting clip slotted him fifth nationally. On the mound, Scott Effross owns a 0.94 WHIP, good for 25th.