May 16, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
A lot remains on the line as Indiana Baseball (27-26, 13-8 Big Ten) approaches its final series of the regular season, playing host to the Ohio State Buckeyes (31-22, 11-10) in a Thursday-Friday-Saturday stint. All three games are set for 3:05 pm first pitch. Saturday's season finale will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.
HERE'S WHAT WE KNOW:
Entering the final series, the Big Ten standings remain a log-jam. For IU, here's what we know:
IU clinches a spot in the Big Ten Tournament with one win OR one Minnesota loss
IU clinches the #2 seed and a first-round bye with a sweep over Ohio State
IU shares the Big Ten regular season title with a sweep over Ohio State AND a Iowa sweep over Purdue
This weekend also marks the end of an era, the final three NCAA games to be played at Sembower Field. The Hoosiers have called Sembower home since 1951, but will begin play on brand-new Kaufman Field at the start of the 2013 season. Sembower Field will remain in use through the fall as IU's grounds for fall practice and intrasquad games. Indiana's new baseball facility, Kaufman Field, broke ground on May 7 and is located on the 45/46 Bypass just north of the IU Tennis Complex where the University intramural fields previously laid. The $19.8 million project also includes the construction of a new softball facility adjacent to Kaufman Field.
Thursday, May 17 - 3 pm EST
LHP Joey DeNato (7-2, 2.70) vs. RHP Jaron Long (6-2, 1.85)
Friday, May 18 - 3 pm EST
LHP Kyle Hart (4-4, 3.52) vs. LHP Brian King (4-4, 4.33)
Saturday, May 19 - 3 pm EST
RHP Chad Martin (2-3, 5.43) vs. RHP Greg Greve (3-2, 5.10)
Complete Weekend Notes
HOOSIER QUICK HITS
Indiana has won five of seven Big Ten series
Indiana has won nine of its last 12 games overall; and seven of the last nine conference contests
In the last 10 games, Dillon Dooney is batting .433, slugging .533 and has an OBP of .526
Indiana is three wins shy of posting its fourth 30-win season in the last five years
BTN's `Diamond Report' is running a feature on `Bash Brothers' Kyle Schwarber and Sam Travis this Sunday
Ground was officially broke on May 7 for Kaufman Field (see page 11)
THAT'S WHY THEY PLAY THE GAMES
Just one of five preseason polls (Coaches, Baseball America, Sorenson, Rogers, Webb) picked the Hoosiers to qualify for the six-team Big Ten Tournament field. Indiana was prognosticated to finish as low as ninth in the conference standings by the national media. With three games remaining, IU controls its own destiny to earn the #2 seed and still has a shot at sharing the regular season Big Ten title.
WHAT A WEEK FOR HOFFMAN
In a seven-day stretch (May 6-12), Jonny Hoffman hurled 12.1 innings over the course of three games. The multi-arm-slot pitcher allowed a lone earned run for the week (0.73 ERA), recording two saves and a win in the trifecta of Hoosier victories.
CLOSING SEMBOWER IN THRILLING FASHION
Trace Knoblauch's walk-off single on Tuesday marked the fourth walk-off victory for Indiana this season. The Hoosiers rattled off three consecutive walk-off winners at home from April 4-13, topping Michigan State, Indiana State and Ball State in their final at-bat.
DENATO'S RECORD BOOK ASSAULT
Joey DeNato put on a record-breaking show on April 27, striking out 12 Wolverines; the most in school history during a conference contest. With three regular season games remaining and the potential for postseason contests, DeNato is also creeping up on the all-time top-10 for several single-season statistical rankings. In order to crack IU's top-10, the southpaw needs one more win, 13 strikeouts and/or six innings pitched.
DEARDEN AND HOFFMAN PROVIDE INSTANT RELIEF
Entering the week, Matt Dearden and Jonny Hoffman have each made 23 appearances on the mound; giving them a share of ninth place in school history for most appearances in a season. Chris Squires' 31 trips to the bump in 2010 are the all-time high.
FRESHMAN: HERE, THERE, EVERYWHERE
Fifty-two percent of Indiana's starters through 53 games have been freshmen (273 of 530; counting pitchers). The Hoosier youth increases even more when including only position players in the batting order (no pitcher/DH), with 58% 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: 70% (23 of 33)
Runs Batted In: 60% (159 of 264)
Runs Scored: 57% (167 of 292)
Doubles: 56% (53 of 94)
Hits: 53% (262 of 495)
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 13 weeks, a conference-best 11 Hoosiers have been recognized by the league office. Sam Travis leads the way with five such laurels, winning back-to-back Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week accolades (March 26 & April 2) before this week's Frosh of the Week selection. A complete list of Hoosier winners is below:
Chris Sujka: Freshman (February 27)
Kyle Schwarber: Freshman (March 5; April 30)
Joey DeNato: Pitcher (March 19)
Sam Travis: Player (March 26/April 2); Freshman (March 26/April 2/May 7)
Kyle Hart: Freshman (April 23)
Justin Cureton: Player (April 30)
Indiana and Purdue's 11 honorees are followed by: Illinois (5), Michigan State (5), Nebraska (4), Northwestern (3), Michigan (3), Penn State (3), Iowa (2), Ohio State (2) and Minnesota (1).